Creating in Art at Farber

The silence in the Farber Center tonight is almost eerie; the building is usually roaring with life, but on this Monday night, the Soul Cafe’ is closed and the resident Soul Studio artists had already gone home.  

The artists creating art tonight are concentrating very hard on their work. It is the last day of the Art at Farber winter session and the artists are busy finishing up their projects.  Around the room there are large triangular roll around displays, each displaying art from a different artist in the program.

Hailey Reinke next to her Wall of Art

Hailey Reinke next to her Wall of Art

Meeting the artists

Program participant and artist, Hailey Reinke, is a bold and seemingly uninhibited young lady.  She wears two beautiful shoulder length french braids in her hair and a blue and gray t shirt.  When she talks about her time in the Art at Farber program there is a smile on her face.  Hailey describes her project called All About Hailey as a paper collage that features sketches and drawings of her and her thirteen year old cousin. She also explains that she used painting markers for some of her art pieces.  After the winter session, Hailey plans to return for the spring session of Art at Farber.

Hailey, Elizabeth and Alexa working on their art projects

Hailey Reinke, Elizabeth Brinkerhoff and Alexa Morris working on their art projects

Making it work

Hailey is working at a table with two other young ladies. Alexa Morris is drawing a large sketch with colored pencils as she uses a photograph as a reference for her work.  Elizabeth Brinkerhoff shows off her wall of art proudly as she explains what the images and painting are all about. “I like spooky things.” She says.

There was a handful of printed pictures of dark and spooky images, like spider webs and silhouetted trees, with an almost-completed painting on canvas of Dracula in the center of the prints. When she is asked about the printed images she replies, “Oh they were supposed to go into the background of my painting. All of this stuff was originally supposed to be part of the portrait, but I did it differently.”

She talks about how her original idea did not work out and that Brian Kavanaugh, the Gallery Director for the Soul Studio, helped her with another idea. He had set up her canvas and a projector to project an image onto the canvas so Brinkerhoff could transfer her vision to the painting, “I liked tracing it with the projector for the background and then putting it all together.”

Adam working in studio

Adam Reinke and Jaime Whitener in the Soul Studio

Assisting with the artist’s vision

Helping the artists create their vision is one of the reasons why Jamie Whitener volunteers here.  “I’ve been doing this for about 4 weeks now and I love it! Especially this new facility, it’s perfect for me because I love art. I love helping people with art and being able to volunteer here, it’s really awesome.” He explains.

When asked about the program and how it all works he replied, “It’s like, ‘what do you want to make?’ and usually they know exactly what they want to do for that day and they do it. We just go with the flow. They get paints out if they want to paint; get pencils out if they want to do pencils.” He says. “Sometimes, like when we made the paper mache, [all of the artists participate in that project] because that is something that is harder to do. Harder to set up, but it’s really chill.”

Adam and Jamie in studio

Adam Reinke and Jamie Whitener pose together in the studio

Artistic Voices

This evening Jamie is assisting Adam Reinke, Hailey’s twin brother and fellow artist in this program.  “He enjoys looking at books and drawing the pictures he likes, but with his own take on it. Like, this whole wall here, is his stuff and you can see it’s Disney Characters, but they are really colorful and kind of stylized.” Jamie said when asked about Adam’s work.

“I am all done with Mickey Mouse.” Adam tells Jaimie.

“It looks good.” Jamie replies.

Adam says that he enjoys painting because he likes to make pictures of movie characters. “Yeah he’s really good at those.” Jaime chimes in.

Adam asks Jamie for another piece of paper so he can draw another picture and as Jamie gets a sheet for him, it becomes clear that the kids in the room are not just participants in a program, but artists. They each created a wall of art in their time in the program and they are proud of their work. They are encouraged to use their own artistic style and to experiment with different mediums to find their artistic voice. This group of young people can sometimes struggle to communicate, but this evening they show a lot of expression and emotion in their art.

The Spring session of Art at Farber is starting up soon! If you are interested to learning more about this program or the other’s that we offer, you can read about them at www.friendshipcircle.org/programs.

Probing the Limits

by Rabbi Yaakov Pole How does a person manage to become ‘ahead of their time’? Do they possess…

Friendship Circle Holds Social Distancing Graduation Parade

June 9, 2020 Social distancing parade visits students with special needs to congratulate those graduating elementary, middle, and…

Therapists Offer Tips for Surviving the (Expanded) Stay-at-Home Order

Local psychotherapists are seeing a lot of patients dealing with increased anxiety. Novel coronavirus. COVID-19. Self-quarantine. Social distancing….

UMatter’s Teen Mental Health Program Continues Online

The stay-at-home order was issued during the spring session, so participants of the Teen Talks have been unable…

Friendship Circle’s Lessons for Life Volunteer Cookie Koblin Shares Her Story

Koblin is a regular face at Friendship Circle, and plans to stay as long as she can. Cookie…

Friendship Circle’s Lessons for Life Offers Real-World Experience in State-of-the-Art-Village

Friendship Circle’s Weinberg Village teaches kids with special needs critical skills in a safe environment. Imagine a place…