All abilities art class provides stroke of inclusiveness

October 17, 2021 BY

Left to right: Artists Bridget Gooda, Clover, Moonflower, Sunflower, Mac Lovell, teacher Celia Adams, Polly Munday and Trevor Ah Hang. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

AFTER several lockdowns and much disruption, a productive and inclusive weekly group is back on with many participants benefitting from the expression of artwork.

The Art for All Abilities program is a weekly art group for people with disabilities run by art therapist Celia Adams at the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre.

Ms Adams has a Masters in Art Therapy and a Certificate IV in Disability Support. She has more than 10 years’ experience running art therapy groups for people living with disability.

The aim of the group is to help people grow in confidence through creativity.

Each student who takes part is encouraged to explore their preferred way of making art and is supported by Ms Adams.

“Participants are allowed to take some artistic risks, knowing that it is okay for a creative experiment to go off course,” Ms Adams said.

“People of all abilities attend the group to pursue art making and skill development. Other benefits of the group include confidence building, relaxation, creative growth and connecting with others.”

Group participant Trevor Ah Hang was apprehensive about painting to begin with because he had an aversion to getting messy.

Mr Ah Hang found that the more he absorbed in the art making process as time went on, the less concerned he was about the mess.

He now creates art with confidence and is happy to experiment with new ways of mark making.

“I get to see other’s points on art and what it means to them, and it constantly surprises me,” Mr Ah Hang said.

Art for All Abilities participants Bridget Gooda and Trevor Ah Hang deep in creative thinking.

Other group participants also offer enthusiastic responses when asked what they like about the group.

Polly Munday, who has been attending the group since it first started in 2018 said, “In Art All Abilities you get to make all sorts of stuff: making, painting, drawing – gaining skills and confidence. I love it and look forward to it almost every week.”

Artist Polly Munday and her dragon.

Art for All Abilities runs every Friday morning during school terms from 10am to 12 noon at the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre in Drysdale.

Head to home.springdale.org.au/all-abilities-art/ for more information.

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