July 17, 2010 9:12:00 PM
The Starkville Area Arts Council presents an exhibit of artwork from the T. K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability at Mississippi State University through August 31 at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership building, 200 E. Main St., in downtown Starkville. The GSDP is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Center''s "EXPRESS Yourself" (Experiencing Painting as Recreation and Express the Spirit Within Yourself) project enables artists who are physically challenged to create art through another person who works with them called a "tracker."
Judy Duncan, Laurie Craig, and Barbara Boydstun are the three trackers who act as the arms and hands of the artists, to create their next masterpiece. Each artist expresses their desires for their piece through whichever means possible to their tracker, who acts as their vehicle for distributing the art medium. The art is created exactly to the artists'' specifications, and they are very particular about the colors used, where and how they are to be applied, and the overall look of the piece when finished.
Artists showcased in the exhibit are Mark Jones, Demetria (Dee) Gilbert, Thalamus Brown, Clinton White and Ashley Bass, all of Starkville; Candace Stephenson and Amanda Williams of Ackerman; Monica Herard of Eupora; and Kenny Bland, Marcus Bryant and Terrell Jenkins of Jackson.
Duncan and Craig shared touching stories about the evolution of some of the people in the program.
Dee Gilbert started her art career painting hearts, since she always saw teenagers drawing hearts with initials in them, but was never physically capable. When she was able to express herself through art, hearts were all she painted, and emotionally worked through her teenage years. As her artistic abilities progressed, she developed an abstract style and has broadened her subject matter.
Thalamus Brown had dropped out of the art program, lacking the interest and dedication required. After the untimely passing of his roommate, he lovingly finished a picture the young man had started, which propelled him back into the field, displaying a gifted level of quality.
Candace Stephenson is very creative in her use of tools she has her tracker use to develop a painting. She has used hair rollers to get patterns and shapes into her artwork. Her titles are also very imaginative; she is one of the artists who can speak.
The SAAC and T.K. Martin Center invite he public to view this colorful, imaginative, creative and moving exhibit. Stop by the GSDP to view these unusual pieces created in the most unusual ways, with patience, compassion and a unique accumulation of tools.
For more information, contact the SAAC office, 662-324-3080, or visit www.starkvillearts.org.