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Tracy's Story

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      A man of quiet success and challenges well met

      Tracy Mosman stands by one of his colorful abstract paintingsSome people might feel they are best described by their work life, some might feel they can be described by their education, some by their past experiences, others by certain characteristics, and some by talents and achievements. You can come to know Tracy Mosman through any of the above avenues and you will come to know a man of quiet success and challenges well met. If you have the opportunity to visit with him, it won’t be long before you realize that while he has an interesting career path to discuss and a variety of experiences to share, his true love is art.

      After graduating from high school, Tracy went to the University of Iowa with plans to obtain a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. He particularly enjoyed painting and drawing. However, while in school he began to experience increasing vision problems. When he was 21, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive eye disease leading to total loss of vision. Tracy remembers feeling a great deal of anxiety and a lot of uncertainty about his future plans, but he still believed he had a future. He explained that he was encouraged by the example of his grandfather, who was also blind as a result of retinitis pigmentosa and enjoyed a busy, independent, satisfying life. Tracy thought the same could be true for him, but he wasn’t sure, especially given his love of the arts.

      It took the passage of several years accompanied by a continual decline in vision before Tracy began to really deal with his blindness. At the age of 27, Tracy decided to attend the Adult Orientation and Adjustment Center at the Iowa Department for the Blind. Tracy frankly admits to feelings of fear as he began to face his blindness head on, but his anxiety lessened as he got to know the staff and his fellow students. It wasn’t long before he became accustomed to the schedule of classes and began to develop many of the skills he finds routine today. For instance, before Tracy was introduced to a cane, he relied on a flashlight to help him get around at night. Now he can’t imagine going anywhere without his cane, but better yet he can imagine going everywhere – and he does.

      In fact, Tracy has many places to go and things to do. After completing training in the Orientation Center, he followed a path that took many twists and turns. He has lived in Iowa City, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. Along the way he has worked in landscaping, taught drawing, and remodeled 6 older homes. But most importantly, he obtained a Master of Arts, Drawing, with a minor in Sculpture and a year later obtained a Master of Fine Arts, Painting.

      It has been said that, “The artist interprets experience, expressing it in forms that can be felt, understood, and appreciated.” And this may well be the best way to describe Tracy Mosman. For make no mistake, he is an artist. His work has been on display in several galleries and as part of juried art exhibits. In fact, his paintings have won best of show several times.

      Tracy is currently living in Des Moines and works at the Iowa Department for the Blind Library, where he manages the machine department. He has plans to set up a studio again and said, “I plan to paint as long as I can, and now as my vision has diminished to the point that I see very little, I am beginning to entertain the idea that I may not have to see at all to continue painting and drawing.”