By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 14, 2020) The Worcester County Art Council and the Worcester County Developmental Center have created an art exhibit that can be viewed from the art council’s website.
The exhibit does not officially have a theme, according to Executive Director Anna Mullis, however, it does focus on educating the public about “autism as a mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people.”
Twenty-five pieces were created by members of the Worcester County Developmental Center and will be on display at the arts council website: www.worcestercountyartscouncil.org until the end of May.
“The Worcester County Arts Council collaborated and partnered with the Worcester County Developmental Center to highlight the importance of community inclusion, to raise public awareness about the challenges people with intellectual and developmental disabilities encounter on a regular basis, and to celebrate our differences through the creative process of art,” Mullis said. “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,” she continued. “The art has often become a tool for communication and the arts council wanted to provide a platform for them to express their creative voices.”
The virtual exhibit features 25 pieces of artwork created by the Worcester County Developmental Center’s clients and showcases the talents of residents with disabilities who participate in various art programs and activities at the center.
Originally, the exhibit was going to be displayed at the Worcester County Art Council’s gallery located inside the Worcester County Berlin library branch. However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the physical libraries have been closed.
Instead, the council created a video of the exhibit that can be viewed from their website or from the Worcester County Library’s website.
“This exhibit focuses on ability, not disability, and, through those creations of artistic expressions, viewers get an insight into the artists’ capabilities,” Mullis said. “At the time of distancing and isolation, I feel it gives us (the Arts Council) an opportunity to promote inclusion and social connection.”
The artwork is for sale, and the Worcester County Arts Council has provided financial support in form of the Arts in Education grant to the Worcester County Developmental Center for the purchase of art supplies for their clients to “allow them continue their art classes online and express their creativity at home.”
For more information about the Worcester County Arts Council, contact Mullis at email@example.com. For information about the Worcester County Developmental Center and artwork inquiries, contact Art Program Coordinator Tina Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.