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.



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