Artist Spotlight: Lacey Todd

How a student overcomes her disability and paints the world in her own colors

Lacey Todd, a junior fine arts major with a focus in painting, is unlike many other students that attend Winthrop University.

Todd’s art has an exceptional blend of earthy elements, such as her landscape paintings of graveyards, as well character drawings that sold throughout the summer; it hides a different element about the artist herself. 

She has a progressive sight loss disease that impairs her vision.

Todd has some trouble with drawing sometimes because of her disability.

“Drawing from life means you have to sit there and look at something in order to draw it, but if I can’t get lose to it or it’s not a very large object, then it is very hard for me to see,” Todd said. “I usually just pick things to draw or paint that I know that I can see or I know I can make an accommodation for myself in order to get the work done.”

When it does come to her paintings and drawings, however, Todd does not let her eyes get in the way of capturing the essence of her product.

From the images she takes in order to get her painting or her drawings onto paper or canvas, Todd is able to capture the emotion and their auras; she is able to put their personality into the picture and add her own into it as well. Her technique can be seen in all of her drawings, her signature seen only to those familiar with her work.

Unfortunately, Todd almost wasn’t able to stay at Winthrop due to funding, but found a way through the Commission for the Blind.

Todd continues to sell her work even with the stress of school.

“Freshman year, I didn’t really have the funding I needed to come here,” Todd explained. “It took a lot of pleading with [the office of accessibility] to find out that the Commission for the Blind will sponsor students to get through college and it is in a large thanks to them that I am still able to be here.”

And without their help, Winthrop’s campus would not have Todd’s talent as an artist or her story to tell.

However, her time painting at Winthrop has not been smooth sailing. Like all students, she has had to overcome obstacles, but for Todd, she is faced with the same obstacle every single day.

For someone with a disability, Winthrop University’s Office of Accessibility works with students to create accommodations so their time here is easier on them and their disability. These accommodations must be followed legally by the university and professors, but according to Todd, there are times where some of her professors do not follow or listen to her accommodations.

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