Recently I've found great inspiration and encouragement from visiting two local art galleries that highlight the art of adults with disabilities. The two galleries are Spindleworks in Brunswick and YES Art Works at Creative Work Systems in Portland.
I step into these galleries (or stop to look in the windows of Yes Art Works on Congress Street as I walk from my car to the Farmers' Market on Wednesday mornings), and my heart soars! I smile, I feel liberated and affirmed and pump my fists to return some affirmation; I cheer, I bow in gratitude, and sometimes I cry, too.
I want to paint and draw as these artists do--without pretense, boldly expressing themselves in the style that emerges from them with paint, pen, paper, wood, cloth, yarn, whatever the material may be. I consider them my mentors and a source of inspiration, and I am deeply grateful that they choose to share their work with the world.
Matter of fact, I am going to stop right now and write a note to thank one of these artists at Spindleworks, Caroline Boylston, one of whose works is hanging on my wall. (Click on her name here and the link will take you to a list of Spindleworks artists; click on her name there and you will see her and some of her work. Then you can sample others' work as well!) Maybe some day soon I will ask her if she'd like to join me for a cup of tea or coffee. I think I'd like that very much.