British Columbia recognizes October as Community Living Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of people with developmental disabilities as fully participating members of our society.
In addition, this month celebrates the organizations and businesses, like PotteryWorks Studio, that make a difference in the lives of people living with developmental disabilities.
In New Westminster, PotteryWorks Studio is an artistic haven that is full of support, opportunities and achievement. It’s committed to bringing out the unique artistic skills and diverseABILITIES of each individual artisan.
Minister of Social Development and Social innovation Michelle Stilwell visited PotteryWorks’ new space today to experience the inspiration, meet some of the artists and see the array of artistic pieces on display.
“I am so impressed by the many talents of these local artists. There are many wonderful one-of-a-kind pieces for exhibit and purchase,” Stilwell said.
The studio’s newly revamped location, which re-opened on Oct. 20, 2016, provides artists with the opportunity to display and sell their creations, demonstrate their work and show off their individual styles.
“It means a lot for these individual artists to be able to show people their skills and have people purchase their work. It really gives them a boost of confidence and self-esteem, which is exactly what many of our artists need to grow,” said Deidre Blackmore, art facilitator at PotteryWorks.
Whether it’s James’s sense of form and colour used in his paintings and pottery work, Harry’s exploration of Egyptian and motorcycle themes in his art, or Darlene’s focus on her Chilcotin First Nations heritage in her hand-built and thrown clay, the process and products are all unique to the individual artist.
“Over the last 16 years that I have been operating the PotteryWorks Studio, I have witnessed the impact of art and craft on the many artists who have come through our doors. They have learned discipline and focus, to believe in themselves and their abilities, and to work with others,” Blackmore added.
PotteryWorks is supported by the Community Living Society (CLS), a Community Living BC-funded service provider in New Westminster. CLS is dedicated to connecting people with developmental disabilities with the services and supports they need to live full, happy and empowered lives, which is exactly what PotteryWorks is all about.
“Our artists have made real and lasting relationships within their community working in our store and studio. It’s the most profound kind of inclusion, to become part of the everyday fabric of your community,” Blackmore said.
To learn more about PotteryWorks Studio, visit: www.potteryworks.ca/home.html
To check out the artists and their work, visit: www.potteryworks.ca/the-artists.html
To learn more about the Community Living Society, visit: www.communitylivingsociety.ca
To view the 2016 Community Living Month news release, visit: http://ow.ly/PYjR305j2kn
To learn more about Community Living Month 2016, visit: www.communitylivingbc.ca/clm2016