Disabled children share their art

25 October 2010 Art works by disabled children in Northland are being exhibited at Kaitaia's Bank Street Gallery throughout October.

Rissy Price came up with the idea for the As I Am art exhibition after she attended a meeting of parents of children with disabilities. She spoke of how her own child (11-year-old Reuben, who has Asperger’s) loved art, and received a similar response from other parents. 

The contributing artists, ranging in age from pre-school to secondary, have been drawn from a number of schools in the Kaitaia district, with a range of disabilities, intellectual and physical. The children had a full school term to produce their pieces for the exhibition.

The gallery is now keen to stage the exhibition as an annual event.

Rissy received so many pieces she planned to rotate them over the month so all could have their time on public display.

The exhibition includes paintings, digital drawings, clay and bead work and hessian weaving.

Couldn't wait to share

Rissy said Reuben wasn’t keen on contributing to the exhibition at first, but once he saw other pieces coming in he became excited, and couldn’t wait to share his work with the world.  As a mother and a passionate supporter of the arts, she was delighted.

“Families with children with disabilities often become quite invisible,” she said.

“Hopefully this is a chance for them to come out and celebrate, and share their children in a way with the community.

“All the parents of the children involved are very excited about the exhibition.”

Hope for son's future

She specifically pointed to Kaitaia College student Daniel Lomb’s Interpretation, saying Daniel’s mother told her that seeing the painting on display had given her hope for son’s future.

Kaitaia Primary School’s satellite united offered a collaborative contribution. Eleven children worked with local artist Shane Prouting, who has a child of his own at the school, to produce an image of their favourite place, Matai Bay. They achieved what Shane described as a beautiful result.


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