On Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Disability Empowerment Center artists with disabilities will be showcasing their art at an event sponsored by the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association.
The event is meant to showcase the talents of artists throughout the community. Works on display will also be for sale. There will be a silent auction, a raffle, barbecue, and live music.
It’s a fundraiser for the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association. The goal of the event is to “promote the creative ability of people with disabilities,” said Ahwatukee resident Donna Powers, vice president of the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association.
All proceeds will go to the Arizona Spinal Cord Association’s various community programs and services.
Artists featured at the event are different ages and use different mediums. There will be sculptors and painters and artists range in age from 6 to 70, Powers said.
Powers herself is a featured artist, who will be showcasing her mouth stick art. Powers started her art in rehabilitation after a motorcycle accident 25 years ago to try to make her new limitations more positive.
“I have always been creative and artistic,” Powers said. “Writing with my mouth, it was one of the things that drove home that you had a disability.”
Powers now makes greeting cards and paintings. Her subjects are usually flowers and hummingbirds.
Another artist featured is Kirk O’Hara, who has become a very successful artist.
“I used to value very little and I took a lot for granted, today I hang my life on loving principles, it simplifies my choices, minimizes pain and opens doorways for me to receive love,” he said in a press release.
“I paint mostly things that I like, things in my environment and things that I spiritually feel,” O’Hara continued. “A lot of it is from my environment in the Southwest and some of it is spiritual in nature.”
One of the more interesting pieces will be from the artist Indu, a 47-year-old rescued Asian Elephant who paints with her trunk. Her paintings will be in the raffle, which includes a backstage tour of the elephant facilities at the Phoenix Zoo.
Powers said the fundraiser is aimed at promoting awareness of spinal cord injury and connecting people through art.
“We want to be able to connect the people or artists with the community as a whole,” Powers said. “Art touches everyone because a person has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t be artistic.”
Admission to the art show is free at the Disability Empowerment Center, 5025 E. Washington St. in Phoenix. The event will go from 1 to 5 p.m.
• Matt Covert is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.