Victoria’s Janice Attwell shows off her painting called “Sunshine” at BeConnected Support Services.

Art show celebrates locals with disabilities

When Victoria resident Janice Attwell talks about her paintings, her face lights up.

When Victoria resident Janice Attwell talks about her paintings, her face lights up.

The 32-year-old infectiously describes the number of paintings she’s completed including a Halloween-themed painting featuring a silhouette of a witch, as well as paintings with flowers and rainbows.

Painting has become a means of expression for Attwell, who has down syndrome.

“Special, loving and caring,” she said when asked how art makes her feel.

Once a month, she has the opportunity to get together with other residents at BeConnected Support Services, a multi-service organization offering a variety of services for residents on Vancouver Island with developmental disabilities, who create art during craft night.

More than 15 residents get to experiment with various art forms including tie-dye shirts, and painting bird houses and rocks.

“We have clients that are non-verbal that will come and paint. Even though they can’t verbally put out how they feel about us, they just sit there with their colours. In a way, you get an expression of how they’re feeling too,” said Luis DeSousa, course facilitator at BeConnected.

For the month of November, Attwell and pieces from 25 other artists will be on display and up for sale as part of the fifth annual BeCommunity Art Show at the Spiral Cafe in Esquimalt.

DeSousa said this year’s art show is the largest one they’ve done so far, with dozens of paintings on display and 40 already sold.

“The sales have been huge so far and community support is awesome,” he said. “I was just really proud. They’re talking to anyone that has interest in their work. They’re out there in the community and it’s accepted. There’s no disability — it’s art.”

Every dollar from the sales goes back into artists’ pockets and allows them to save up extra money to achieve their dreams.

“It also assists with dreams and goals and aspirations,” said Michelle Berkeley, coordinator of craft night and co-coordinator of the art show. “It makes them feel like they’re giving back. They’re helping people and giving them something.”

Last year, Attwell sold four paintings. This year, she has sold three with a little over a week until the show comes to an end.

After the art show, Attwell will set her sights even higher.

“I want to have any art show in Toronto. I can prove anything that I want to prove,” she said.

The paintings will be on display at the Spiral Cafe (418 Craigflower Rd.) until the end of the month.

 

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Most Victoria transit takers thank their driver: poll

Bus riders thank drivers on Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Sexual assault charge dropped against former CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Sentence handed down for sex assaults committed more than 30 years ago

Man in his 80s will serve a conditional sentence in the community

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read