Our Founder, Aneice Taylor
A Long and Winding Road
Aneice was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She was married in Texas and moved with her husband, Gage Taylor, to Michigan to attend school. Before Aneice graduated, she and Gage moved to California where he taught at the San Francisco Art Institute. While living in San Francisco Aneice gave birth to their son, Lincoln. A few years later, they bought a house in Woodacre where her daughter Deva was born. Later the family moved to Lagunitas. Aneice taught tumbling at Lagunitas School District's Open Classroom, raised bees, and was well know for her sewing skills.
On January 4, 1982, when Aneice was 37 years old, storms hammered West Marin. Aneice and her family were inside the house when a mudslide tore down a drenched hill and knocked the house off its foundation and into a heap of wreckage. Aneice was pinned under the refrigerator and her neck was broken. Her life was spared but she became quadriplegic.
Aneice spent the next six months in rehab in St Mary's hospital in San Francisco. During this time a new house was built for the family in Woodacre. The project was an ongoing community effort complete with the help of dozens of volunteers. Soon after the house was built, Gage and Aneice divorced. She began the journey of raising her children on her own while requiring 24-hour care for her own needs and figuring out how to make ends meet.
Aneice on the trail in Marin County
Lincoln with his wife Pollyanna, Deva and Aneice.
InSpirit was conceived from a direct life experience
While in the hospital, Aneice developed an awareness and concern about others who were also quadriplegic. She knew that her own situation was not as tenuous and uncertain as it was for many people with quadriplegia who did not have the resources that she had. She saw the challenges they faced without the needed finances for adequate attendant care, or a supportive community. In many cases the only option was to be placed in a nursing home. Within the next few years she created InSpirit.
InSpirit was created by Aneice before voice control was available on computers.
“After a while you just don’t see the injury even if you’re working with the results of the injury. You just recognize the strengths and the goodness that’s there, and you help support that.” - Aneice Taylor
June 16, 2020: Aneice passed away peacefully in her home.
There was not a memorial because of the pandemic. Her friends and beloved community were able to respond in loving ways.
Aneice and Deva.
Artistic expression was always an important part of Aneice's life. Before she was paralyzed she played the piano, was a fashion designer, quilter as well as being involved in a wide range of multimedia.
Becoming a quadriplegic did not stop Aneice's artistic life. She was able to transfer her creative expression to areas that would work for her. The majority of her paintings were created by using a paintbrush that was attached to a mouth stick.
"Zen Garden" was Aneice's first attempt at painting. During this process, she realized she needed to adopt a different style and explored abstract expression. Other artistic avenues included collage and assemblage. She not only produced beautiful art, but also supported other artists.
Watercolor painting "My Backyard" by Aneice Taylor.