This past Monday, Ciel Gallery and member artist Randy Leibowitz Dean hosted an art party and sing-along for UMAR arts centers students, their families and friends, and UMAR arts centers' staff. Ciel’s Scoop reporter was on location to bring you the juicy details.
It was a lively event, with high-fives, hugs and enthusiastic singing voices along with heart-felt art in a variety of mediums. Individual artists were on-hand to describe their work and to cheer when pieces were sold. “I am SOLD OUT!” said one exuberant artist. “I’d better make more art!” “Two sold, only one left,” said another, smiling broadly. “You’d better get this one while you can!” A photo album depicting the artistic journey of this group of artists was on hand for them to share, each photo reminding them of their art journey through the UMAR Arts Centers.
UMAR, “Empowering Adults with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities” was founded in 1983. Promoting inclusion, independence and growth through a variety of opportunities, the UMAR Arts Centers organizes partnerships with community artists to provide instruction to adults with disabilities. Randy Leibowitz Dean is one of UMAR’s partner artists, a beloved and gentle-spirited teacher with whom the artists at this week’s event were clearly connected. Dean teaches UMAR participants drawing, painting and related art techniques and processes during two weekly sessions at Ciel Gallery.
Dean was joined by Erin Fox, guitarist and vocalist, along with singers from the UMAR arts center. The music was delightful, and a few participants broke out into spontaneous dancing!
This week’s event was particularly significant for UMAR given last week’s winter storm, which forced postponement of the center’s largest fundraiser. County budget cuts recently reduced center funding in half, making the fundraiser critical to keeping the center open.
Has the UMAR mission touched you or someone you know? Make a donation! Visit www.umarinfo.com.
To view the work of Randy Leibowitz Dean, stop by Ciel Gallery, visit Randy’s member page at www.cielcharlotte.com
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