On the Boards: Hutton House art sale showcases abilities
It’s all about abilities.
Thirteen artists, each challenged with a disability, will show off their stuff Tuesday at the opening of the Hutton House Studio Artist program’s exhibition, Reframing Abilities, on at The ARTS Project until April 1.
More than 100 works of art are for sale.
The artists include Tracy Rollings, Tasha Anderson, Lora Ann Clement, Kody Pickering, Jenn McNee, Claire Dyet, Heather Peterzon, Flora Desjarlais, Eric McArthur, Danielle Holland, Daniel Varghese, Becky Walsh and Faye Simmons, who is also master of ceremonies for the opening reception Wednesday.
“It’s really nice producing something someone might want to buy,” said Simmons, 33, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
“You feel appreciated. And it’s good for your self-confidence.”
Producing art — Simmons uses her fingers to paint — is only part of the benefit in the program.
“It’s made me a lot of friends, with the staff and the other people in the program,” Simmons said. “It’s given me a social life, a place where I can go out to chill on Friday.”
Of using her fingers to paint, Simmons said it’s different than art class in high school.
“I wasn’t very good,” Simmons said with a laugh. “This is a lot easier. But it’s kind of weird (painting with her fingers) because you never quite know what’s going to appear on the paper.”
Like Simmons, the artists cope with a variety of developmental, learning and physical disabilities including cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, ADD and ADHD.
The program is led by instructors Margaret Thornicroft and Theresa Van.
“It reveals their unique voices, creative expressions, dedication, independence, and their ability to integrate themselves into the community,” Van said.
Said Thornicroft: “It’s the realization that our artists with disabilities are very capable and accomplished artists.”
Hutton House promotes and supports people with disabilities through learning and “life enhancing” programs that focus on an individual’s strengths, abilities and interests. More than 900 youth and adults are involved in the programs in education, employment, volunteering, fitness, wellness and the arts.
Hutton House has three locations, the main office at 654 Wonderland Rd. North, the Hutton House Learning Centre at Cherryhill Village Mall, 301 Oxford St. West, and Day Break, 140 Ann St. West.
Hutton House is celebrating its 65th anniversary.
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IF YOU GO
What: Reframing Abilities, an exhibition of works by 13 artists in the Hutton House Studio Artist program.
When: Tuesday through to April 1. Opening reception 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: The ARTS Project, 203 Dundas St.
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