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Manchester man with Parkinson's shares passion for painting with community

The self-proclaimed “Parkinson’s Painter” is on a mission to create art.

MANCHESTER, Conn — A Manchester man living with Parkinson's Disease is breaking barriers with his works of art. Since his diagnosis 14 years ago, Norman Greenstein has turned painting into a passion and lifestyle for himself, and it has even helped others along the way.

While his hands and legs shake as a result of his Parkinson’s fight, Greenstein, a father and grandfather who lives in Manchester, says painting is what has sustained him as he battles his disease.

“Having art as a hobby or profession; it relaxes me to paint,” Greenstein said. Greenstein now calls himself “The Parkinson’s Painter”.

Greenstein’s work has been showcased in Manchester, both at the Town Hall and, currently, at The Work Space on Main Street, which includes a well-appointed gallery among its other amenities.

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Chronicling his experiences, Greenstein has written a book and launched the Parkinson’s Painter website, where his works can be seen and be purchased.

Stacey Zackin, the manager at WorkSpace has welcomed Greenstein’s works in the gallery.

“It makes you think, and it makes you feel,” Zackin said of Norman’s art. “We like the fact that people are inspired.”

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Gabe Greenstein, Norman’s son, is part of the team of family and friends that have all come together to help with the support and marketing of “The Parkinson’s Painter”.

The Parkinson’s Painter website not only sells Norman’s artwork – which carries price tags upwards of $20,000 per painting – but also hawks Parkinson’s Painter t-shirts, stickers, cell phone cases, and Greenstein’s book wryly called, “Spit on A Canvas: The Journey of a Parkinson’s Painter”.

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“It’s become a whole family project. It’s really exciting how many people in the community are inspired by my dad and all the people he’s brought together,” Gabe said.

Norman, an Air Force veteran who worked in the non-profit foundation world, insists he will continue to paint and continue to try and inspire other Parkinson’s patients to battle against their disabilities. 

“It’s a simple message; don’t give up -- do what you can, and then do more," Greenstein said.

Ten percent of the proceeds of each sale of Norman’s paintings go to the Michael J Fox Foundation and to the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA)

To learn more about “The Parkinson’s Painter” and to see more of Norman’s artworks click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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