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Petone will be an art gallery for the work of Thumbs Up artists.

Jul 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

ART IN PROGRESS: Melissa creating her piece, one of several to be displayed. IMAGE: Amanda Herrera

ART IN PROGRESS: Melissa creating her piece, one of several to be displayed. IMAGE: Amanda Herrera


NEW art pieces by local artists with disabilities will soon be adorning the walls of Petone’s cafes and supermarkets.

The new art will come from the Art in the Community project by Thumbs Up, a facility which provides week day care for young adults with physical and mental disabilities.

The project involves 11 young adults paint working with arts therapist Joanna Eikenbroek to create pieces.

To complete the local flavour, volunteer group Menz Shed in Eastbourne will help the young men of Thumbs Up frame the art.

Thumbs Up services manager Briany Howes (right) says the project is hugely exciting and ticks all the boxes for Thumbs Up, and the community. Briany_Headshot

“It’s a win-win situation, we get to give something back to the community which so greatly supports us as well as continuing to strengthen our community links.”

The places which will host the art are still a work in progress, much like the art pieces which are expected to be completed by early next year.

Ms Howes says although the places are not yet confirmed, they will be places that clients often frequent with their families.

“There will be quite a lot of excitement for the clients when they see their pieces while they are out and about.”

The project comes after positive feedback from previous art exhibitions, says support worker Lia Haar-Strang.

As well as being a community inspired project, it gives observers the opportunity to admire art pieces without judgement she says.

“The project focuses on the ability of the clients, not the disability, people will look at their paintings and judge them based on artistic merit, rather than the person who created it.”

The project has been made possible with funding from Hutt City Council Creative Communities grants.

Menz Shed is a community focused group with sheds nationwide. The objective of Menz Shed is to create a place where men, who are generally retired can gather to share skills and work on community based projects, such as wooden frames for the Arts in the Community project.


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