This is the last day to check out an exhibit of work from a group of some very uniquely talented artists.
Celebration of Abilities is the annual show by members of the Alberta Artists with Brain Injury Society. The AABIS is the non-profit group that promotes the art of brain injury survivors, helping raise community awareness about acquired brain injuries and the therapeutic benefits of doing art for those people who have those injuries.
Organizer Rebecca Mullen said that the 11-year-old organization arose out of necessity.
“It was started because a number of us noticed that once you go through the hospital – the Glenrose or whatever – there's nothing out there. So we wanted to have some continuation of our therapy,” she said. “It used to be that people had more time in the hospitals to do art. Then, with funding cuts, their time in the art room is a lot shorter. They don't get to see the benefit because it's not overnight. That's been a bit of an issue.”
“We found that art is very therapeutic not only with eye-hand coordination and a lot of our things: socially, emotionally, physically… there's all these benefits of doing art. We just love doing it anyway.”
That was the reasoning behind starting the society, so “people in the same boat” could get together. It was such a good idea at first that word spread so far aloft that membership requests were coming in from some unexpected places like Arizona and England. That's when they realized that they should add the word “Alberta” to the group's name.
Any Albertan with a brain injury can be a member. The society hosts weekly art talks for brain injury survivors on Thursdays at the Nina Haggerty Centre as well.
“We're here to stay. We're serious about this.”
This art event features the art of the society's 20 or so members although that number fluctuates. It's a good tie-in to Brain Injury Awareness Month as it shows how much those with these injuries have to offer. The group participates in other shows throughout the year as well.
“We found last year that we had three different exhibits going on simultaneously!”
In addition, The Nina sells AABIS art cards from its gift shop. Each artist receives 80 per cent of the sales. It helps to promote the organization and “it gives the artists a little bit of money.”
AABIS also has a YouTube page that offers video tutorials on art techniques. That can be found at www.youtube.com/AABISorg.
NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile". The St. Albert Gazette welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to delete comments deemed inappropriate. We reserve the right to close the comments thread for stories that are deemed especially sensitive. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher.