Amber Carver, a new member of the Gallery of Hamburg, began working on her art when she was three years old. What make the now seven year old’s art even more special is that she has a rare genetic eye condition known as Achromatopsia.
“She is very hands on,” said Amber’s mother, Kim Carver. “When she’s drawing, it’s a time when she doesn’t have to think about being visually impaired.”
“Art is practically my life,” said Amber.
According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the disorder affects about 1 in every 33,000 people in the United States. Achromatopsia is often called “Day Blindness” as it is easier to see in subdued light for those affected. Those with this condition also have no color vision, though Amber can at times see some colors as she demonstrated with a stack of artwork she pulled out for the interview.
Living with this condition is not easy and Amber has had to face delays and setbacks, she is determined. She is not afraid to speak about what she goes through and share her story. Much of her story is told in her artwork.
“I want to go down in history someday,” said Amber. “I want to be known for my art and be respected.”
The young artist has her own work area in her Hamburg home that is filled with sketchbooks containing all different kinds of drawings. She always has at least one sketchbook with her. This was demonstrated during Hamburg’s Catch the Spirit when Amber was set up in the Doris Berry Shop. She had a sketchbook handy to give a quick lesson in how to draw and she used the sketchbook as a way to tell a story, which her mother said Amber often does.
“It’s awesome,” said Amber on what it is like to be part of the gallery.
“She was very excited to tell the kids at school that she has a job,” said her mother. “That’s how she looks at it, as a job.”
While she may consider it to be a job, it is one that Amber loves and she markets herself very well. As her mother explained Amber loves people and is not shy about telling them her story or talking about art.
“You can approach art in a fun way,” said Amber. “All art can be fun.”
Her favorite artists are Vincent Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt, whose works she has done her versions of which were shown during Catch the Spirit. Amber’s biggest inspiration comes from a very special animal to her, Gibbs the family pet doberman.
“The ‘D’ stands for doberman and dog,” Amber explained when showing one of her notebooks.
Gibbs is not the only inspiration when it comes to art for Amber; her older brother is also into art. Her whole family supports her as she proudly proclaims that her older sister has her back.
One of her early works touched her mother’s heart when Amber painted what she saw as a mother holding a baby. That painting is one that Amber’s mother has framed and knows right where it is to proudly display.
Amber may be small, but she has a big personality and enjoys showing how she adapts to life with her vision loss.
“I am determined to do it,” said Amber when demonstrating how she reads Braille.
With determination, a strong personality and limitless imagination, Amber will reach her goal one day with her art and is already making a name for herself in the community.
What makes her mother most happy is the way the community has embraced Amber and continues to do so.
“Amber has made me so proud for all she has accomplished,” wrote her mother on Amber’s website. “I’m even prouder to say that she is my daughter, best friend and my hope and inspiration in life.”
For more information on Amber and her artwork visit her website at http://www.vision-of-hope.com/ and look for her work in the Gallery of Hamburg in Downtown Hamburg.