By Lindsay Carey
For the second year, the Southington Arts Council, Inc. will host the “Artists With Disabilities Exhibit” at The Paris In Plantsville Gallery.
Carole Milano, director of the Arts Council, said that she got the idea for the exhibit from the Southbury Training School where her sister resided.
Her sister Kathleen, who couldn’t speak, lived there amongst others with disabilities. Although her sister was not an artist, Milano would buy art work from others that lived there whenever she visited.
“It occurred to me that we see lots of work by artists, but we don’t really see work by artists with disabilities,” said Milano, who helped start the Arts Council 32 years ago. “I think that perhaps sometimes people who have a disability need to feel like they’re just like everyone else. People have a lot of conceptions about people if they are different, but growing up with my sister made me a regular fan of what anyone can do.”
Last year, the exhibit was well received with about a dozen artists participating.
Artists are judged by portrait artist and illustrator Andy Zygmunt, teacher and artist Sean Dudley, and Karen Cirincione, co-director of the Arts Council
Zygmunt, who is self taught and has been perfecting his art for over 25 years, said he had never done anything like this exhibit before. He said that the judges last year had some “fairly spirited discussions” over who should win.
“I don’t make a distinction,” said Zygmunt, who is new to judging. “I don’t treat them as their different; I try to see the similarities. I’m really just looking at the art for what it is.”
The artists can drop off their work, a minimum of two pieces per artist, at the Paris In Plantsville Gallery on August 9 between 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Their work will be exhibited from August 9-16. On the 16, there will be a reception to announce the winners. The first place winner will receive $300, second place will receive $200 and third place will get $100.