AHRC New York City's Adult Day Centers offer adults with disabilities a variety of services and opportunities. Using a person-centered approach, individualized and creative supports are offered to achieve meaningful goals based on the person's strengths and preferences. Providing individualized supports includes respect to personal choices and responsiveness to the person's unique needs.
Art consultant Catherine Rosamond wants the artists in the Betty Pendler New York League at AHRC to feel accomplished, proud and take ownership of their work. She wants them to learn that it takes a lot of patience and experimentation to attain something great and meaningful. To be able to persevere through a long-term task is challenging for most people but it is especially difficult for this population. For individuals who don't give up and stick to their tasks in the art room, the personal gains are great.
"All the paintings that you see on the walls at the Hudson Park Library started out with at least one sketch" states Catherine. The artists first conceptualize what they want to paint. If they are stuck for new ideas, Catherine either makes suggestions based on their interests or lets them browse through many art books and magazines. After they are done with their sketches, they are able to proceed to painting on canvases. Sometimes the images that they end up painting on canvases evolve and change from the original sketches, but that is perfectly natural and okay. In fact, it is only through producing sketches and thumbnails that they are able to go up to the next level. They mix their own colors, and apply layers of tempera paint until they get the desired results. Some artists work quickly, finishing their canvas paintings in a few weeks, while others take their time and work on one image for over six months.
Catherine explains that art making at the Betty Pendler New York League can translate to different areas of their lives in terms of the ways in which they look at the world and make decisions. When their finished artworks are displayed in the hallways of New York League, the artists are always pleased with themselves and ready to embark on new pieces. The non-artists often respect and marvel at the works as well. "So you can imagine how accomplished they feel when they see their works hanging up in the public at the Hudson Park Branch" states Catherine. Exhibiting their paintings mean that these individuals are able to communicate and share their artistic visions with people from all walks of life. And hopefully, the public will learn a little more about these spectacular individuals, not just as people with disabilities, but as artists with many abilities.
The exhibit will be on display now until the end of August at Hudson Park Library.