SARAH, Inc., a Guilford advocacy organization founded over 50 years ago, is celebrating several of their artists in an Exhibition at Madison Art Cinema. "A Celebration Of The Spirit Through Art" will be on display until November 15th, and the opening reception will be held tomorrow night, October 25th, from 5 PM to 7 PM.
The work of 17 SARAH artists will be on display. These artists are all participants in the Recreation and Leisure Program of SARAH, Inc. “These individuals all have some degree of developmental disability,” shares Julie O’Connell, an instructor of the program. “What they all have in common is their ability to express themselves from an inner vision.”
“In working with the SARAH, Inc. art class, we witness their joy at the sight of colors and forms they have put on canvas,” O’Connell continues. “We hear their verbal expressions or see it in their faces. We can share the joy of expression through art when other ways of expression are limited.”
Art instructor Dodi Marchese of Guilford, who has been teaching the SARAH art class for many years, will host the reception. Earlier this month, Marchese was presented an “Award of Appreciation” at the SARAH annual meeting.
“I’ve been doing this program since 1987,” says Marchese. “I have many of the same participants still attending the program that started with me all those years ago; that’s how meaningful it is. For them, it’s an opportunity for a form of expression and also has a social component as well. They are a special group, and I truly enjoy working with them year after year.”
O’Connell shares her fellow volunteer’s sentiments about the program and working with its participants. “What I have personally discovered in working with the artists is that this program is a wonderful opportunity for our artists to express themselves, as individuals, through color, composition, and forms,” she comments. “But more than that, we witness the beauty of the social interactions that they embark on with each other first, and then with the volunteers, such as Dodie and myself.”
“This is something that I have not necessarily seen in other types of environments,” O’Connell concludes. “What takes place in this space is a personal expression. It is such an uplifting experience to watch as well as to participate in.”
Please Note: The reception time for tomorrow evening was originally set to begin at 4 PM and go until 6 PM. That time has changed to the time mentioned in the article. 5 PM to 7 PM is the updated time for the event.
SARAH, Inc. supports and advocates for children and adults with intellectual and other disabilities in communities throughout Connecticut. Their goal is to “Enhance Skills and Enrich Lives.” For more on SARAH, Inc. and the SARAH Family of Agencies, visit their website. They would like to thank Madison Art Cinema for inviting them to show the exhibit at their venue.