Art exhibition to help cleft patients smile better

Art Market Malaysia founder Rita Hatta with the artworks for the exhibition. Photo: Art Market Malaysia

In conjunction with Cleft Awareness Month which falls in October in Malaysia, a charity art exhibition will be held by Art Market Malaysia in collaboration with the Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Malaysia (CLAPAM) and Prince Court Medical Centre.

Partial proceeds from the art sales will go to cleft patients from underprivileged backgrounds.

Held from Oct 23 to 28 at Prince Court Medical Centre lobby, the exhibition features over 100 pieces of art contributed by disabled artists and local artists who are members of Art Market Malaysia, which is a brand by social enterprise Soriata Event Management.

"As at today (Thursday), seven pieces of artwork have been sold, says Art Market Malaysia founder Rita Hatta, 50.

Rita, a stroke survivor, reveals that she started this platform to help disabled and local artists who were facing challenges marketing their artwork.

"After my stroke in 2015, I was unable to use my right hand/arm and I understood what it meant to be incapacitated, so I wanted to start this platform to help Malaysian artists, particularly disabled artists to market their artwork," says Rita who was previously working as the director of an Australian events management company before her stroke.

According to consultant orthodontist Col Datin Dr Mumtaj Nisah Abd Rahim, a cleft lip or palate – which is a gap in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth or palate – can have a profound impact on someone's life.

"Cleft lip and palate (CLP), collectively referred to as orofacial cleft, is one of the most common congenital conditions occurring in Malaysia. Its reported occurrence is one in every 800 live births."

"When the tissue that makes up the lip or palate - formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy – doesn't join together completely, a cleft lip or palate happens."

"For those born with this condition, the journey to a beautiful and confident smile is very challenging but with the right support, it's possible to achieve," she concludes.

More information: Art Market Malaysia

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