Experience the Creativity
Here's what we did in 2013. Stay tuned for 2014!
The Eye of the Beholder:
Interactive, Adaptive Art at the Expo
“It’s not about the esthetics; it’s about the creative possibilities.”Dwayne Szot, Zot Artz Arts for All
Dwayne Szot may say that it’s not about the esthetics, but it may as well be. The creations made possible by his organization, Zot Artz Arts for All, are inclusive, inspiring, uplifting, fun, fulfilling, confidence-building and help to enhance the development of children with disabilities. But they are also exquisite!
Zot Artz Arts for All has created a line of innovative assistive technology products to transform their mobility devices into tools that create giant brush strokes. Through their services, programs, art tools and supplies, Zot Artz has opened the doors for individuals of all abilities to creatively express themselves.
Dwayne’s perspective—and the key to the success of Zot Atrz—is not to fit people with disabilities into an activity designed for the ambulatory or otherwise without disability. It IS to create entirely new activities and projects for people with disabilities, and then invite the others to join in the fun.
And the lucky Chicago Expo-goers will experience this phenomenon first-hand. Regardless of the kind or severity of their disability—physical, hearing, visual, behavioral, learning or developmental—children will let their creative juices flow to make original prints that they can take home with them.
While the kids are letting their imaginations run wild, their parents can fell secure that they are engaged in an activity which utilizes the same Zot Artz assistive technology that schools, residential and day programs, centers for independent living, parks and rec programs, museums, camps, children's hospitals and physical and occupational therapists also depend on. This artistic process operates on multiple levels, helping to develop motor skills, concentration, social interaction, self-esteem and more for children with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, autism and other disabilities.
There will also be gift boxes and cards available for purchase which are replicas of the works of other talented Zot Artz artists. Proceeds will go back into the organization to support Zot Artz future artistic endeavors.
For families whose children are participating at the Expo, a donation of $5 per child is suggested to cover costs and there is a limit of one print per child while supplies last.
For more information about Zot Artz Art for All, please vist www.zotartz.com.
Recycled Art Activity – Mock Stain Glass
Presented by Samantha Feigenbaum, Independent Art Instructor
Exercise your creative muscle with this fun and accessible art activity! Learn about Recycled Art and create a Mock Stain Glass project by reusing objects and decorative materials. Attendees ages 4 to 104 are welcome. The activity is customized to suit a wide variety of cognitive and fine motor abilities. Plastic, paper and permanent markers (Sharpies) will be used. The presenter has a Bachelor's degree in Studio Art from The American University in Washington DC with a minor in Special Education. She has been an independent art instructor in the Chicago region for the past 12 years and works with people of all types of abilities. Plan approximately 15 minutes for the project. One project per person while supplies last. Suggested donation of $5 per person to cover supply costs.
David Farber, Photographer
David's interest in wildlife and nature photography began at the age of 13 and has been his passion for the last 42 years. Not even his 1981 motorcycle accident which left him a triplegic could distract him from one of the great loves of his life. Able only to move his right arm, David shoots photos with the help of a utility frame to hold his camera and sipping tube to take the picture. His one functioning hand never has to leave the focusing ring. David also does all his own processing, mat cutting and frame building. For more information, visit www.naturallyfarberphotos.com.
Stacy Rae Creations, Clothing/Cloth Designs
Stacy Rae gave up teaching special education to become a stay at home mom to her loving special needs son in August 2009. Ever since she took her first sewing class back in high school, she had always loved to sew and took this opportunity to get back into it.
Her first project was to create a blanket out of James’ monkey-themed clothes from his first year to use for his bed when he gets older. And she has been making her adorable (and functional) creations ever since!
She specializes in:
- Hooded towels for larger children
- Faux tie shirts or onesies for boys and girls
- Birthday shirts
- G-tube protectors (tubies)
- G-tube belts
- Med rolls
- Med port covers
- Memory blankets made out of old clothing
- Awareness ribbon clothing
- Larger changing pads
- Pillowcase dresses
Her creative hat is always on, so look out for new and exciting items to come. All proceeds go into a fund to help with James medical needs. For more information, visit her on Facebook or at www.stacyraecreations.com.
Team Chrissy, Canes for Chrissy
In 2012, Team Chrissy sponsored a program and fundraising activity called "Canes from Chrissy." The idea was to have local artists, art schools, businesses, sponsors, and friends decorate canes that will ultimately be given to mobility challenged MS patients and others with a disabling disease who are in need of canes.
This program emanated out of Chrissy's need for a cane and her initial reluctance to use one.
"The first time I was faced with the fact that I needed a cane was a few years ago on my very first trip to the Cleveland Clinic," she said. "The physical therapist told me not to look at it as a bad thing, but something that was going to help me and help to keep me safe. Being in my twenties, I just couldn't see myself walking around with a cane. I didn't want people to stare at me and I didn't want to be walking around with an ugly metal cane. It took me months to come to terms with this, but as I did more research I found that I could personalize the cane to reflect my personality. And that is what I did, and now I get nothing but compliments on the canes that I have."
Team Chrissy embraced this concept of decorating canes and looked at this as an opportunity to give back to the MS community. Through Canes for Chrissy, the organization endeavors to help other MS patients overcome the same battle of emotions of having to use a cane by making canes fun.
Team Chrissy is now ready to distribute the 51 uniquely decorated canes to those mobility challenged who need them. The canes can be viewed on the website will be on display at Abilities Expo Chicago.
If you would like to participate in Canes from Chrissy 2013 and decorate a cane please contact Team Chrissy at email@example.com and provide your name, address, telephone number and email address. Team Chrissy will contact you and make arrangements to get an unfinished cane to you to decorate. For more information, visit http://teamchrissy.org/index.php.