Local woman turns stark medical devices into works of art

Local woman turns stark medical devices into works of art


by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC


Posted on February 6, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 10:46 AM

DENVER, N.C. -- Everything about Leigh Gibson is unique. Her fun, frivolous paintings and murals surround her home studio in Denver.

She has garland decorated for Valentine's Day hanging over her mantle.  Her hair is soft and whimsical; her lipstick bright and noticeable.  

But it's in her hands that Gibson holds her most treasured possession.  Her  artwork.

"I didn't know what it was, had never heard of such a thing," she says as she paints cranial bands in her home. 

The bands, medical devices used on babies with head deformities, are increasingly popular and used by doctors to correct a number of medical issues in newborns and infants. 

Gibson is one of only a few people in the country to paint on them, turning stark medical devices into works of art.

"Sometimes they give me something to start with and sometimes they have no idea what they want," she says of the parents who ask her to paint their child's  bands.

Kyler Scaglione is a perfect example.  The eight-month-old boy is in remission now, but  has a rare form of leukemia and a serious skull problem.  Gibson painted his helmet in a design made only for him.

"It needed to be him as a super hero.  Not spider man, not batman, just for him," she remembers.  The band has a baby with a leukemia colored ribbon on his chest.  Lightning bolts down the side.  Boom and Bam on the front.

The babies' mother, Jamie Scaglione, has pictures of her son's head before the band.  She says Gibson's work has made this journey easier.

"He started his life with a serious disease, but he's fought it.  He's fought it and it was his medical battle and he's our super hero," she says.

A super hero his mother's eyes, and the eyes of a special artist. 

Gibson charges $75 to paint on the cranial bands.  Many of the bands she paints on are the DOC brand from Cranial Technologies.

You can learn more about Gibson's company, Treasured interiors by logging on to: www.treasuredinteriors.net.