WARSAW — Cardinal Center is enabling individuals with disabilities to channel creative outlets with the recent addition of the Redbird Art Studio located in their facility with areas for painting, sewing, making jewelry and working with other various kinds of art.
The purpose of the art studio is two-fold; it gives individuals a creative outlet and will eventually provide a way for the artists to earn income from their art.
Michele Fanfair-Steury, community integrations coordinator, explains this space has been designed to be a completely choice-based, free environment. She mentioned when they first opened the studio, people were careful not to make messes. At one point someone spilled paint on the floor and hurried to get help to clean the mess. Rather than rushing to clean up the mess, Fanfair-Steury told the person, “It’s fine, it’s art.” That has been the maxim behind the rules of the room. It’s a space to get creative and inspired, which makes it all right if it is messy.
The other aspect of the studio is coming to completion. The art work will not be kept only at Cardinal Center, but other areas in the community are going to be displaying the art. Some displays will have art available for sale. All of the proceeds from the sales will go directly to the artist.
Artwork will be available for purchase at the VIC enter center Oct. 7-8, Taste of Kosciusko, Oct. 15 and Cafe Mod will be displaying art from mid-November to January.
Michelle Boxell, community relations manager, explains many people with disabilities struggle with a lack of income. “One of the great challenges of having a disability isn’t the disability, it’s poverty,” said Boxell.
That is one reason why Cardinal Center is excited to provide a way for individuals to make even a small income from their artwork. Fanfair-Steury mentioned that this opportunity gives people with disabilities, “Dignity in earning own money.”
Stephanie, who uses the art studio at Cardinal Center mentioned, ” When I’m stressed or bored, I can make something.” Stephanie creates cards by drawing and writing on them. She says creating cards, “makes me very happy.”
The art studio allows for a place for individuals with disabilities to have the opportunity to enjoy creativity and a way to express themselves in a different way than they may not have been able to do prior. Boxell, explains,”With different people it brings out different things.”
Even though the studio has only been open for a few months, they have already outgrown their current room. They are looking forward to moving to another room in the building in the coming weeks where they will have more space to create artwork.
Cardinal Center encourages individuals from the community to come to participate in the work at the studio. Interested individuals can work with people at the studio to spark creativity, teach a new skill or just enjoy creating together. The center also accepts donations of all kinds. Individuals can bring fabric, paint, frames and anything that can be repurposed into art.