Exhibit displays art created by human services clients
Sheryl Yeager, of Crafton, stands on Friday in front of her pastel art of birds and other animals at the 23rd Flowering of Insight art exhibit of works created by adult participants of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services programs.
The exhibit continues through Aug. 26 on the lower level of the Department of Human Services, 1 Smithfield St., Downtown.
John Edward's watercolor art, "Noah's Ark," at the 23rd annual Flowering of Insight art exhibit.
Peter Flood of Highland Park, with his cartoon characters, Manny, Soxx and Pals, at the 23rd annual Flowering of Insight art exhibit.
Linda Franklin, with her watercolor "Giraffes At Dusk," at the 23rd annual Flowering of Insight art exhibit.
John Edward signs "thank you" at the awards ceremony for the 23rd annual Flowering of Insight art exhibit.
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As a young child, Lenita Walker, who is deaf, felt as though she were trapped in a cocoon because of her struggles to communicate.
But after attending the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, she felt like a butterfly finally able to fly, said Christine Fortino, her therapist at Milestone, a nonprofit agency that serves behaviorally and intellectually challenged residents of southwestern Pennsylvania.
It's not surprising then that Ms. Walker, now 40, of Wilkinsburg, likes to draw butterflies. One of her drawings, titled "Marsh Butterflies" and created using pastels, is on display at the Flowering of Insight art exhibit.
The exhibit features art created by adults who receive services through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. The displays features 131 works created by 97 artists, including paintings, drawings, photographs and mixed media. Of those, 42 were submitted by 35 artists from Milestone.
The exhibit opened this month and continues through Aug. 26 on the lower level of the Department of Human Services, 1 Smithfield St., Downtown.
In its 23rd year, the annual exhibit began as a way to showcase the talents of individuals who receive services from the department, said Pat Valentine, deputy director for behavioral health sciences at the department. Since its inception, the exhibit has expanded to include individuals in many of the department's programs, Ms. Valentine said.
Much of the artwork is for sale, and the artists receive all proceeds from their work. Few pieces remain unsold, Ms. Valentine said, adding that some of the artwork ends up on permanent display in offices and hallways in the department's building.
Sheryl Yeager, 50, of Crafton, has four pieces in the show. The pastel drawings, characterized by solid regions of bold, striking color, are centered around animals. Ms. Yeager said she is a high-functioning autistic who suffers from depression.
Peter Flood, 38, of Highland Park, also has four pieces in the show. They depict original cartoon characters he designed last year for his nephew. Mr. Flood drew the characters by hand and then colored them by using a computer program. Mr. Flood, who volunteers at Milestone, said he has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, but wasn't diagnosed until he was 35.
The exhibit is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 26. Group tours may be arranged by contacting Kristy Rzepecki at 412-350-6661 or Kristy.Rzepecki@AlleghenyCounty.US.
First Published June 26, 2010 12:03 am