Sixteen years after former Permian High linebacker Joe Beene was paralyzed from the neck down, he never thought he would be an artist.
Senior year during his last practice, preparing for his last game against Odessa High. He made what seemed like a predictable tackle causing him to hyper extended his neck. The impact folded his spinal cord leaving him confined to a wheel chair.
“He shouldn’t have lived.” Said his Mother Dianne Beene in a sort of matter-of-fact manner. “But God saw different.”
In the last three years of his paralysis he has discovered a talent for painting using nothing more than his mouth to hold the paint brush.
“People express themselves through painting,” he said. “I don’t like cloudy days, I like sunny days. None of mine are ever black or gray, or anything like that, it’s just not my personality.”
Now a 33-year-old man he’s been in his chair longer than he was able to walk. He said his disability has given him more gifts than he ever could have imagined, painting being one of them.
“The Lord tells me what to do and what colors to use.” He said people often have a hard time believing this idea. “Well you don’t have to, but I’ve never been an artist, He just told me to start painting.”
His mother cherishes the first painting he made for her, she said although he may be confined to a wheel chair it doesn’t stop him from sharing his gifts with others.
People have often asked if she has gotten comfortable to her son’s disability, she said her answer is, “No.” Although times have been hard she said his will to live is an inspiration to those who love him.
“Life’s tough, what do I do to get out of it, lay in bed ain’t doing nothing, crying ain’t doing nothing, you know, be strong in the Lord, get up and do something.” Joe said.
In recent years his art has gotten a lot of attention with some paintings being auctioned for as much as $30,000.
He has this inspiration message for anyone who may be going through hard times;
“No one is exempt from hard times, but it’s the people that don’t give up that get over it. Hard times won’t last forever, but tough people will.”
If you would like to own one of Joe’s paintings there will be a benefit auction at Odessa’s Dos Amigos Bar and Grill Thursday, October 6th.
There will be live music from Johnny Lee and The Urban Cowboy Band, along with some of Joe’s Permian sports memorabilia up for auction as well.
For more information you can call Karla Milson at 432-556-4400