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Arc Rehab Services in Lebanon, Indiana didn’t expect their initial connection with VSA Indiana to bloom into a business adventure. Originally connecting with two Master Teaching Artists from VSA Indiana in 2008, they started offering art classes to their clients. Over time, it became clear that this was something the clients truly enjoyed and the seed was planted for a VSA Indiana Urban Artisan program at Arc Rehab. “Urban Artisans is a vocational training program through art offered by VSA Indiana for transitional students aged 16 through 21,” explains Pat Sellman, coordinator of the Arc Artisan program. Linda Wisler, Master Teaching Artist who works with VSA Indiana’s Urban Artisans began work with the clients of Arc Rehab in April 2010. “By July 2010, a project had been commissioned and completed for the United Way of Central Indiana and we became Arc Artisans,” says Sellman.
Arc Rehab Services assists people with disabilities and special needs to achieve their maximum potential in partnership with the community. Programs provide training, experience and work opportunities for Arc clients. In turn, local business benefit by utilizing programs to find qualified employees, low-cost work center services, and work crews. Last summer, Arc Artisans became a new, entrepreneurial program of emerging artists where Artisans can be active in all areas of design, production and marketing of their artwork. Artwork created by
Arc Artisans include paintings on canvas, pottery bowls, platters, flower pots and vases, bird feeders and bird baths, key chains, pins, necklaces, ornaments, woven scarves and placemats, greeting cards and hand painted canvas bags.
Arc Artisans is a collaborative business, with VSA Indiana Master Teaching Artists Linda Wisler or Bella Heilbrunn, laying the ground work for each project. The process starts with a work order obtained from individual customers, local businesses, or for inventory. There are a number of small group times available to the 24 individuals participating in the program based on their interest, emerging skills, and particular products.
Arc Artisans are celebrating Disability Awareness Month with their very first official art show. The art of Arc Artisans opened on Friday, March 11 and will be on display throughout the month of March at Sugar Creek Art Center in Thorntown, Indiana (127 S. Pearl Street), Thursday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Examples of Arc Artisan work can also be found on their website at http://www.arcartisans.org/ and can be purchased by contacting Marcia Clutter at (765) 482-6815 extension 103. Prices range from $1 to $150. Arc Artisans also have a Facebook page that includes upcoming events, artist profiles and photos of newly created items at www.facebook.com/ArcArtisans.
“Our business is still young and our vision is still emerging. We have a few ideas in mind that include offering community classes and continuing to work with local businesses to display and sell our work,” says Sellman. “And of course, we want to become well known for quality, affordable art work.” If the way the clients of Arc Rehab have quickly learned the art business is any indication, they’re on the road to cultivating success.