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Sarasota Army vet discovers rare artistic talent after injuries and illness

Diana de Avila “started to see colors differently”
Posted: 3:25 AM, Aug 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-08 05:58:20-04
Diana de Avila artwor

SARASOTA, Fla. — Diana de Avila’s remarkable story sounds like something out of a comic book.

She only discovered her own personal superpower after two terrifying medical setbacks.

When she was 19 and in the Army, Diana was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident that caused serious head trauma and blood clots.

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A few years ago, complications from that injury, coupled with multiple sclerosis, left her close to blindness.

But when she regained her vision...

“I started to see colors differently,” she says. “And I had an urge to learn software I’d never used before.”

Something changed in Diana.

Something that allowed her to suddenly create wildly imaginative abstract art on her computer.

“Art has given back everything,” she says. “Meaning, purpose, peace, direction.”

Art fans, including those at the Art Center Sarasota, have triumphed her work. This December, five of Diana’s pieces will be on display at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

She is hoping her art, and her story, will inspire other veterans.