Spe­cial needs ex­po comes to Saint-Laurent

Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent - - CULTURE - Sa­ra.king-aba­di@tc.tc

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.

Fa­mi­ly bon­ding

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/

( Pho­to Cour­te­sy-Crea­ta­bi­li­ty Ex­po)

The Crea­ta­bi­li­ty Ex­po at Pe­ter Hall show­cases the ta­lents of spe­cial needs ar­tists and gives people a chance to buy their art in per­son.

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