News ≫ Power Personified How Gregory Burns turned a disability into his greatest power

Power Personified How Gregory Burns turned a disability into his greatest power

Nov 13, 2019
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The work of Gregory Burns is a testament to the belief that no disability can take away from the courage, perseverance and ability of the human spirit. Born in Washington, DC to a father who served in the diplomatic corps, Gregory Burns would spend much of his childhood away from his native home. Having contracted polio as a child, Burns was left paralyzed from the waist down. He was fortunate to be born into a loving and encouraging environment where he soon picked up paint brushes and crayons. At just the age of three, he took to water and learned to swim. By the age of six, Burns began painting lessons while living in Paris. Today Gregory Burns is an internationally acclaimed fine artist and a world-class athlete. He has set four world records in swimming during three Paralympic Games. After 30 years of painting across four continents, Burns has received critical acclaim in many countries and was also the recipient of the 2016 Sports Artist of the Year Award.

The Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, recently welcomed Burns as their first artist-in-residence. Burns who has a long standing relationship with the group of hotels has traveled across the world helping the organization support various disadvantaged communities with his endeavors. Since 1984, Gregory has also mentored less advantaged groups and individuals through Disability Awareness Programs and Motivational Keynote Presentations for numerous schools, clubs and organizations across the globe.

In Sri Lanka, Burns conducted art workshops together with the Non Governmental Organisation ‘Navajeevana’ in Hambantota. He also conducted a motivational workshop for a selected group of deserving youth from the suburbs of Colombo.

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