It is the rare bird who, upon receiving a death sentence, bursts into artistic bloom. But that is the strange case of Ursula Picard, who will open a show titled “Ursula’s Last Exhibit,” on Saturday, Dec. 4, at The Alamo.
Picard, 44, was diagnosed with Acute myeloid leukemia in April of 2009. She underwent treatment for the cancer, and had been in remission since January 2010. On a follow up visit during the summer, tests showed the leukemia had returned, and in August, her doctor gave her two months to live. Picard checked into the hospital for treatment, paintbrush in hand.
Art is not a new realm for Picard. She has worked as a commercial artist all her life, painting everything from the mural of St. John Cathedral that once graced the interior walls of The Landing, (now sushi restaurant Tokyo Live), to Moss Motor’s plate glass window holiday decorations, and even car windshields.
But with time’s chariot hurrying near, the artistic impulse flowered into 30 new pieces, which she will exhibit on Saturday. Picard is living with her friend Pamela Hebert, accountant by day, musician at night, who is supporting her through her terminal illness. “She has bad days,” says Hebert, “she has pain to deal with, but she’s got a lively spirit, she wants to live and so she perseveres.”
The show opens at 4 p.m. at The Alamo, 318 W. Simco. It will be a gathering of friends and admirers, and Picard will be in attendance.