Patricia Buckley entered school around 1938, where she performed very poorly. However, she had an advocate: a teacher who thought that Pat had tremendous artistic talent and she transferred to the Washington Irving High School for the Fine Arts, and went on to study at the Cooper Union.
When she was 34 (and the mother of six children)
she won her first major art show prize, a one-person museum exhibition. This exhibition was a "sellout", and the success encouraged her to start seriously marketing her work. The uniqueness of her style and the warmth generated by her subject matter quickly won her wide spread recognition.
Moss has used her success to help other children with learning challenges.
The Moss Society is made up of P. Buckley Moss art collectors whose focus is helping local charities. Moss said that she didn't want a lot of Pat Moss clubs, so she encouraged a society that could help children in need. The society has local chapters across the country, each with its own fundraisers for charities and children in its community.
Moss and society members have raised millions of dollars in fundraising to help children. The proceeds from the fundraisers go to equipment and programs for children with learning disabilities.
Moss tells of a young man who recently stood up at his graduation as valedictorian and announced to his peers and audience that he had been labeled at one time as "unteachable." It's that kind of success Moss wants to inspire.
"You want kids to be able to feel good about themselves," she said.