Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Most Wednesday mornings now I'm volunteering in the art room of the day program of Penn Mar, an educational, vocational, and residential program for disabled adults. It is much like SHAPE on Saint Helena, except...bigger. And minus a banana grove among other sub-tropical things but mostly...the same.

The art room is a large, well lit space with big tables, a countertop with sink and a walk-in closet of ever changing supplies, mostly donated.

To help the full-time mentors, I've agreed to find and prep projects for two groups of 4-10 students each when I'm there. (Pinterest is my friend :-) Group sizes change as there is an importance placed on outings - which I think  is great - and any given day a number of people are out and about in the community going to the library, YMCA, shopping, lunch and so on.

At first I just really wanted to get to know people and let them get to know me. Now 6 months in, I have a better gauge of different people's abilities and weaknesses. So I've put some art concepts and words out there. "Monochrome" was a big hit even if it didn't end up being monochrome because who in the world would only want ONE color and black and white when you can have them ALL? (Some people made true monochromatic paintings that were fantastic...and of which I forgot to take photos.)

This blazing field of flowers is one of my favorite pieces produced so far. (I'm sure Van Gogh would have agreed.) I had suggested students use crayons for stems then dip their fingers in paint to make dots for flowers but John preferred to blend. And like most great art, his breaking of the rules makes this piece sing.