If you ask Kathie Donatelli about her current project, her eyes sparkle as she describes the ceiling mural she is currently painting for a young boy that is receiving it through the Make a Wish Foundation. He is now thirteen and has been bedridden since birth, spending his days gazing at the ceiling above him and not speaking. Kathie has designed a beautiful blue sky with airy clouds, hot air balloons, and an angel to watch over him.
The oldest of twelve children, Kathie was born in Plainfield, New Jersey with a congenital condition that kept the bones in her feet from forming and developing. When she was born, the doctors said she would never walk. But, her dad was convinced her legs were strong enough to hold her up and she had good balance as a baby. To teach her to walk in 1947, Kathie''s father put cinder blocks in a baby carriage and had her hold onto the handles as he pulled it around. Her first pair of shoes were leather baby shoes with cork in the toes to keep them from turning upward as she walked, and did not receive her first pair of prostheses until she was twelve.
After graduating from DuCret School of Art in 1969, Kathie followed her passion for art to LA in 1991 as a self-employed mural painter and portrait artist. She has since been commissioned to design, paint and install over a dozen private, corporate and public murals ranging in size up to 2,000 square feet, and has apprentice workshops in her studio for local art students. Benefits that Kathie donated commissioned portraits to, by invitation, include: The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund; City of Hope; American Heart Association; California Afro-American Museum of Art; and many more.
Kathie came to Human Designs more than 5 years ago by circumstances she says can only be described as "serendipity." She was hired by an interior designer to design and paint a wall finish on her client''s dining room walls. Her clients were Eric and Andrea Ferraco and at that time Kathie was experiencing many painful problems with her prostheses.
When the designer introduced them she mentioned that the Ferraco''s were in the business of Prosthetics and Orthotics. "I stood there for a moment as the realization hit that this was no accident and these people were sent to me by Divine Providence. I was matched up with Human Designs and am now wearing the most comfortable prostheses I''ve ever had." Kathie''s prostheses now allow her to focus on her students and her art, rather than being limited by mobility.
To find out more about Kathie Donatelli''s exceptional art, please visit her website at www.artbydonatelli.com.