By: Marianna Schultz
DDA’s art program is a blend of creativity, expression and inclusion, open to clients of all levels. This is the culmination of the efforts of Kim, who visits five programs, one day each week, to teach clients in her art classes. Clients participate based on interest, and work on projects in mediums from painting and ceramics, to printing on t-shirts, producing engaging and unique art in the process.
The program focused entirely on what the clients are drawn to create. It’s not uncommon for Kim to form a class around an idea that a student was particularly enthusiastic about. In a similarly organic process, the progression from the initial introduction of a subject to the end product visibly evolves from project to project. What begins as a picture of a fish evolves into a painting, then a ceramic sculpture. The adaptability and collaboration with the clients’ interests are what helps to shape the program.
DDA helps connect artists with as many opportunities as possible. Usually, the artists are featured in three to four art shows a year; allowing their art to reach a wider audience. From June to September, the artists have a booth at Granville Island Community Market, where they get a chance to sell the art made at DDA, and also have a fun outing while running the stand and getting out into the community.
In June, two DDA artists were part of a Wingspan Art Show in the Hatch Gallery at UBC. Joan and Cindy were selected to display their artwork including paintings and ceramic fish sculptures. Hundreds of people, including school groups from all over the Lower Mainland, came to appreciate and buy the art. Almost all of Joan’s sculptures were sold, and various members of her family came out to support her.
Though the art classes present the opportunity to become paid artists, this isn’t the program’s main ambition. The goal is to simply provide the access to tools for the artists to project their creativity into the world. And while sharing their art appeals to some, it doesn’t to others who would rather keep their pieces to themselves, or only share them with family and friends. As Kim says, “People aren’t making things to sell, they’re just making them, and then it’s a nice surprise if they do sell.” It’s clear that the clients’ pieces are made for their own gratification above all. This element of joy is what draws the viewers in, but most importantly, the artists.
DDA artists are featured in local art shows around Vancouver. Check out our Events webpage to see upcoming art shows.