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Scottsdale Independent

'What Makes Me Me' self-portrait exhibit showcases through May


Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation examines self reflection in its exhibition, “What Makes Me Me,” through May 3, in the Center Space gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale.

Featuring a collection from four workshop series, including poetry, watercolor, acrylic, and ceramics, according to a press release, the exhibition called on members of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services and The Opportunity Tree to create self-portraits in these media, showcasing 35 artists across various media.

Catering to a community of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the project started with the idea of collaborating with the Beverly McIver exhibition: Full Circle, running at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. McIver is a caregiver to her older sister, Renee, who has IDD, the release said.

During the workshop series, STARS’ members share ongoing dialogue about themselves with professional artists who serve as facilitators and help the budding artists express their feelings through artwork. Most of the decisions about which medium to choose, colors, and approaches were left to the artists as they build self-confidence and strengthen their decision-making skills.

“During one of the workshops, one woman who didn’t talk at all in the beginning was positively chatty toward the end of it as she became more comfortable and started enjoying herself. I could see that she had gained an increased sense of herself, which was the primary goal of the exhibition,” said Laura Hales, curator of learning and innovation at Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, in the release.

Hales noted there are many different entry points to the exhibition.

“Visitors are welcome to enjoy the joyful, colorful, and expressive artwork, and they can also watch videos of some of the members of STARS. Perhaps they’ll even be inspired to learn more about this very special community,” Hales said.

An opening reception will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the gallery. “What Makes Me Me” is free and open to the public when the center is open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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