Artists with special talents create abstract designs
“I like to do art! I like flowers! they make me happy! So I did a flower! You happy?”
— Mike Gurney
“I created a lot of these pattern drawings because I thought, well, I had a lot of time, so why not.”
— Ryan Sebits
“I can’t see so my paintings have a lot of texture. What is most important for me is how the paintings feel not how they look.”
— Joe Colunga
These were some of their thoughts as the three artists, all with developmental disabilities, created pieces for “Juxtapose,” a virtual art show and sale on view through Oct. 22 at Santa Barbara Art Works, a studio-gallery that helps artists with developmental disabilities create, show and sell their work.
Other artists in the show are Scott Ryker, Erin Ziegler, Richie Stolz, John Houston, Juan Perez, Brooke Lundberg, Brian Raleigh, Charles Jefferson, Joe Haake, Reiko Karl, Brian Maclaren, Robert Winans and Joy Thompson.
Their abstract designs are available at www.sbartworks.org/shop.
Originals range from $20 to $50, and a variety of print options range from $15 to $250.
Proceeds from the sale support the gallery’s COVID-19 response fund, which helps to sustain art supplies for remote art classes and provide an income for the practicing artists.
“Once a year, we like to have a show featuring abstract works of art focused on the principles and elements of design,” said Jacob Allio, studio manager. “In this year’s show, viewers will experience contemporary artwork created with juxtaposed patterns, contrasting lines, shapes and textures. The original artwork is available in many mediums, including printmaking, acrylic on canvas and watercolor.”
Juxtapose, he explained, means unexpected combinations of colors, shapes and ideas.
“Santa Barbara Art Works hopes to break down barriers for people with disabilities, so that its participants are encouraged everyday, working toward finding their artistic voice and employment opportunities in the arts industry,” said Mr. Allio, whose brother, Noah, has cerebral palsy.
“We specialize in helping Santa Barbara artists by providing art instruction and adaptable art techniques for approximately 20 to 30 resident artists with developmental disabilities.”
Classes are taught Monday through Friday in painting, ceramics, drawing, mixed media and watercolors at the studio-gallery located at 28 E. Victoria St. in downtown Santa Barbara.
The studio also specializes in providing 3D printed adaptive art techniques and unique art workshops for children with disabilities.
“Santa Barbara Art Works welcomes artists from the community to collaborate on exhibits with our artists. In addition, we provide art studio space on a membership plan for artists who live and work in the Santa Barbara area,” said Mr. Allio, a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
To keep its students engaged and programs viable during the COVID-19 shutdown, instructors have been teaching classes in a virtual format.
“Students in our program created art together for years before COVID-19, so it’s important that we build a sense of normalcy for them while sheltering at home and continue to help them make and sell their art,” said Mr. Allio.