Mayor Sara Drew on Tuesday unveiled artwork at Stow City Hall from local artists who receive services from the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board.
Drew purchased three canvas prints from three artists who participate in the Dream Out Loud Studio Program.
According to the website www.summitdd.org, “the Dream Out Loud Studio was designed to be a creative outlet for artisans with disabilities to generate artwork with unconventional materials. “
The studio opened in November in the Ellet area of Akron.
“So many people have expressed an interest in expressing themselves through artwork,” said Billie Jo David, Summit County public and community relations director. “We are so happy that the mayor’s office is promoting that program.”
The three prints Drew purchased out of her own pocket — Red Monet by Krystina Scuirry, End of Shift by Marlon Fears and Mod Art by Stephen Ring — are framed and hanging in the mayor’s conference room.
“It instantly brightened the room,” Drew said. “I love to go into that room now and spread out at the conference table, and do some work where I can be in there with the pictures. I think it really adds a lot to City Hall, the conference room and the mayor’s office.”
Artist Scuirry created her piece Red Monet while riding in the car. Her painting was a landscape of brightly colored trees. Scuirry said that she likes the color pink and enjoys using glitter water paints.
“I have artwork hanging up in my sister’s garage,” Scuirry said. “It looks like an art studio in there.”
According to Drew, Scuirry had told her that this is the first time that she had seen that picture framed and on a wall. She did not have the picture at her old house.
“I think it was an opportunity for them to see how much people appreciate what they do and appreciate their talent, and see that this is not only in someone’s house hung up but in a public building,” Drew said. “There are going to be a lot of people viewing this.
“I hope that they know that this is not just for today, but for a long period of time that people will be seeing their artwork.”
Scuirry’s parents were present at the unveiling of their daughter’s artwork.
“I am thrilled for her,” said Linda Harris Scuirry. “She said she felt like she was on the red carpet. We are very proud of her.”
Krystina’s father, Dan Scuirry, was also proud of his daughter’s recognition.
“I think that it is really outstanding that the community recognizes people in the developmental disabilities program because they are citizens that need the attention of the public also,” he said. “They try very hard to put their heart and soul into everything they do. It is nice that somebody recognizes that.”
Artist Ring came up with the inspiration for his piece Mod Art by using lightness and darkness.
“When I make a design, if I come up with anything better to improve it, I do,” Ring said.
Ring is always trying to improve his art by saving his original work and making changes on it from there.
“The way I think about my art is that there are always better people out there, and there is always someone better than you,” Ring said. “Knowing that there is someone whose art is better than yours, you can always strive to improve your own.”
Artist Fears was unable to attend the unveiling at Stow City Hall.
Works by artists with developmental disabilities can be purchased through Dream Out Load Program gift gallery locations in Ellet, Coventry Township and Cuyahoga Falls.
“I thought that the artwork was beautiful,” said Carrie Roberts, community employment services director for the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board. “I am so proud of them.”