Richmond Youth Artist – Painting and Overcoming Physical Challenges

Richmond Youth Artist

by Gretchen Graves and Ruth Sangiuliano

 Congratulations are in order for Jerziah Moore on the many artistic accomplishments he has had this past year. Because he does not have use of his hands or arms Jerziah has learned how to paint using his mouth. When he started this process of learning to hold the brush in his mouth and manipulate it his teacher, Ruth Sangiuliano, and art therapist, Gretchen Graves, tried several different tools, angles, easels and positions to help Jerziah create. There were concerns with him biting the end of the brush and lacquer ending up in his mouth, so rubber tips were used on the end of brushes. But when one slid off  in his mouth there was a choking concern. Inspiration came when Ruth approached the dental clinic at the hospital and asked for help. There dentist, Dr. Holly Lewis, created molds that would fit onto Jerziah’s teeth and help him hold a brush. That was in the fall of 2010.

Since then Jerziah’s talent and accolades have grown. He started giving his paintings as “Thank You” gifts. He has created a beach scene for the dentist and one for DJ Neil Steele whose radio station WXGM sponsored a walk-a-thon.

 Great news came this Spring when he learned that he was selected as a winner in the 2012 Richmond Flying Squirrels Art Contest!  He was chosen as one of  fifteen artist from more than one hundred applicants.  His prizes included: a 4×9 foot sign of his work to be displayed on a main concourse wall at the Richmond Flying Squirrels facility,  the Diamond, a certificate with his artwork framed, and two tickets to Opening Night in April,where he was recognized on-field before the game. Jerziah was able to attend the Flying Squirrels Fan Fest in March, where he represented The Richmond Hospital Education Program and received his art work in a beautiful frame.

In May Jerziah’s art was displayed in the Carytown Art Walk, a judged competition for all students in the Richmond Public School division, where his picture of Michael Jackson won first place in the Middle School category.


Jerziah continues to amaze us with his talent and dedication to his art. He loves painting and will continue to enter contests and positively represent the program.


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