14th VSA Art Show Showcases Local Artists with Disabilities

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

January 10, 2013

"I've been drawing all my life," said Joseph Craft. "It just came natural to me."

Craft is one of more than a hundred local artists whose work was featured at the VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle Visual Art Show. The 14th annual art show showcased the talent of local artists with disabilities.

Craft drew a cartoon of three characters. His favorite, he said, was a man dressed in tights and a cape.

"I like this lightning man I invented. It's my own superhero. I created it out of my head."

Though Craft drew this picture, he said he likes cartooning, portraits, and landscapes and different mediums, listing mosaics, oils, and acrylics as some of his interests.

VSA's opening reception on Friday night in Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center in Charlottesville allowed people to see Craft and others' talent.

"The artwork kinda brings the community together and it gets to show the communtiy what people can do who have disabilities. They are just as capable and they can do just as wonderful things as anybody else," said Diana Wilson, a coodinator of the art show and a support manager of a day activity program at Work Source Enterprises.

"I was overjoyed with it and I'm overwhelmed with the abundance of attendance," said Joan Bullard, an artist.

Bullard's piece showed two pictures. The first, she took in 2009 of the Jefferson Boardwalk while on a group hike. The other, a blooming dogwood. Bullard overlapped the images using an app she found on Google Chrome.

"I prefer to do photagraphs and manipulate them to my own liking," said Bullard.

Attendees could buy many of the pieces. All of the money went to the artist.

"It's very exciting for me," said Craft. "I like to be around a lot of people, you know. It inspires me to see other people's work."

Bullard also liked the others' work.

"Beautifully well done. The particpiants put their all and all into it," she said.

VSA is a partnership between the Charlottesville and Albemarle County Parks and Recreation. It works to promote "the creative power in people with disabilities."

Bullard said art artists' work allows them a chance to connect.

"It gives them a chance to shine through."

The VSA works with VSA Arts of Virginia, part of a national program that creates partnerships to promote the arts.

The exhibition will remain until March 3. It is open during performances and by appointment with the VSA.

"It's very therapeutic for me to be around positive people, positive role models," said Craft. "It's a great experience."

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