Some can barely see the surface in front of them or even hold a brush. But clients at the Berry Center do some amazing things with art, teacher Wendy Murphy said.
“They don’t have any inhibitions at all,” she said. “They just go for it. And they are always pleased with what they make.”
That art and the art of other teachers at the center will be at the heart of the Very Berry Art event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Grand Ballroom of the Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way.
The event is a key fundraiser for the center, which provides all-day or respite care for adults with developmental disabilities. The center is celebrating its 50th year this year.
Many of its clients can receive services in the school system up until a certain age but after that there are few options for their families, said Pat Watson, chair of the event. Her brother Ronnie goes to Berry.
“The Berry Center fills that gap,” she said, particularly for those whose deficits might preclude going to other centers.
Berry Center provides activities and gets them out into the community with various excursions, Watson said.
But the art seems to bring out something in them, she said.
“So many of them have trouble expressing because of language barriers or whatever,” Watson said. “And it is a wonderful way for them to express. And the quality of what Wendy helps them turn out is really quite astonishing.”
It might mean having to adapt tools to make it easier for them to grasp and dab with paint, Murphy said.
With one client who is blind, Murphy turns on some music and helps put the paint color on the brush for her.
“I tell her just paint to the music,” Murphy said. “She just kind of goes with the rhythm of the music. The art turns out wonderful, most of it does.”
Working on art gives the clients something they can show off.
“I think it gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Murphy said.
“They’re very proud of what they do and how it turns out,” she said.
And it gives her a good feeling, too.
“I love it,” Murphy said. “It’s where my heart is.”