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Disabled artists unveil works at ARC Jacksonville's A.R.T Exhibit

6:03 PM, Oct 30, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The artists behind the works of art featured at City Hall Wednesday evening are all living with severe disabilities, but that does not stop them.

"Do you want to make another point?" Asked the trained art volunteer Wednesday morning as he looked at Gary Selph.

Selph isn't your average artist. He is living with Cerebral Palsy and is completely mentally able. However, he can not speak.

Ami Caswell, the ARC Jacksonville's A.R.T program manager, said Selph enjoys many things.

"He isn't able to verbalize that a lot of times," she said "But he is through his art."

With the help of that trained tracker, Gary's art is his voice.

Selph is part of ARC Jacksonville's Artistic Realization Technology program. The program serves people with developmental disabilities like Autism, cerebral palsy and Downs syndrome as an outlet for people who can't express themselves.

"So that people know that they have wishes and they have dreams," Caswell said as she looked at Gary.

Each paint stroke hits close to home for her. Her 10-year-old son is also impaired

"My life's passion is to make sure that they are advocated for," she explained.

How it works is the tracker moves moves with sticks on the board, corresponding to where the person wants color.

"They use color boards which Gary selects on what his background colors are," she said as she pulled up a large board full of bright and dark squares of color. "What layer goes on top of layers."

Each artist earns money for his or her painting. But Caswell said the event is about more than just art. She said she hopes people realize something about the special artists.

"That they have a voice and that they're given the opportunity to achieve great things," she said.

There are 22 pieces of art done by 8 artists that were displayed inside Jacksonville's City Hall routunda on Wednesday.

It costs $250- $500 for each artwork. The artists keeps half and the other half goes to program costs.

The event was free to the public.

First Coast News

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