As the result of a water-skiing accident in 1980, — Dennis A. Francesconi [then 17] was permanently paralyzed. Since then, through hard work, determination, and the support of his wife Kristi, Dennis is once again on the fast track and making things happen. It all started in 1989 when Dennis taught himself how to write using his mouth. It wasn’t long before he began sketching to occupy his time. Despite his injury, Dennis attended college to obtain an Associate in Arts Degree— which he received a few years later with full honors including membership in Phi Theta Kappa [an International Honors Society], and inclusion on the National Dean’s List.

The demands of college didn’t keep him from sketching, he continued and rapidly advanced to working with watercolors. In early 1993, he heard about the prestigious Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, Worldwide [AMFPA] and quickly submitted samples of his work for review. By late 1993, Dennis was accepted as a Student Member. Just 5 1/2 short years later, he had climbed the ranks to the much sought after Full Member position— which gave him the opportunity to remove himself from 19 years of public support. He didn’t have to do that— with the multitude of [programs] that exist. But as he says, “I was never comfortable surviving on the taxes of other hard working people regardless of my condition. That simply is not my style.”

Dennis thrives on working with the Association. In an effort to inspire and help others, he constantly shares his story through various types of media including; newspapers, radio, television, and on the internet. All of these methods are important tools, but on the internet, specifically at www.sconi.com , Dennis has published an abundance of information about his work, the AMFPA, and their USA Publishers, the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Inc., in Atlanta [MFPA].

In the USA, his work has been seen at various group exhibits in cities such as; Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. International exhibits thus far include; Vancouver BC, Vienna Austria, Sweden, Geneva Switzerland, the Peoples Republic of China, Great Britain, Sydney Australia, and Lisbon Portugal.

His work has been published on various MFPA greeting cards, calendars, and gift wrap. And has also graced the covers of several books, on wine labels, the 2008 California State Christmas Card selected by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver, as well as greeting cards for PepsiCo.

Dennis is always willing to help others, quite simply, he adds, “Only after you’ve helped others in similar situations, do you truly begin to understand why all of this has happened in the first place.”

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