“This is a night where our clients can show the world their true talents and creativity.”
This was the quote summed up the 13th annual ARTability Art and Sale on November 15. Hosted by Opportunity Enterprises at the Christopher Center at Valparaiso University, this event featured dozens of artwork by local artists with disabilities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the artists to display their creativity and demonstrate all of their hard work,” said Neil Samahon, CEO of Opportunity Enterprises. “The ARTability event really showcases the excitement that the artists have and the appreciation they have for the craft and the people. This is a great time to bring in the community and illustrate our clients’ sheer talent.”
Some of the artwork included canvas paintings, hand-painted ceramics, art prints, and decorated skateboards. This year, there was even a guitar. All items were sold either through auction or direct buy.
“Being part of this event made me feel very excited and inspired,” said Kathy O, winner of the 2017 Judges’ Choice Award. “I just want to see all of the people get their artwork sold and see the smiles and joy on their faces.”
The artists are mentored by professional instructors, all of who are experts in their field. In addition, the proceeds from the event go back to the Art Enrichment Program, with the artists also receiving commissions for each of their works sold.
“It is very satisfying to see people grow and accomplish something that they love doing,” said instructor Cathy Jasinski, who has been involved with the art program since 2002. “Our clients have a lot of ability and potential. They can do so much if they put their mind to it; so much that they can even surprise themselves.”
This event is just one of many that OE offers in its quest to provide disabled individuals with a chance to cultivate self-sufficiency and overall development. Some of its other annual events include Summer Celebration and Packathon.
“The artist and the instructor work together to come up with a theme or concept for their pieces,” said Amy Wulf, Events Coordinator for Opportunity Events. “It’s all about what the artist is passionate about, and the instructor really helps to bring out and develop their skillset and talents. It’s a really prideful experience to be able to create something and to see someone buy it, that sense of accomplishment is truly inspiring”
To learn more about Opportunity Enterprises and their mission to reach out to and support those with disabilities, please visit www.oppent.org