Contributed by Monica Alves, Communications and Event Planning Intern
The 14th annual INCLUSION Art Show & Sale invites you to explore, share and celebrate the accomplishments of artists with developmental disabilities. Join us on Thursday, October 11th from 10:30am-8:30pm at the Heritage Hall, Vancouver. Be sure to RSVP here!
See the recent creations of artists who are working independently or in studios supported by Community Living agencies across Metro Vancouver. This year, we have unique artwork on display and up for grabs from nine contributing studios. Let’s learn a bit about how these studios offer inclusive and safe spaces for individuals with disabilities to express themselves creatively.
Supported by posAbilities, Alternatives was founded on the steadfast belief that every person has the ability to create beautiful things. They establish a space and an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to showcase their artistic skills and to express themselves creatively. The studio provides a stimulating and vibrant space that celebrates individuality. Through the studio’s workshops, classes, and cultural events, the artists are able to engage with a wide variety of mediums. All of their artists face barriers which they translate into celebrations on canvas. The artists bring their creations to life at their own freewill, to compose masterful, beautiful, interesting, provocative, wild, stunning and curious art. The hope is to make art the voice that starts a conversation, builds new relationships, and strengthens our community.
Artists Helping Artists is an art collective supported by the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), which more commonly goes by A.H.A. Individuals of all abilities and skill levels are encouraged to come together to make art of all kinds. No art experience is necessary. The group provides artists with studio space, affordable materials and a chance to pursue their own goals in creating art. A.H.A. believes art is a vital element in tolerance and inclusion and a large percent of their membership is made up of artists with complex needs. Registration is open to any person over the age of 16 who would like to create art or who would like to support artists in the production and marketing of art.
To learn more about A.H.A., please visit their website.
BridgeArt is a group of artists supported by Inclusion Langley, formerly known as The Langley Association for Community Living (LACL). The studio began in 1998 as a small group of individuals who had the desire to develop their artistic skills and to express themselves creatively. Their art includes a variety of subject matters and styles, including realism, abstract, impressionism and naïve art. The majority of the paintings are done with acrylic paint on canvas. However, each artist also experiments with different mediums that include collage, 3D sculptural forms, painting on glass, and creating one of a kind cards and functional art. BridgeArt artists show their works at local art exhibitions through participation in community events and projects.
To purchase their artwork, some of their paintings are on sale here.
Developmental Disabilities Association‘s art program strives to maximize developmental potential, social inclusion, and community participation. DDA believes that self-expression through art can capture the senses, and transport the mind to a meditative state, which has shown to be beneficial for reducing symptoms of anxiety. They empower individuals to express their artistic creativity in every project, ranging from painting on canvas, to building clay sculptures, to “Do-It-Yourself” crafts. This gives their participants an opportunity to express how they view their world, and relate to their surroundings. Other benefits of art projects include emotional exploration, social bonding experiences, and practicing fine motor skills.
For more information about their programs and services, please visit their website.
PotteryWorks is a studio and gallery space located in New West. It is supported by Community Living Society and is made up of a collection of talented painters, potters and jewellers who create original works for exhibition and sale. Some PotteryWorks artists work independently while others receive support. Each artist works together to inspire one another to reach their full artistic aspirations and potential. The artists are provided with instruction and techniques on how to improve their skills. They then exhibit their work at art shows and galleries across the Lower Mainland.
Richmond Society for Community Living’s art program, Avenues, supports artists to explore their creative interests, to pursue opportunities to showcase their unique gifts and talents, to believe in themselves, and to celebrate their accomplishments. By focusing on exploring each artists’ skills, the program inspires creative thinking and the development of fine motor skills. With the use of adapted and modified art tools when necessary, every participant is supported to discover their own creative talents, improving self-esteem and developing a sense of pride for the artists. The program participants also create beautiful and unique handicrafts of their choice and are taught other skills in a variety of media. Completed artwork and handicrafts are also available for sale at the Endless Possibilities Store, located at LIFE-Avenues Day Services, #140-5726 Minoru Bld. Richmond (604-276-8685).
Semiahmoo House Society is a non-profit organization located in the Surrey/White Rock area. It provides quality service and support to people with disabilities and their families. Several artists work independently outside of Semiahmoo House. The independent artists use Semiahmoo’s services and are supported by the organization. Semiahmoo House offers support to the artists by including their creations in as many special events as possible, one of them being the Inclusion Art Show. Semiahmoo also helps artists market their pieces through social media in order for their talents to be seen. Keep an eye out for these artists and their pieces at the show!
Studio Seventy Three is located in Surrey and is a growing social enterprise supported by Community Living Society. The studio provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities who want to express their creative vision in a meaningful way that also provides an income. For these artists, working at the studio has fostered self-confidence, social development, and relationship building. The artisans produce beautiful and functional glassware, decorative pieces and wearable art using techniques of molding and fusing to bring these original designs to life. Support is provided to learn the necessary skills involved in developing one of these pieces from start to finish. As well as creating glass art, many of the people that come to the studio participate in the day to day operations of the business and are instrumental to the success of Studio Seventy Three.
Vicuňa Art Studio is devoted to supporting artists with developmental disabilities to embrace their individuality, develop their talent and create inspiring works. It’s a bright room filled with framed paintings, canvases, pots of paint, clay sculptures and an atmosphere of encouragement that inspires the creativeness in all of us, even the floors and tables are a work of art unto themselves! Vicuňa Art Studio is a non-profit owned and operated by Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living. Aspiring artists come here to create, express, and learn, and have their ambitions taken seriously. Each person that attends the studio is respected as an artist. The artists that attend the studio choose either painting in acrylics or watercolours, sketching and also pottery.
For more information, please visit their website.