Raymour & Flanigan to Host The Resource Center Artists

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“Poppy Fields” a group painting by artists at The Resource Center’s day program on Hazeltine Avenue in Jamestown
“Poppy Fields” a group painting by artists at The Resource Center’s day program on Hazeltine Avenue in Jamestown

Article Contributed by
The Resource Center

An exhibit showcasing the artistic talents of people with developmental disabilities will be on display the first week of June.

Works by people in The Resource Center’s Creations art program will be on display at Raymour & Flanigan from June 4 to 8. The week long exhibit is titled “Warm Your Hearts with a Little Art.” People can come to the store, located at 1001 Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown, anytime during normal business hours (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) to view the works. The week will culminate with a gala from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 8. The free event will feature jazz music by Curt Barnes, Steve Riczker and Carol Svensen, plus refreshments. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists and buy some of the works being displayed.

The Creations program, which has been in existence for about 11 years, gives people with developmental disabilities a way to express artistically what they may have difficulty conveying verbally. Susan Gutierrez, TRC’s art instructor, works with hundreds of people in The Resource Center’s day programs in Jamestown and Dunkirk. “I bring materials to them, and we work on projects, whether it’s painting or clay or drawing or mixed-media pieces,” Gutierrez said in explaining her method of supporting the Creations program’s artists. “They all have incredible talents, and they’re all talented in a unique way. Some of them just need a little guidance, whether it’s just looking at a photograph to give them a little initiative and incentive to start the project, or some people may need a little hand-over-hand guidance, whether it’s from me or from their staff that work with them. When they’re given the materials, it’s amazing what they can actually create with it.”

“Hot Air Balloons” by Trudy Shoemaker of The Resource Center’s day program on Lake Shore Drive in Dunkirk

About 40 pieces will be on display at Raymour & Flaingan. In addition to paintings, there will be pottery, jewelry and notecards. Most of the items on display will be available for purchase. Creations artists have had their works exhibited in a number of public venues over the years. This marks the second time Raymour & Flanigan has hosted an exhibit of works by TRC’s artists. Store officials expect that many people will attend Friday’s reception.

“We had a great time last time, so I’m hoping this is going to work out the same way. We had a lot of people come down and look at the pictures, we had a lot of people purchase, and I think that’s exciting,” said Joe Troche, the manager of Raymour & Flanigan’s Jamestown location. “I think we’re going to have a great time, and we should have a great turnout.” “Susan does a great job,” said Debra McVinney, who is in charge of visual merchandising at Raymour & Flanigan. “She sets up the artwork, and people can just come in and meander at their convenience during the week, and they can take a look at all the artwork. It’s so beautiful, and it’s such a reflection of some beautiful, beautiful skills that the artists have.” “Make sure you walk throughout the whole showroom, because there will be plenty of things to see,” McVinney added. “You can actually purchase, but you can’t take your purchase until the reception is over.”

Raymour & Flanigan partners with a number of local organizations throughout the year, in line with the furniture chain’s philosophy of giving back to the communities in which Raymour & Flanigan is located. The showroom holds two to four events per month to support local organizations. “We try to help as many groups as we can,” Troche said.

Those attending the art exhibit will have an opportunity to receive a discount on eligible purchases at Raymour & Flanigan through July 8.

For more information about the exhibit or the gala, phone Raymour & Flanigan at 483-3111 or The Resource Center at 483-2344.