Pieces of HeART is a creative art expression program of Upstate Cerebral Palsy, featuring artistic works in a variety of media. Multitalented adult artists, ranging in age and ability, create art with a common goal of self expression.

Creative expression provides artists an outlet to present their thoughts and feelings and improves overall well-being. 

Pieces of HeART

One of the opportunities offered at Pieces of HeART is the A.R.T. (Artistic Realization Technologies) Program, it is an art expression program designed specifically for artists with physical challenges.

 

With A.R.T. the artists have uncompromised control of the art-making process. The techniques utilize the studio assistant as the arms and hands of the artist. It is not a matter of ‘co-creation’, but a means to offer the artist perfect individual creative control. It is imperative the studio assistant, whom is referred to as a ‘tracker’, play no role in the creative process, but allow every decision made to be that of the A.R.T. artist from start to finish.

 

Artist directives are exacting. They involve selecting size of canvas to be cut, blending of color and placement of paint on the canvas. Directives are driven by yes/no signals in response to choice menus. Trackers do not teach. They are studio assistants who realize directives from the artist. In this relinquishing of ego, the tracker is the neutral catalyst of uncompromising creative power for the artist. 

Artistic Realization Technologies - A.R.T.

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Laser Technique

The artistic realization technologies (A.R.T.) program uses a variety of techniques. One of which is the laser technique.

With the laser technique the artist points a laser across the canvas to show where they want to paint. The tracker follows the laser using the paint and brush chosen by the artist. 

Point System

Another technique within the A.R.T. program is the point system.

With the point system the artist picks points throughout the canvas and then connects them to create shapes. The tracker creates and paints in these shapes however the artist chooses.

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Based on the foundation of the A.R.T. techniques, a group of the artists in our programs have requested to explore working with adaptive paint brushes and cut out easel panels to paint their art, they have said “I want to do this myself”.

 

All of these A.R.T. techniques and adaptive brush options are continuing to be offered as choice by the trackers in all of the A.R.T. program studios. Artists also have the choice to combine A.R.T. methods with painting on their own. 

 

The new bold exploration of independence from all of these programs has opened a new door to free flowing energetic bursts of color splashing onto the canvases. Each artist can have the experience of creating art to achieve self-expression. This visually vivid art movement of life force energy can only be expressed by these artists in their own unique way.

Beyond A.R.T - Adaptive Tools

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Painting on her own

Amanda initially started painting with the laser technique, but as she grew with confidence as an artist she became determined to paint on her own.

Her determination demanded that the Pieces of HeART program grow. We began to create adapted brushes based on each artists individual needs and we cut out easel panels to make creating as accessible as possible. 

Adaptive Brushes

Adapted brushes are created with each artists unique needs in mind.

 

Some artists use a brush built up with foam around the handle, others use an extended and twisted handle created with PVC pipes. 

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Cut-out Art Panels

When artists work their piece is tacked up to a paneled easel. As more and more artists began to work on their own we needed to create a way for them to better reach their work.

This resulted in us cutting out the bottom of the panel so that artists can get close to the painting while in their wheelchairs.

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