Faith Kelly believes that “there is an artist waiting to get out in everyone,” so she founded Focus: Art to give people the tools to find that latent artist. Like its parent organization, Focus, Inc., Focus: Art's goal is to serve people with developmental disabilities. But it also exposes adults to the arts in an environment where everyone can get along, even though they may “think differently or perceive the world differently.”
Focus: Art currently runs four art classes a week. During the first half of each 2.5-hour session, budding artists work on art projects in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking, and sewing. Then, after a tea break, they pull out guitars, homemade maracas, and drums to make music together.
These art projects and jam sessions both inspire community and demonstrate new, creative ways to connect with the world. To celebrate Earth Day, for example, Focus: Art students designed and constructed an applique quilt. During a month of classes, artists designed their squares on paper and recreated them in fabric. Each square contains landscape art such as shining suns and leafy trees. Recently, they have worked with mixed media, gathering trash, twigs, pebbles, and buttons to build textural collages on canvas. Over time, the artists’ work begs to be shown—and purchased—so Focus: Art hosts art shows four times a year to showcase their painting, photography, and sewing projects.
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