The rain this morning didn't slow anyone down at the Mississippi Crafts Center in Madison, as set up began early for the big art show and sale happening tonight.
Not only is this a fundraiser for the LIFE organization, but it is an educational experience for those of us who may have never given much thought to artists with disabilities.
"What we're trying to do is let the general public know that people with disabilities have great artistic abilities. This is a terrific way for them to express themselves," said LIFE of Mississippi Executive Director Christy Dunaway. "They have to do their art differently you know, because often they're not very able bodied. They have to learn how ‘to do the art in a different way to express themselves in a different way. And it's fascinating and the work is absolutely beautiful."
Rachel Barrett of Madison has become quite an accomplished potter over the last few years. She got her interest in the art right here in this building when she was here looking around with her mom. Her work is excellent. And perhaps she understates it a bit.
"Makes me feel good and just gives me something to do," said Rachel.
William Heard of Tupelo is a painter. He is a quadriplegic because of an automobile accident. His art pulled him out of depression and back into life.
"I've got to get on with my life," William realized one day. "I quit feeling sorry for myself. I started exercising, strengthening my muscles and went back to therapy and started painting again and just got on with my life. That's what you have to do."
William has worked with his painting to the point that he has developed a unique style of drip art. He tells me there are no brush strokes in his work. The color and texture is all dripped on.
The event is going on right now until 8pm tonight. And it is a fundraiser for LIFE at the Mississippi Crafts Center. Admission is $15 per person or $25 per couple at the door.
"All those funds stay with LIFE of Mississippi to further our mission of empowering people with disabilities," reminds Christy Dunaway.
And then all of the art is for sale, too. Plus there is a silent auction. And it's our chance to help make a difference for the organization, and for each artist, because there's nothing more encouraging for an artist than to sell a piece of their work.
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