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Participants in Community Day Services program invited to showcase artwork at Palos art gallery

Apr 4, 2023

Exhibit opens May 6 at McCord Gallery & Cultural Center; Artist's reception slated for May 19

When participants in St. Coletta’s of Illinois’ Community Day Services program put on their paint smocks, there’s no telling what’s going to appear on the artist canvases before them.


“It’s always a surprise,” said St. Coletta’s Recreational Therapist Stephanie Wingo who works with the developmentally disabled, using art therapy to improve their emotional and social well-being.


Based in Tinley Park, St. Coletta’s of Illinois provides educational and vocational training services to more than 300 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


In May, some of their artwork will be showcased at the McCord Gallery and Cultural Center in Palos Park.


“The McCord Gallery is a learning center for the arts, and we showcase the artwork of local and regional artists throughout the year,” said McCord Gallery Executive Director Linda Buchanan. “And just as with any artist, the ability to see your own works hanging in a gallery creates a sense of pride and accomplishment. We are excited to provide such an opportunity to St. Coletta’s.”


This is the first time St. Coletta’s has been invited to participate in an artist exhibit at McCord. The nonprofit submitted a proposal for a curated show last year and was thrilled when told their application had been accepted.


“When St. Coletta’s came to us with the idea of exhibiting the works of their clients, we felt it was a wonderful opportunity collaborate with another non-profit that provides a great service to the community,” said Buchanan.


At the exhibit, participants in St. Coletta’s Community Day Services program will showcase nearly two dozen acrylic pour paintings they created in art therapy. Acrylic pouring is a painting technique where the artist pours paint onto a canvas and then creates a pattern using a brush or by blowing the paint around through a straw.


Similar paintings have been shared at fundraisers, including St. Coletta’s annual Caritas Benefit, but never at an art gallery, said Wingo.


“Our clients are so proud of the artwork they create during art therapy,” she added. “Having them displayed in a local gallery for the community to see and enjoy takes the experience to a whole new level.”


The special exhibit opens May 6 at the McCord Gallery and Cultural Center, 9602 W. Creek Road, Palos Park, IL. 


The McCord Gallery is free to the public and open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.


A gallery reception is scheduled Friday, May 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., giving the artists a chance to discuss their artwork with the public. Nearly two dozen pieces will be selected for display. The last day to view St. Coletta’s artwork is June 2.

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