BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Clanton County man is paying tribute to UAB doctors who saved his life through art, which will be exhibited on campus starting next Friday.

The “Strings of Gratitude” art exhibition will be on display from June 9 to Aug. 12 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

Following a gas explosion at his family’s restaurant in 2020, Delrico Gibson wasn’t sure he would ever be able to make art again. 

The kitchen explosion left Gibson with burns across his upper body and face. The severity of his burns resulted in his bones being restructured, fusing his fingers together. 

However, after months of treatment with UAB medical professionals, Gibson was able to regain the grip and dexterity in his fingers needed to create his artistic designs. His first solo exhibition is a collection of artworks that pay homage to the health professionals that saved his life.

Gibson credits and thanks plastic surgeon René Pierre Myers, M.D., who operated on Gibson’s hands, and James Hwang, M.D., who used skin from Gibson’s thighs as a graft for his arms, hands and fingers. 

Each work that will be on exhibit represents a different person who played a role in his recovery. An opening reception will be hosted at AEIVA from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 9. For more information, visit UAB arts website.