McNees turns to family, community, art to cope with vision loss

Lana McNees is seen here inside Watson’s Grocery in the Byrd community where she sculpts and paints.

BYRD COMMUNITY - “This is old Frosty himself,” Lana McNees said, laughing, as she introduced her first creation—an amalgamation of two gourds painted white and adorned with a small scarf, a button for a nose, lumps of coal for eyes and a corn cobb pipe protruding from a smile.
McNees can only “see” the snowman by running her fingers over the form of the round gourds that she glued together. McNees became blind in 2012 after complications from heart surgery stopped the blood flow to her optic nerves.  
Nine other freshly-painted snow man creations sit drying on a nearby shelf inside her store, Watson’s Grocery, located in the Byrd Community in western Marion County.


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