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This show means more than most to the artists

Displayed for the first time: This work by Pam Linebaugh will be included in “The ADDvantages of Art” (photos courtesy of the ADDvantage Center)

By Richard Ades
Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:13 AM EDT

“Disability” and “creativity” are not mutually exclusive attributes. That’s one lesson viewers can take away from “The ADDvantages of Art,” an exhibition that opens Saturday at Gallery 202 in Westerville.

But the show’s primary goal is to give clients of the ADDvantage Center the chance to show off their handiwork, said Katie Cotter, the center’s program manager.

The Grandview-area center is a “day support program” for people with developmental disabilities ranging from mild retardation to autism, Cotter said. The clients go there to learn skills needed for socializing, living independently and even, at times, employment.

“It’s very individualized as far as what the goals are for an individual,” she said. “A good example of that is this art show.”

Several clients have a goal of creating art that will be seen not only by friends and family, but by the general public, said Cotter. “So having the community art show is a big step for them.”

Plans for the show began about six months ago when the center was arranging for interested clients to take classes at the nonprofit Gallery 202. Cotter recalled that while she was talking with Renee Kropat, the gallery’s executive director, Kropat mentioned the possibility of holding an art show there.

Artists represented in the show range in age from 19 to nearly 80, Cotter estimated.

“Probably the biggest chunk of the artwork is painting or mixed media or photography,” she said, though jewelry and at least one quilt are also expected to be displayed.

The ADDvantage Center is affiliated with the Association for the Developmentally Disabled, a statewide organization that will turn 40 next year. The center, which opened at 810 W. Third Ave. about four years ago, has never before hosted an art show, said Cotter.

“We definitely hope to have more in the future,” she said. “We’re really excited to have our individuals get to be acknowledged in that role of artist.”

“But, also, we’re really excited for the community to see some of the artwork and maybe be surprised by what they see.”






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