The Power of Creative Collaboration

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015
Artwalk

Young adults from the "pARTners" program work together to create expressive works of art. Their work is currently on display in Doylestown Hospital's ArtWalk.

The newest exhibit in Doylestown Hospital's ArtWalk features pieces of collaborative art created by individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism who attend the Peace Valley Creative Gifts Program in nearby New Britain.

The Peace Valley Creative Gifts Program is a community-based day program that offers opportunities for young adults with disabilities to explore their interests and talents. In addition to participating in activities involving music, dance and play, the young men and women collaborate with one another to create art in the center's studio.

Artist Elena Drozdova started the "pARTners" program for Creative Gifts as a way to bring individuals together to work on various art projects. Individuals with disabilities "pARTner" with their community mentors in a process of creation that involves tape, layers of colorful acrylic paint, games and friendship.

"It's a beautiful process," says Drozdova. "Each piece takes weeks or months to create and complete, and culminates in a joyful expression of belonging, celebrating the artists' unique creative gifts."

 

Each individual has a part to play, including those in wheelchairs or who are non-verbal. They participate and communicate in their own ways with Drozdova. The resulting work is brilliantly colored canvas paintings and canvas bags.

"This is such a joy for all of us," says Drozdova. "First of all, it's fun. And the process creates such a sense of belonging."

Artist Drozdova shares, "I consider our art to act as an ambassador. Piece by piece it can change culture to embrace people with intellectual disabilities as an integral part of our communities."

Several pieces from the pARTners program will be on display in Doylestown Hospital's ArtWalk through the summer. The ArtWalk connects the main hospital building with the parking garage and represents the hospital's commitment to the healing power of art. After opening in 2010, the ArtWalk quickly became a popular place for local artists of all ages to share their work with patients, families and Associates who stroll the corridor each day.

Feeling more like an art gallery, the 308-foot long ArtWalk showcases the talents of artists ranging from well-known Bucks County painters to local school children.

Doylestown Hospital Volunteers manage the ArtWalk and organize new exhibits every three months. This is the first time pARTners work will be shown in the ArtWalk.

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