By Carol Marsh
GREENVILLE —Throughout the centuries, artists have gathered together and be inspired by the company of like-minded individuals. Encouragement can be a powerful motivator, giving each artist an opportunity to express his ideas, perceptions and emotions on canvas freely, among like-minded friends.
In that spirit, Greenville’s Lighthouse Club offers developmentally disabled artists an opportunity to share their passion for using their creative gifts and compose heartfelt works which speak life, love and beauty through color, light and hue.
Formed in 2019, the Lighthouse Club fosters an appreciation for all artists from all backgrounds through its motto: “Shining a light on the creative spirits of our unique abilities.” While the Lighthouse Club’s participation has grown, the COVID pandemic had impacted the group’s ability to meet monthly throughout 2020, which has only recently resumed gathering in the Art Studio at Memorial Hall.
Amanda Mote, Fine Arts Division Secretary for The Great Darke County Fair, was happy to support the group’s start-up, as a way to include children and adults with disabilities, and providing them a new opportunity to discover and explore various art media.
“When I became Fine Art Secretary, I asked the superintendent to create a special category for those with developmental disabilities, because it was important to include them,” said Mote. “When the exhibit opened, it was received very well and we had a great turn-out. It was something that everyone could get ‘on board’ with and support.”
In her current role, Mote helped implement changes in the Fine Arts Division to include exhibits for individuals with special abilities, which were well received in 2019. Because of COVID, the Fair exhibits in 2020 were postponed; however, Mote took the time off as an opportunity to focus on planning an even better exhibition experience in the Fine Arts Building for 2021.
A Sensory Friendly Room will be open daily, between the Ohio Center and the Fine Arts Building, for anyone who needs a quiet, calm room to rest. Also this year, The Great Darke County Fair 2021 will offer a “Sensory-Friendly” Afternoon on Tuesday, Aug. 25 starting at 12 noon until 2 p.m., giving sound and light-sensitive Fair-goers a chance to experience 10 rides without flashing lights or music.
“My hope was —and is —to make the Art Exhibit at the Fair more accepting and inviting, and attract people who really didn’t know that the could “do” art,” said Mote. “Many people don’t know that they can do something, like Art, until they try!”
Come and see the beautiful exhibits on display daily, Aug. 20 through 28, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., in the Fine Arts Building at The Great Darke County Fair.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for The Daily Advocate. Have an event or suggestion to share? She can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-4314.