|Billy, representing the YM-YWHA with Guy Giard|
Créatability: A celebration of special art and artistsBy Wendy Singer
We (meaning the folks at The Big Blue Hug, Rekinexion, and Inspirations), often attend expositions and conferences to share what we do, how we can help teachers, caregivers, and families help their loved ones with special needs. But how could we help those individuals directly? Provide people with special needs the opportunity to gain valuable experience while sharing their talents with the public at large? How could we create a paradigm shift of how society views what special needs people can achieve and the role they have in our society?
The answer was created in one single word: Créatability.
Thanks to the vision and hard work of Jason Goldsmith and Lisa Marcovici, the first ever special needs artisan market that Montreal has ever seen was held on May 8, and surpassed all expectations for both organizers and exhibitors.
The event, which was sponsored by Lucy Pires and Sihem Oka from Investors Group, and Inspirations Newspaper, brought 16 artists with varying special needs together to share their talents, and sell their works. Their task for the evening included sharing their artistic process with the public, telling their stories, and selling their works. In return, they received solid work experience that will serve them well in the future, and most certainly at future Créatability events.
Some artists were experienced, others were first-time exhibitors. It was Lama Alabed's first time sharing her beautiful paintings. Her first task learned: how to price her work!
|Lama Alabed with her beautiful paintings|
"The students have excellent work experience in the store, but they are always supervised," shared Crawford. "This is the first time that they've ever been on their own. And in this environment, they are thriving."
In an email exchange that I had with Crawford after the event, she shared the most touching comments: "We met so many amazing people and had such a great time (at Créatability). Just a little aside....because of the enthusiasm and support Zach received for his photographs he has decided to definitely pursue his career in photography. Before this event, praise had been mostly from friends and family,. This time it was from strangers which seemed to help validate his talent and his confidence even more. Both students are somewhat shy or reserved. I had the extreme priviledge, goosebumps and all, to see them really come out of their shells and show off how very capable they are. Thank you for this!!!"
|Leanna and Zach at the Light a Dream table|