Art and Soul is a program of the Developmental Disability Resource Center (DDRC) serving people with developmental disabilities (mental retardation and other disabilities) in Jefferson County, explains the program description from the DDRC. It is a collaboration of the arts community, human service agencies and individuals who have developmental disabilities. This collaboration draws on existing community resources and talents to develop mentor partnerships with area artists and gives participants a chance to showcase their work.
For the month of August the Lakewood Arts Council Gallery generously offers exhibit space to the students of the DDRC’s Art and Soul program. In the downstairs LAC Members’ Gallery, works by Leila Spencer, Jennifer Thompson, Danny Londono, Henry Lopez, Ed Cox, Sharron Willerton, Ron Langley and Mary Schafer are on display for the public to view. The students will be transported to the galley by Lakewood Rides when classes resume in mid-August so they have the opportunity to see their works hanging in the gallery.
The Art and Soul class is held at the Clements Center in Lakewood once a week and is taught by mentors Marje Walsh, Gail Firmin, Myron Ekberg, Paul Gesso, Jim Rothrock and Andy DuBois. With this many mentors, nearly one on one instruction is possible. Using their own materials, students are instructed in watercolor techniques, sometimes all working on the same subject in a group lesson, sometimes on individual projects of their own choosing, later to be framed and hung at the Clements Center in a temporary exhibit or given as gifts to their lucky friends or relatives, or just to keep for themselves. One student has become quite proficient at painting frogs and has a waiting list of collectors!
Class time involves coffee, snacks and socializing followed by a lesson provided by one of the mentors, then time to apply what has been learned. Topics range from learning about different materials or new products and their effects, to value studies to trying new techniques such as pouring.
We have a lot of fun in class and have made new friends while receiving an education in painting. Come on out to the LAC Gallery to see the impressive artwork of these very special people.