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Blind ex-Big Issue vendor launches art exhibition in Glasgow

Jo Sunshine will donate some of the proceeds from art sold to the RNIB

An award-nominated former Big Issue vendor will display and sell her vibrant artworks at an exhibition in Glasgow from today.

Jo Adamson, also known as Jo Sunshine, lost most of her vision in a car crash. But despite being registered blind, she pursued her love of art – and now she creates between three and five pieces a day, with customers all around the world.

Last month the International Network of Street Papers nominated her for an award for her contribution to the Big Issue.

She was a well-known Big Issue vendor in the city, where she has lived for 15 years. but is originally from Edinburgh.

“I started art as a hobby at 16 and did a Higher in my twenties,” she said. “I did none for eight years after the crash.. I now have vision in only one eye, which is very misty and blurry, and zero sight in my other eye.”

Adamson’s work is colourful and lively, inspired by everything from pop culture (she recently completed works inspired by Game of Thrones and Lewis Capaldi respectively) to the places she knows and loves around Glasgow.

She said: “In the exhibition room at the back of Cass Art they are covering the walls with my colourful wax art creations of places, animals, birds, sport, music, flowers, people, food, etc. It’s amazing what I can draw now I have more time.

“They are mostly priced at £20 to get as many away as possible, as I have four or five thousand at home. I usually draw three to five a day and usually do quite well selling them.”

Adamson said selling the Big Issue changed her life.

“I had nothing before that,” she said. “I was begging and in a real bad way. Now some of my best friends in the world are people I met selling The Big Issue.”

Adamson will be stationed at Cass Art on Queen Street until May 27. Part of the proceeds from any sales will go to sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People.

National Vendor Week 2024

A celebration of people who are working their way out of poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

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