Amherstburg artist and athlete partner for pediatric charity

by Adam Gault

Amherstburg artist and University of Windsor engineering student, Madison Young, has teamed up with fellow Amherstburg native and professional hockey goalie, Michael DiPietro, for an artistic collaboration in support of a pediatric-based children’s charity.

  Young, a self-taught artist since the age of three, has worked in a variety of mediums over the course of her life, including graphite, watercolours, and oils, and has produced a number of works in the field of “hyperrealism,” a genre of art which strives for the most photorealistic interpretation of its subject.

  Looking to incorporate her artistic ability with a new charitable cause, Young decided to custom paint a pair of Nike Airs with depictions of DiPietro in goaltending action, after a classmate asked her to paint a pair of custom shoes more than one year ago.

  “That kind of took off,” Young explained, noting the success of her first custom painted pair of shoes led to her starting her own Etsy shop preparing custom footwear. “More and more of my friends at school wanted me to do their shoes for them.”

  Seeing the success of her idea, Young got in contact with fellow St. Thomas of Villanova alumnus, DiPietro, to produce a pair of shoes that would celebrate DiPietro at different stages of his young career, from the Windsor Spitfires, Team Canada, and the Vancouver Canucks, in addition to featuring his autograph. 

“I got together with Michael [DiPietro], that we wanted to do something to raise money for charity,” Young said. “We bounced around a couple of ideas, and we thought it would be cool if I did a pair of shoes inspired by him.”

  This endeavour is not Young’s first foray into charitable art, having already supported the Windsor Essex County Humane Society and the World Wildlife Fund through online sales of her works.

  The shoes will be auctioned or raffled in support of Childcan London; a charity that supports children and their families as they battle cancer in Southwestern Ontario, with a variety of financial and emotional supports, in addition to having more than 45-years of cancer research funding.

  “I think it’s a great charity to support,” Young said, noting that one of the goals of her artwork is to find new ways to continue to help others.

  While Young and DiPietro are still determining details on whether they want to auction or raffle the shoes, additional details on Young’s artwork, and charitable ventures can be found online at, with additional information on how to bid or raffle on the shoes at