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For the past week Michaels has been working on the installation of his winning design. His mural, titled Find Your Wings, is full of contrast and color and also has a story that resonates within the Dunwoody community.
Find Your Wings is an homage to his wife, Amanda and her recovery from being struck in a crosswalk by a distracted driver on her way back from Dunwoody's Lemonade Days. As an avid runner prior to her accident, Amanda's injuries were so severe her doctors said she may never walk unassisted again. After weeks in the hospital and multiple surgeries Amanda was immobilized for months as her body tried to heal.
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From the moment the accident occurred friends, neighbors and strangers from the Dunwoody community offered support, brought food and helped with the children so that Michaels could care for his wife. Through the most incredible amount of hard work and determination Amanda pushed herself in intense physical therapy and in August, during the Butterfly Festival, she placed her hands on a walker and took her first tentative steps. She has continued to push herself every day and literally taught herself how to walk again. Eighteen months after her accident she completed her first 5K here in Dunwoody, one strenuous step at a time.
"Amanda's incredible determination and efforts to heal are the inspiration for my mural design," said Michaels. "The saying, 'when life gives you lemons' is an idiom for misfortune and butterflies are a metaphor for metamorphosis and beauty. The lemons transitioning into butterflies in this mural are symbolic of her pushing herself to walk again and are also a message of hope and encouragement to anyone who is making a journey from hard times to better times. It is dedicated to her and to the people of Dunwoody who came together and helped our family in a time of need."
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"I am so excited about Spruill's AMPLIFY project and the artwork that has been selected," said Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch. "This project is a great beginning to public art in Dunwoody, where we recently adopted a public art plan. I am grateful for our partnership with Spruill and the work they do to share, promote and encourage art in our community."
Limited-edition prints available for purchase at https://spruillgallery.myshopify.com.
Tune into the Spruill Gallery Facebook page on October 15th at 7pm or a live interview with the artist.
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