Article Contributed by
The Resource Center
An exhibit showcasing the artistic talents of people with disabilities aims to warm the hearts of winter-weary area residents.
Works by artists with disabilities from The Resource Center will be on display at Raymour & Flanigan from January 30 through February 3. The weeklong art exhibit is titled “Warm Your Heart with a Little Art.” Paintings, sculpture, pottery, and jewelry will be on display throughout the Raymour & Flanigan showroom at 1001 Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown. People can come to the store 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 finale from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3. The free event will feature music by area pianist Elizabeth Smith, plus refreshments. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists and buy some of the works being displayed.
The artwork was created by people with developmental disabilities in The Resource Center’s Creations art program. Works by artists from Jamestown and Dunkirk will be featured. The Creations program has been in existence for about 10 years. The program is important because art gives people with disabilities a way to express what they may have difficulty conveying verbally.
Creations artists have had their works exhibited in a number of public venues over the years. Susan Gutierrez, The Resource Center’s art instructor, hopes many people will come to Raymour & Flanigan to view the artwork and to meet the artists. She believes those who have never experienced artwork created by people with disabilities will be favorably impressed by what they see.
“I really hope that they can see the talent that all these artists have, and how unique and how different each artist is,” Gutierrez said. She added that about 30 paintings, sculptures and pottery pieces will be on exhibit at Raymour & Flanigan and that most of the art and jewelry will be available for purchase.
This marks the third collaboration between The Resource Center and Raymour & Flanigan, following a children’s costume parade last Halloween and an event in support of TRC’s annual Laurel Run fund-raiser in 2015. Amy Rupp, home furnishings lead at Raymour & Flanigan, has been interested in hosting an art exhibit for a couple of years.
“The Resource Center has so many talented artists. We just want to give them a chance to have their artwork seen by the community,” Rupp said.
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. Last year, Raymour & Flanigan stores hosted more than 450 community giving events.
“Our community outreach program is created to give back to the community and bring the community together. As a privately owned company, we are especially grateful to create, build and maintain relationships with local vendors, and utilize our stores to introduce people to our community, culture and company,” said Joe Troche, the manager of Raymour & Flanigan’s Jamestown location. During the gala, Raymour & Flanigan will make a donation to The Resource Center to support the Creations art program.
Those attending the art exhibit will have an opportunity to receive a discount on eligible purchases at Raymour & Flanigan through March 3.
For more information about the exhibit or the gala, phone Raymour & Flanigan at 483-3111 or The Resource Center at 483-2344.