Healing through art: Fairfield man becomes featured painter after accident

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A Fairfield man who was paralyzed in a freak accident has been using art therapy as part of his recovery. Now, his work is being featured in a Norwalk gallery for the next month.

Alder Crocker, 56, might never have found his path to painting if not for a brush with bad luck. He was on a Mexican vacation when a fall resulted in a severe neck injury. He was paralyzed from the armpits down.

Soon after, painting took his healing in a new direction.

“As odd as this may sound, I'm actually enjoying this life as much as I did before because now I have purpose and value in a way that I didn't before,” he said. “I'd been in marketing for 30 years and after a while, it becomes by routine.”

“After the accident, it’s all about the next challenge,” he continued. “It's all about the next piece of art." It's all about the next brass ring.”

Crocker must remain in his wheelchair, so he uses a painting technique he calls "the four corners approach."

“I move it around in a counter-clockwise fashion and continue to paint…I’ve created four paintings with one general outcome,” said Crocker.

He also devised a spinning hanging system, so his art can be viewed from any of the sides.

Crocker calls the interest in his work humbling and only the beginning of his next chapter.

“It's not over till it's over,” he told News 12.

Crocker’s interactive showcase at the Rene Soto Gallery on Wall Street in Norwalk will be featured through March 11.

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