Valley mom's lunchbox sketches become life-changing art

Posted at 7:59 AM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 09:59:11-05

Creating life-changing art using the simplest of mediums, one Valley mother is now sharing her daughter’s story one napkin at a time.

“I do it while she’s eating breakfast in the morning,” said Jo Ann Briseno. 

With her pen and unconventional canvas, Briseno goes about her weekday ritual.

“They are not perfect, just like my life and Maya, so I love that part about it,” she said.

They may not be perfect but they are milestones and memories, tucked inside a lunch box for 8-year-old Maya to find at school.

“Because she has Down Syndrome she’s delayed, and so everything takes more effort for her and so when she does that it’s a proud moment for me, it’s a proud moment for herself,” said Briseno.

From magic to laundry, swim lessons or superheroes, Maya now has 471 napkins to cherish. In fact, dozens of Briseno’s sketches are now on display at the Millet House Gallery in Mesa.

“I want people to realize there is beauty in everyday life and the simplest of moments can be very precious,” Briseno said.

Still, her greatest audience will always be the little girl who changed her life in ways she never could have imagined.

“I couldn’t think of any other way to spend my world and my time with her,” said Briseno.