Tracy Bettencourt is an artist, advocate for persons with disabilities, motivational speaker and APSU alumni. She began to lose her eyesight in her early 30s from an eye disease called, “Retinitis Pigmentosa.” Although the disease has left her blind, the hardships she experienced have not prevented her from living her life to the best of her abilities. She brings new insight to how art is viewed and continues to have a humble heart.
Bettencourt states, “I am blind. I lost my eyesight over 12 years ago. Within the past five years, I began painting using my hands. My life is very structured, and I use assistive technology on my IPhone and IPad to identify colors. The paints I use are textured acrylic and forms of puffy paint. My hands are my eyes and the puffy paint allows me to convey my thoughts and feelings onto canvas using tactile lines. Every day I wake and live in darkness, yet with my newfound skill of painting, I am able to share my unique perception of the world around me as well as to convey the unseen beauty of life. My paintings reflect hope, adversity, love, positivity, strength and determination. I put my heart, soul and insight into every piece of artwork. There will always be a mountain to climb, yet I strongly feel that no matter what the obstacle, there is light within darkness and therefore there is hope.”