“Princess” Reiko Karl had never painted or participated in any type of art class before attending Santa Barbara Art Works. Through the support of UCP WORK, Inc., she’s been coming to the Integrated Arts Program for 2 years, having started at the studio’s previous location, Sundial Artsfe. She feels the experience has really changed her life, “I used to think I was just going to end up at home doing nothing, but here at program, I get to learn all types of art, like using a grid to plan out my drawings, and how to mix and blend colors.” Reiko also stated that she appreciates the exercise she gets by walking to class and that students are given the opportunity to go out into the community for field trips.
Reiko also shared, “At Art Works, I get the opportunity to be in a classroom with students like me and I get to learn at my own pace.” She had tried going to City College in the past, but found the admission process tedious and the classes challenging to understand, but in the Integrated Arts Program, the curriculum is much easier for Reiko to follow. The art instructors focus on adapting the lessons to meet the skill-level of each artist. They teach techniques that are comparable to what can be found in a college level art class, but unlike those courses, the program at Santa Barbara Art Works is lead by teachers who are trained to understand and meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and they strive to empower confidence in everyone by welcoming an open, “no rules” perspective, to the art process.
Most times, Reiko works independently on her acrylic paintings, her medium of choice, in the studio she shares with a fellow classmate, or she has the option of working one-on-one with an instructor. She is recognized for her paintings of Japanese pandas, but has started to branch out into winery scenes and landscape paintings as part of a commissioned project for the Tri-Counties Regional Center. Reiko also appreciates the professional art supplies that Studio Manager, Jacob Allio, buys for each class, “It’s great that we get to use high quality paints here, so we can sell our work and make a living”. Reiko has sold 4 paintings with her highest valued at $300.
Please consider a donation to help artists, like Reiko, receive professional quality art supplies and college level art classes adapted to meet their unique needs at http://bit.ly/2qpbYu8-givingtues