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Unique Show Exhibits Artists with a Different Perspective

Lainey S. Cronk, September 11, 2009
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Artwork: Mark Thomas Hemp, Untitled, mixed media, 11"x16.5"

A unique and colorful multi-artist show titled "Working Out: Artists With Developmental Differences" will open in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the Pacific Union College campus in Angwin on October 3. The opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. will include a talk by Denise Bondy, who has worked for years in the area of art therapy and has worked with the four Napa Valley and Bay Area organizations whose clients will exhibit their work in "Working Out." The show will be on display through October 25.

The featured artists will exhibit works in clay, paint, marker, mixed media, and sculpture. All are clients of four organizations who provide art therapy or an art environment for individuals experiencing developmental differences. The Napa Valley Support Services Brown Street Gallery and studio in Napa is dedicated to developing creative expression. Alchemia in Petaluma offers visual arts, performing arts, house band programs and vocational training. The Enterprise Resource Center in San Rafael is a peer-run, self-help organization that offers outreach, a drop-in center, and peer support. The Cedars of Marin - Victory Center for Arts & Communications (in Ross) works with approximately 30 adults to explore creativity and communication through the arts.

Special presenter Denise Bondy has been advocating for people with developmental disabilities for 30 years while being engaged in the visual arts in many capacities. In addition to teaching art, she has worked with Bay Area agencies and has been the activities and volunteer coordinator of The Cedars of Marin for the past 10 years. She is currently the proprietor of D.D. Sensibilities.

The "Working Out" show is particularly relevant to Pacific Union College's recent pre-professional program in art therapy. Students can prepare for graduate programs in art therapy by combining studies in the visual art department with psychology courses.

It's also an intriguing exhibit from an artistic point of view. "[The artists] have such focus and direction," says Thomis Morphis, who coordinates the Rasmussen Art Gallery exhibits. "Each person has a really unique vision." One goal of the show will be to increase consciousness about artists with developmental differences and the opportunities offered by art therapy programs. Representatives from the represented programs will be present at the opening.

Regular gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The exhibit is free of charge and open to the public. Rasmussen Art Gallery is located on the PUC campus at One Angwin Avenue in Angwin, California. For more information, call 707-965-6303.