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Konstantinov's Rite of Spring

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Vladimir Konstantinov played for the Red Wings from 1991-97.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – For the second time in six months, Vladimir Konstantinov’s artwork will be on display at the Gallery U Boutique on West 4th Street in downtown Royal Oak.

The “Rite of Spring” is a collaborative exhibit between the former Red Wings’ defenseman and the gallery’s artists that will debut on May 10. The show is from 7-9 p.m. EDT.

In November, more than three dozen framed and signed paintings by Konstantinov were sold at the show.

Konstantinov’s November show was an eye-opener to the mission and creative enterprises of Universal Institute in Troy, Mich., a program that offers rehabilitation and living services for individuals affected by traumatic brain injuries. Painting allows Konstantinov to foster personal development, increases coping skills and enhances overall cognitive function.

Konstantinov was seriously injured in a limousine crash following a private party that celebrated the Wings’ Stanley Cup championship in 1997. He

Along with teammate Viacheslav Fetisov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, Konstantinov spent several weeks in a coma before finally pulling through, but suffered from serious head injuries and paralysis. Team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov sustained heavy head injuries and also spent some time in a coma; he has had a considerably more difficult recovery.

As part of its focus on creative art-therapy rehabilitation, Universal Institute operates Gallery U, where clients not only have the opportunity to showcase and sell their creations to the public, but also to manage the storefront on a daily basis.

Konstantinov's condition has improved considerably since his accident. While he still has trouble speaking and walking, he is seen several times a season in the Wings’ locker room prior to their home games at Joe Louis Arena.

Gallery U Bourtique is supported by Universal Institute and Therapeutic Rehabilitation Center, a rehabilitation facility for people with traumatic brain injuries and neurological impairments. The gallery is a fully functioning retail space which also acts as an innovative vocational training program for clients working to manage the day-to-day activities and responsibilities. All proceeds from the show will be donated to a charitable organization within the MI brain injury arena.

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