Here at The Art Experience we enhance the lives of others through the arts. What does that mean?
The impact of beginning an arts-related practice has on an individual are equal to the depth of practice; one can improve self-esteem, make steps toward healing after a traumatic experience, practice social-skills, train the eye to really SEE, and train the ears to really HEAR. The Art Experience is your studio that encourages those creative explorations, and also sees those creative activities as a vehicle for professional growth.
One way that we do this is with our program called Artist in Residence. Reserved for the special needs populations, this programming focuses on the personal goals of the individual. Renard, our Artist in Residence for over 15 years, has used his visual art making as a keystone to his individual goals as an artist who has autism. Renard completes, on average, 2.5 pieces a week, during his 20 hours in the studio. The social component of working in the community creates opportunity for learning for both Renard and the participants in the studio. Professionally, Renard’s work is sold at the studio and online, as well as traveled in exhibits and entered into contests.
Another long-time participant and current board member, Megan O’Dell, is hoping to use her creativity in a similar fashion. Megan is a vivacious woman who is working to strengthen her communication skills and it seemed a natural fit for The Art Experience to support her endeavors. By listening to Megan’s ideas about how she wanted to contribute, the seeds of opportunity were sown. It is now up to Megan, her support coordinator, and other individuals on Megan’s team to see how well they grow.
Megan wants to interview people who are connected to the studio. She began with interviewing the President of our Board of Directors, Kristen Lambert. Megan hopes to have enough interviews to be posted once a month, so stay tuned to more. She’s usually in on Wednesdays, so be sure to say hello, and you just might end up on one of our next blog posts!
THE ARTISTS COLUMN by Megan O’Dell
Meet Kristen Lambert
Kristen Lambert is on the Art Experience board of directors. Kristen is the president. Kristen worked at the Art Experience in 2005 for six months. She left to write her thesis. Kristen came back to the board of directors in 2013. Kristen was involved at the Summit Place Mall. That was the 3rd location and the current location is now in Pontiac. Kristen learned about the Art Experience from one of her teachers Dr Holly Feen. Kristen says the Art Experience inspires her to make more art and she likes it. Kristen said, “I love the way making art makes me feel and I want to share that feeling with other people.” Kristen stays on task with the mission and vision as board of directors president.