Sister Kenny Art Show Highlights Abilities

On Thursday, April 19 at 5pm, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Services (SKRS), celebrates the opening of its 39th Annual International Art […]

On Thursday, April 19 at 5pm, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Services (SKRS), celebrates the opening of its 39th Annual International Art Show by Artists with Disabilities. Guests are invited to this free event, located at the Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, for the chance to talk to the artists, view their collection of art, and even to take home that certain painting or sculpture that just “says something.”  75% of such purchases help fund these artists to continue to create. Along with the usual punch and cookie, a panel of professional curators featuring Robyne Robinson of Channel 9 will be on hand to give awards for outstanding works of art and for outstanding efforts made by these
artists.

The show is one of only a handful of judged art shows in the country for those with a physical or mental impairment and, with over 300 entries, it is also the biggest yet in 39 years sponsored by SKRS. The exhibit runs from Thursday, April 19 through May 16, 2001.

“The Art Show is a tradition of which we are very proud,” said Nancy Larkin, Director of Operations for SKRS. “Sister Kenny’s mission is all about helping individuals progress towards their personal best and our art show is an extension of that, highlighting the abilities of those who experience physical or mental limitations.”

Reine Shiffman, Executive Director for SKRS, is equally impressed by the beautiful works that artists bring to the art show: “It gives me a new appreciation for what people can accomplish. It’s great to see people connect with what they enjoy doing, and inspiring to be a part of it through Sister Kenny.”

It’s this connection that compelled artist Robin Hoye to carve shapes on her piano bench and color the walls with crayons as a child; and it’s this freedom (and that “It’s fun!!” as Robin says) that has kept her interest and career going to now–years later and a participating artist in the SKRS show. 

In discussing her art for the SKRS show (be on the lookout for wolves), Robin’s passion for creating is easily clear. “I don’t copy pictures. Usually I study different pictures until I get a feeling of that creature, until I know that wolf. Then I create an interpretation.”  She continues, “You think about how much work it takes to make one picture, then you think about how much work it took to create a wolf or the entire world that you’re painting and it’s just kind of an awesome experience. I like that.”

While she lives with a vision impairment, Hoye finds it gives her an advantage in art. “I have to get very close to the paint and sometimes get paint on my face, which is fun. And, while many artists have to back up across the room to get a perspective of their art, I only have to walk a few feet away from what I’m working on.”

The 39th Annual SKRS Art Show serves the public with a gallery of artists and an organization that helps them, as Shiffman notes, “continue accomplishing what they do so well and what makes them happy.”

To be added to the mailing list for the opening night event or to receive further information, please call Kathy Schultz at (612) 863-4463, or write to her at Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Services, 800 East 28th Street, Route 12101, Minneapolis Minnesota 55407.

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