Special needs expo comes to Saint-Laurent
An arts expo in Saint- Laurent offers more than handcrafted art. The Creatability Artisan Market and Employability Expo aims to expose and celebrate special needs artists in an event that also showcases employment resources.
“Special needs individuals have talent, and I think it would be a benefit for our community to start looking for ways to integrate them into a workplace instead of [alternatives],” explained Jason Goldsmith, co-founder of the expo and president of the Big Blue Hug, communicative art between Goldsmith and his son, Ellis.
On May 13, over 15 artists along with several special needs organisations will be selling their art at Peter Hall School, a sponsor of the event.
The artists and organisations keep all the proceeds from their sales. Shoppers can explore the art (and some crafts and baked goods) available while learning about exploring employment resources.
Goldsmith wants to see a paradigm shift in how society views what special needs people can achieve. «We want to encourage creativity and encourage them to make money for themselves. We do want them to sell. That’s why it’s a market. ” Goldsmith explained.
At five-years-old, Ellis was practically nonverbal. One night, Ellis drew a picture asking his father for a bedtime hug. “He was a stranger and I was a stranger to him, until we started to draw together,” said Goldsmith. He had realised a key to not only bonding with his son, but to helping him develop his communication skills.
Now 17, the teenager is a chatterbox. He still draws with his father once a week, considerably less than before, when they were drawing constantly as a means of communication.
When the Big Blue Hug, named for that first drawing of Ellis’s, was started ten years ago, Goldsmith wanted to share the power of art. He now hopes that it can transform into a studio for special needs artists. They also hope to offer personalized awards and recognition gifts. The Creatability Expo takes place Saturday, May 13 at Peter Hall School, 840 Boul. CôteVertu, Saint-Laurent, from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. For more information visit creatabilityexpo.com/
The Creatability Expo at Peter Hall showcases the talents of special needs artists and gives people a chance to buy their art in person.