2nd Annual Carolina Art Soirée in Charlotte, NC, Takes Place May 5, 2011

On May 5, 2011, 29 local and regional artists will present the 2nd Annual Carolina Art Soirée, an art show to benefit The GBS/CIDP Foundation International. Last year, the event raised $24,000 for the foundation and sold over 60 paintings. Organized by Hannah Blanton, a Charlotte nurse and mother who was struck with the rare and severe illness in 2003, the fundraising event aims to raise awareness of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, often causing rapid paralysis.


Work by Ester Melton

The Carolina Art Soirée event will be held at Southpark’s Morrison development, 720 Governor Morrison Street, from 5:30 to 9:30pm. The reception will include live music from musician Grey Brewster, and food and drink from Earthfare and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. A suggested donation of $20 per couple will be accepted at the door. The exhibition will continue on Friday, May 6, 11am – 3pm, and Saturday, May 7 from 10am – noon. Forty percent of art sales will be donated to GBS/CIDP research, education and advocacy.


Work by Libby Smart

Participating artists include Pam Anderson, Wendy Bilas, Laura Bowers, Dianne Britton, Stuart Coleman Budd, Curt Butler, Zan Byrd, Allison Chambers, Theresa Clark, Shalimar Crosby, Christina Dowdy, Jenny Fuller, Eloise Gamble, Lita Gatlin, Grace Howell, Christine Keogh, Robert Langford, Esther Melton, Anne Neilson, Angela Nesbit, Windy O’Connor, Liz Orvos, Allison Pell, Dilliard Richardson, Laurie Richardson, Margaret Salisbury, Caroline Simas, Libby Smart, and Gina Strumpf. The art show will also feature the work of homeless artists from Urban Ministry Center’s ArtWorks 945 program.

Also coordinating the event is Nancy Maloney of Good Manors, Incorporated, an interior designer whose husband John is a GBS survivor.

The weekend’s festivities include the 5th Annual GDP/CIDP 5K and Miracle Mile, a family-friendly fundraiser hosted at Morrison by The GBS/CIDP Charlotte Support Group on Saturday, May 7, 2011.


Work by Gina Strumpf

GBS, Guillain-Barré (Ghee-yan Bah-ray) Syndrome, also called acute inflamma tory demyelinating polyneuropathy and Landry’s ascending paralysis, is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves those outside the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by the rapid onset of weakness and, often, paralysis of the legs, arms, breathing muscles and face. GBS is the most common cause of rapidly acquired paralysis in the United States today, affecting one to two people in every 100,000.  Although most people recover and return to a normal lifestyle, the length of the illness is unpredictable and often months of hospital care are required, many endure a slow recovery and some remain wheelchair-bound indefinitely. CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) is a rare disorder of the peripheral nerves characterized by gradually increasing weakness of the legs and, to a lesser extent, the arms. It is caused by damage to the covering of the nerves, called myelin. For more information visit (www.gbs-cidp.org).

For further information contact Hannah Blanton at 704/365-2422. e-mail at (hblanton@me.com) or visit (http://carolinaartsoiree.squarespace.com).

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