Ex­hibit show­cases work of lo­cal artists with dis­abil­i­ties

‘Artists With­out Lim­its’ on dis­play at county gov­ern­ment build­ing un­til Septem­ber 26

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

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.

STAFF PHOTOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Paint­ing in the “Artists With­out Lim­its” ex­hibit by Alexan­der Chis­ley.

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