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South African Artist Wins Two USA Awards

Norbert Schling, owner of Creative Concepts, has won two prestigious awards for his artwork in the Expressions for CMT Challenge. His painting, “Ithemba” means Hope (or “Thembisa” which means Hopeful in Zulu) won the Jurors Award and the CMT Art Award, sponsored by Artists World Magazine and the global CMTUS Network. CMT stands for Charcot Marie Tooth neuromuscular disease which affects nerve conduction to muscles, causing fatigue, weakness in the extremities, pain, numbness and progressive muscle atrophy and disability. This disease has been in the human family for 6-7 million years, yet many people may carry the genetic mutation and may not be aware. “We aim to change that”, CMTUS Founder Gretchen Glick explained. Through the Expressions Art Challenge hosted by Artists World Magazine we are bringing a greater awareness to the disease worldwide for CMT Awareness Month September 2012. Glick asked Schling to design a poster especially for this project which will be featured on the cover of Artist’s World Magazine, September 2012 issue. The two met last year while Glick was curating “Art de Cure for CMT”, an international exhibition of artwork to support CMT awareness, in which Schling participated. “I want to do all I can to help with CMT Awareness, especially in South Africa, where CMT remains generally unknown” said Schling. Even with an estimated 3 million people world wide suffering the effects of this disease, there is very little observance of the progressive neurobiological effects that result from misdiagnosis or lack of care. While there is no cure, symptoms are often suppressed with medications, surgery and physical therapy. Recent advances in regenerative medicine suggest autologous stem cell treatment may lead to a better quality of life and slow or stop this malady. In his oil painting, Norbert kept the idea simple and used oranges and yellows in the sky that resemble the sun rising, a new light, and are also positive karma colors. The hands and feet that turn into the broken nerve endings (The illustration comes across harsh but so is reality and that pronounces the reality and seriousness of CMT). The stones resemble the stumbling blocks that people with CMT and their loved ones have to overcome. The butterflies are more prominent than the rest of the painting as hope should be stronger than the disease itself, and the butterflies emerge from the distance and are all over the affected areas. Mr. Schling was born of German parents who immigrated to South Africa in the early 1950s. He was educated in Brakpan, a mining village. His love for art started at an early age and developed with formal training with renowned artist Ann Johnstone. His artworks have been exhibited in Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Currently, Norbert is the owner and instructor at Creative Concepts in Brakpan where he teaches students of all ages as well as the disadvantaged to help develop their skills. His strongest mediums are oils, pastels and acrylics. “I never paint two of the same, in other words, my art pieces are all original, one of a kind. In creating “Ithemba” for CMT Awareness, posters, prints and stamps of his artwork are available for the many people who have CMT, their families, friends, and medical professionals to increase disease awareness and bring CMT into the mainstream of health knowledge. CMTUS is a global network of people who have CMT, their families and friends to share how to best manage symptoms and live with a positive spirit amidst a disease of uncertainty. Interested persons may visit Contact: Gretchen Glick CMTUS 1-805-693 – 9511 USA FOR INFORMATION ON STEM CELL TREATMENTS FOR CMT GO TO Website: Email: Phone: 800-234-1693