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Pro's legacy lives on

Tuesday, 3rd March, 2009

Pro Hart's name has been linked to a program which will raise awareness of the disease that claimed his life nearly three years ago. His widow Raylee said her family was happy to support the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Queensland's "Pro Art" campaign.

Pro Art is a Queensland-based awareness campaign dedicated to bringing the arts to young people and their artwork to the public's attention. It is designed to encourage young artists to "give it a go", whilst raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and the impact it has in the broad community. Mrs Hart said MND - which claimed Pro's life on March 28 2006 - was a crippling disease which was misunderstood by many. "Not a lot of people know about it," Mrs Hart said. "It's a dreadful disease. "To watch Pro determined to paint but not able to relay what he could see in his mind was frustrating for him and a struggle for us all. "MND does that in so many ways, whether it be your hands for painting, your feet for dancing or our speech for singing. MND has the ability to take away one's pleasures." Mrs Hart said her late husband would be happy to have his name associated with the Pro Art campaign. "Pro would be so proud to see his name and art endorsing the Pro Art Awareness, to see young and emerging artists finding their passion, to feel the pleasure of painting and most importantly raising awareness about a disease so few people have heard of but so many people are affected by." The Hart family have donated an original Pro Hart painting "In the Scrub" (1998) for creative inspiration amongst school students and artists alike. The program will commence during MND Awareness Week (May 3-11) and schools across Queensland will be encouraged to participate by submitting their own artworks. Forty students from around the state will receive a "highly commended" accolade for their entries, with five set to win trophies of Pro's original paintbrushes. "In The Scrub" will also be auctioned at the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Queensland's fundraising event on June 20. The highly commended students will be invited to showcase and auction their own artworks at the same event. Mrs Hart and sons David and Kym will attend a media launch of the program in Queensland on Monday next week. Kym will re-enact the iconic "carpet painting" technique Pro was famous for in the 1988 TV commercial for DuPont Stain master carpet and Raylee will speak at the event. Meanwhile, Mrs Hart said Pro's Wyman Street gallery has been updated to feature only her late husband's work, as well as some items from his studio.

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