Exhibit showcases work of local artists with disabilities
‘Artists Without Limits’ on display at county government building until September 26
These artists aren’t letting anything stop them.
The artwork of 32 individuals with disabilities is on display at the Charles County Government building in La Plata in the Commissioners Gallery, from now until Sept. 26. It is open to the public during normal business hours.
Entitled “Artists Without Limits,” the event opened Tuesday evening with a reception.
Emily Ferren, chairwoman of the Charles County Commission on Individuals with Disabilities, said the idea for the exhibit came about after being contacted by
members of the local disabled community.
“Some individuals in the community who have disabilities wrote to us, the commission, and asked, ‘Would you consider doing an art show? It’s something we’re really interested in.’ So we decided to collaborate with the Charles County Arts Alliance and recognize the artists in our community with disabilities,” Ferren said.
July is the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which was passed to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination and required public accommodations be made accessible to individuals with disabilities.
“This is about celebrating inclusion,” Ferren said. “Art is really a quality of life issue, and we have some wonderful, talented, dedicated artists in the community.”
Gale Klonditis, vice president of the Charles County Arts Alliance, said they were happy to partner with the commission to put on the “Artists Without Limits” exhibit.
“We think this is a great way to showcase the talents of people in our community,” Klonditis said. “It gives the artists some pride and it gives them confidence in their work.”
Artwork created by artists ranging in age from 6 to 66 is on display, Ferren said.
James Robert Johnson, 11, is one of the featured artists. Born five months premature, Johnson said he has been drawing since he was 3 years old, and draws every day. Johnson uses black markers and colored pencils.
“Last year I made the cover for the school yearbook,” said Johnson, a rising sixth grader. “I think the best part [about making art] is drawing it, and then coloring it.”
Johnson has a drawing of a peacock and a dog in the exhibit.
Joanne VanBrunt is another artist whose work is on display at the government building. She has been painting for two years. Her paintings of a woman in Victorian dress and a seascape are part of the exhibit.
“I like painting 19th century scenes,” VanBrunt said. “I also like doing landscapes, whatever hits me, I also do requests.”
VanBrunt said she enjoys the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a painting.
Sarah Cacciaglia’s work is also on display in the exhibit. Cacciaglia said she enjoys drawing pictures of characters from “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and other Japanese animation and comics. She said she has around 100 drawings of characters at home; two are on display in the Commissioners Gallery.
“The drawing part is the easy part, the coloring is kind of harder. I get tired very easily when I color, but I do get through it,” Cacciaglia said.
Pictures of the artwork on display in the gallery can also be viewed online. Go to charlescountyarts.org/galleries/commissioners-gallery-2/.
Artist James Robert Johnson stands next to two of his drawings in the “Artists Without Limits” exhibition.
Artist Joanne VanBrunt stands next to two of her paintings in the “Artists Without Limits” exhibit.
The “Artists Without Limits” exhibit in the Commissioners Gallery opened with a reception Tuesday.
Portraits in the “Artists Without Limits” exhibit by Rudolph Nielsen.
A collage by Jackson Henry, the youngest artist in the “Artists Without Limits” exhibit.
Painting in the “Artists Without Limits” exhibit by Alexander Chisley.