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From ZOOM to ROOM

Since 2020, I’ve had the joy of teaching a fantastic group of

“art-abled”/disabled adults in an art club partnered with

Art Encounter in Evanston,IL.


Our adventure began with Zoom meetings, but when we finally met in person for an art show (with masks), it was such a heartwarming and emotional experience.


Some folks were surprised that I looked shorter than they expected, and that made me laugh. But what’s truly special is that we’ve stuck together ever since.


Our group keeps growing, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.

Yesterday was our first art club gathering since May, and it was a blast!


Many of them took trains, buses, the L (and even Ubers) to get to our CIF Art Club located at the Noyes Street Cultural Center.


It’s not just about making art; it’s about friendship, laughter, and banter. It’s a night of getting together, which means no one has to sit alone.

We had a total of 11 people show up, each with their own challenges, whether it’s nonverbal communication, social anxiety, autism or physical barriers. It doesn’t stop us from creating art in our unique and wonderful ways.


The more we get to know each other, the more creative growth I see. It’s about relaxing and trusting the process (and each other).


Last night, we all dived into creating mandalas, and it was a blast! If you’re not familiar with mandalas, they’re simply circles with an array of symbols and shapes branching out from a central point.


We can make them geometric or organic, depending on what we feel like doing. And guess what? Sometimes, these mandalas hold a special meaning for the person creating them. It’s a fantastic way to express ourselves through art and connect with our creations on a deeper level.

Mandalas created using Pen, Watercolor and Acrylic on Canvas and Paper

The best part is that each person’s finished mandala turned out completely different, and that’s what makes it beautiful!

It’s all about embracing our uniqueness and finding relaxation and therapy in the creative process. Sometimes all you need is a pen and a piece of paper and a special group to create something wonderful (and find peace).

Thanks for reading!

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