Center for Disability Services artists celebrate spring with color

March 6, 2013

The second floor art gallery of the Health and Human Services building is lively and vibrant with colorful works created by four individuals who participate in day programming and services offered by the Center for Disability Services. Art works of Latina, Lester, Adrian and Jimmy are currently on exhibit there, and an artists' reception—free and open to the public—is scheduled for Thursday, March 21 from 4 to 6 p.m.    

The mission of the Center for Disability Services, a College of Health and Human Services affiliate enterprise, is to provide activities on-site and in the community to promote inclusion and enrich the daily lives of program participants.  In art therapy classes, participants celebrate their creative abilities using adaptive measures which encourage independence and authentic expression.

Center for Disability Services participants—some verbal, some non-verbal—use art to communicate and make their unique mark in the world. Some individuals paint with their feet. Others, such as featured artist Jimmy, paint with their mouths.

Art at center is a positive alternative to anger or aggression and a means of coping with anxiety and sadness. For some, the rhythmic motion of painting is therapeutic. For others, it's the physicality of molding, shaping or pounding out various materials.

Artists also gain confidence and build self-esteem by displaying and selling their art on-site and at various festivals. Proceeds from sales go to recover some of the costs of materials and provide artists with spending money for outings and activities they enjoy.

This colorful celebration of spring, as well as statements that will acquaint visitors with featured artists, can be viewed from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information about the Center for Disability Services, visit www.wmich.edu/disabilitycenter. For general information regarding art at the college, contact Gay Walker at (269) 387-3839 or gay.walker@wmich.edu.