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Participant Information

Kris Krishnan

City:
Akron
State:
OH
Country:
USA
Essay:

(Mr. Krishnan passed away in 2004. These are the words of his wife, Nirmala Krishnan)

My husband, Kris V. Krishnan, was a very creative person. He appreciated music and art very much. He was very gifted in mathematics also. He was Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) for 25 years. At NTID, my husband taught math and engineering students primarily through sign language. My husbandís use of his hands was therefore a necessary tool in teaching. Throughout the years that our daughters were growing up, my husband was an active participant in their school art and science projects. I suspect he enjoyed working on these elaborate projects more than my daughters sometimes. Even then, his creativeness was evident. When he began the early symptoms of Parkinsonís in the 1970ís, he was still able to continue teaching with sign language. However, as the disease progressed his tremors became very bad and my husband was forced to retire in the 1990ís.

My husband was not one to give up, however. He kept engaged in various activities to keep his hands exercised. He found himself drawing portraits and pictures and ultimately spent a large part of his time on his artwork. He created some beautiful scenic paintings of lighthouses and sunsets and lakes and portraits of family, friends, famous people, and Hindu Saints. He also created structures. He once made a small replica of the Taj Mahal. Amazingly, he did all this with recycled products such as plastic bottles and paper. He was able to turn plastic milk jugs into art and made various kids toys such as animals and birds from these products. These he especially loved to do. He loved to see the joy on the faces of his little grandchildren. My husband found great comfort in working on his projects. Art was a form of expression and provided great physical therapy for him as well. When his tremors would become painful and violent, he would stop and take a break, but always returned to his work with great eagerness and a new idea.

Our local newspaper discovered my husbandís talents and wrote an article about him, as well as The Journal of American Art Therapy. In spite of his deteriorating condition, my husband always kept a positive attitude on life. This was his message, I think. To find passion in something and work at it, no matter what obstacles you face. I believe this is the legacy he left for his grandchildren. My husband passed away in January of 2004, at the age of 67.

Contact Nirmala Krishnan:
nirmalkris@aol.com
(330) 665-2560