Local artist Mason Ellsworth is presenting a show and sale of his paintings this weekend at Evolve in Shepherdstown. The proceeds from this show will help offset the expenses of Mason’s upcoming trip to Neuroworx, a rehabilitation center in Sandy, Utah which specializes in treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries.
Mason is the son of Brian and Sylvia Ellsworth, owners of Ellsworth Music in Ranson. In the summer of 2008, Mason sustained a traumatic brain injury in an automobile collision. Sylvia recalled the immediate aftermath, describing his prognosis as bleak. But Ellsworth proved to be a fighter and has gradually made progress in recovering memory and physical ability. Sylvia describes the Neuroworx experience as “a program for the entire family. It trains us to challenge him. They work with him as a person and they also work with us on family communication. Over the four week program we work on goal setting and communication. We’ve been three times already since 2016 and each time they teach us new things about helping Mason and ourselves.”
Prior to the accident, Mason was a proficient musician, playing bassoon, guitar, and drums. Friends also recalled his abundant energy. Local resident Jim Surkamp recalled seeing the teenage Mason bouncing on a pogo stick for hours outside of the Community Club building in Shepherdstown, with a friend holding a clicker to document Mason’s effort to submit to the Guinness World Records.
Sylvia explained how Mason turned to art as his means of expression. “As he regained some motor skills, he could still play the guitar, but he couldn’t hold it himself, which was frustrating for both of us. The art was his choice, how he could communicate, because he didn’t have words. I can see a lot of the art comes from what he observes, but a lot of it comes from inside of his head. He will pick the colors and brushes he wants to use, and I’ll assemble them. It’s all his work as he applies the paints to the canvas.”
Show Details: a variety of original watercolor, acrylic & oil paintings are for sale at the show, along with calendar, note cards and prints. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm on September 18 & 19 (Sat & Sun). Evolve is located at 106 West German Street, Shepherdstown WV.By Staff Contributor