For the month of March, 2017, The Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati is presenting “Kaleidoscope: An Inclusive Community Art Exhibit,” which features art completed and inspired by people with disabilities. The goal is to raise awareness and promote inclusion at the JCC and within the broader community. In planning the exhibit, the JCC reached out to over 40 different agencies that serve individuals with cognitive disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, visual impairments within the Greater Cincinnati Area to participate in the exhibit.
Over 100 submissions were entered, including paintings, pottery, drawing, mixed media, and more. Dana M, an artist from the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired submitted a clay work tilted King Pharro in Sarcophagus. “Usually, ideas for my artwork just pop into my head,” explained Dana. “I like pottery because I enjoy building things with my hands. I used to want to be a carpenter, and because I am not able to do that currently, clay is a way for me to use my hands and make something.”
The artists, along with their caregivers and their family members, attended the show opening and were on hand to talk about their submissions.
The event also helped instill a sense of accomplishment and pride. Artist John M. explained how art is an important part of his life. “I am 20 years old and I have been drawing since I was 6 years old. I have Autism and drawing is not just a hobby, it is also relaxes me. I learned how to draw watching movies on the computer. I draw every day. I like to use pencils and crayons when I draw animals and characters from animated movies and shows. After I draw and color the characters, I like to cut them out and show them to my family.” Contributing his art to the JCC’s public art show was a special accomplishment for him. “I am proud of my work but sometimes I sometimes get embarrassed when someone I don’t know looks at it but it gets easier every day.”
For more information about Mayerson JCC’s Disability Inclusion Awareness Month events, visit: www.mayersonjcc.org/mayerson-jcc-disability-inclusion-awareness-month/.