A Day of Purpose
I had the most wonderful experience today.
I was called to interview for a Studio / Gallery Supervisor position. I knew in advance the featured artists were people with disabilities, but was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Gallery and met some of them.
The front door opens to a small gift shop area, displaying the hand crafted items ranging from U-shaped neck pillows to lavender aromatic shampoos for pets. Handmade paper rolled baskets of all sizes, plant-able seed cards and paper in various colors and styles.
I was immediately greeted by my new friend Mary Ellen. She left her art project she was working on to offer me a tour. I felt guilty pulling her away from her table, just to greet me, but was so honored when she did. “Yes, I would love a tour!”
In a room toward the back of a studio, they made the paper. When Mary Ellen and I turned a corner, we were greeted by Marie. Her hands still wet from making paper, she quickly wiped with a towel and introduced herself. She proceeded to explain the details of the paper making process, creating their own pulp, screening the raw material, adding dyes pressing and drying this paper, a method that astounded me. Every question I asked, she had an answer of expertise.
Mary Ellen completed my tour and escorted me to where my interviewers awaited for me. I had my meeting and left the building. It was later, when I was sharing this experience with my best friend, the moment of happy occurred to me. She asked a simple and honest question …”and where these artists disabled? The people you saw making paper and such?” I hesitated for a moment. “Yes, yes they are”
In my excitement of storytelling, I neglected to mention this distinction. Maybe because I have always considered people, people and we all have disabilities, just some you can’t see. Or maybe because I didn’t feel it was important. Either way, it didn’t seem to matter. They are artists and have great contributions. A lot to share, a lot to give; their art speaks volumes of emotion on its own.
My moment happy is having met a great group of people and grateful all they shared with me today.
Attached is a link to the non-profit I am speaking of and an image of a piece of work I saw. The planter, seeds and paper set.