We sing, we dance, we paint, we write, and we play sports to express our inner thoughts and impressions, and as a form of communicating to others. There’s a level of creativity in everyone just waiting to be released.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities often have difficultly communicating in conventional ways. Creative art expression allows them to relay their feelings, and empowers them with a way to display ideas and vision with visual and tactile aids.
The teachers and direct support professionals believe it’s important to have clients involved in the arts on a daily basis. They work with a variety of materials throughout the day to encourage consumers to express their creativity.
Day Program Classroom Teacher, Elizabeth Dama says, “Many of our Social, Language, and Activity programs are easily completed with the consumers by either working at table top art projects in the classroom, or movement and music activities in the recreation area.”
An art exhibit is planned in Opengate’s Day Program in the Spring to showcase the art work of our consumers.
Benefits of art expression are numerous. Everyone has something to share; their ideas, their opinions, or their joy. By developing within the arts, individuals discover a sense of self and pride.
Programs have been created across the country whose mission is to provide people with disabilities the chance to learn ways to express themselves through the arts. On a higher level they provide markets for talented artists to sell their work and become self-employed, if that’s their desire.
Through painting with color, making musical voices, or leading a dance, individuals with disabilities clearly have an outlet of expression in the arts. By providing consumers with supportive, caring instruction, Opengate allows them to develop their personal skills and enhance their quality of life.
Staying true to our mission and the belief that each individual is unique, we are committed to providing person centered programs to develop the talents of each person in our care.
So, the next time you gaze at a piece of art, look deeply into it, you’ll see a bright spark and a glimpse of the artist and their talents.