Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

October 12, 2004 > The Power of Art

The Power of Art

The fine arts can transfix, transform and illuminate. A painting, ceramic piece, photograph or any other form of expression, can communicate in ways that are beyond any physical dimensions. Perception is an individual experience for any who view the creations of artists and enjoyment knows no boundaries.

Recently, a group of visitors at the Willits Art Gallery in Fremont brought a special appreciation for art with them. Members of "Alive!," an adult day program for developmentally disabled people wore delighted grins of appreciation when introduced to the galleries. Instructor, Allan Bowman and his wife, Amy, the Program Coordinator, have taken many trips with members of Alive understanding that these people experience the pleasures of outings and rigors of daily life in much the same way as others without their handicaps.

The group, based at the Regional Center of East Bay, located in the Tri-Valley area has taken trips to Alcatraz, Oakland's China Town and numerous other locales, but this was a special visit. The group was thrilled with the variety of forms and styles and each had their favorite. This assemblage is not a stranger to art; Ken Reeves studies Art as does Joseph Hidzick, while Tony Dent and Eugene Sacay were admiring students for the day. Lloyd Connor, an artist in the group, left a drawing that promptly sold that day! Another member of the group, Kathy Silveira is not only is an artist, but a novelist - currently working on her second novel - as well. She was so impressed by the collections that she donated one of her art works to the gallery.

The concept that art has universal appeal was evident with this group. Ken often used a communication device on his wheelchair to express his delight with the artwork. Each member of the group had their own favorite compositions and while the group admired and exclaimed over the gallery exhibits, the rooms turned magical. The language of art transcended short phrases, computer created voice or gestures used that day. Art trumped all physical barriers!

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