Life Works & Company held their 3rd Annual Art Show Friday, May 20. The Art Show gave nine Life Works members a chance to showcase their artwork for family, friends, and the local community. The members have been participating in the weekly Art Group run by Jill Burke, Education Coordinator for the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, since August of last year.
Through a partnership with the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the artists were able to work with Jill to produce dozens of beautiful pieces. She tapped into the resources at the museum and was able to bring in copies of some of the artists’ pieces from their permanent collection. They focused on specific techniques and the use of certain mediums to mimic the work of artists like Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, Antonio Mattei, Bernard Langlais, Alexander Calder, and Eric Aho.
“Before I started working with everyone and Jill I couldn’t mix paint, I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t do anything!” Jason, one of the artists, said with a laugh. “I feel like I’ve gotten better.”
Jason was proud to pose with his drawing, reflecting the work of Bernard Langlais. The contrast of the black charcoal trees against the plain white background presented a bold and monochromatic piece of work, key terms that Burke was hoping for them to capture.
Burke said, “I think these artists are amazing… they start working and completely get what I’m talking about when I introduce the idea of expressing feelings by choosing colors. They express moody and somber or happy and bright with a palette of colors. It’s fun to talk about the elements of design and see them applied. It’s very rewarding.”
The groupings of the pieces allowed visitors to see the diversity in the members’ interpretations of the highlighted artist, but more importantly the member’s style.
“The artists’ styles are beginning to emerge,” said Burke, very pleased, looking around the room at her students’ work. “Some artists have a particular style. I can pick them out.”
The pride she exuded while showing visitors to each grouping and while talking to the members about
their final pieces of work was evident. The collaboration between Life Works and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art has helped to build a sense of confidence in the members as well as help them to focus on their creative and fine motor skills.
Life Works & Company is a vibrant community resource program designed to help people 18 years and older with intellectual disabilities live their lives to the fullest extent possible. Learn more about Life Works & Company at www.waban.org.