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Give to ART WITH HEART Fundraiser to Support Art Instruction for Artists with Disabilities

Brian MacLaren is both a resident artist and employee at Santa Barbara Art Works, UCP WORK, Inc.’s arts business and integrated arts program serving artists with disabilities. He has worked within the studio at least three years and was hired for his talent and experience as a watercolor artist, as well as, his knowledge of beginning to intermediate art techniques. “I knew I wanted to teach in some way, but I didn’t have a formal background or training in art instruction prior to working at Santa Barbara Art Works…I am grateful for the opportunity UCP WORK, Inc. has provided me,” said Brian. “I learn as I go and thankfully, the program allows me a lot of freedom to teach in a way that works for both my students and my own personal growth.”

Brian is currently working on developing a template for a more consistent class curriculum and finding better ways to break down his lessons so that they compliment the individual strengths of each student. He gets his inspiration from being in the outdoors or even going to the local grocery store, and recently had the students work on watercolor studies of both trees and autumn fruit.

“My primary goal is to help the students increase their chances of selling their work, so I really enjoy teaching color theory, which is the study of complimentary colors to make things more appealing. I also encourage students to develop their own style, not to just copy the teacher’s work, so that their artwork is more original to potential buyers.”

Brian has learned a lot about teaching individuals with disabilities and leading art classes while working at Santa Barbara Art Works. His biggest take away has been how to better read his students’ emotions, be less critical of his own and others’ work, and best ways to give positive and constructive feedback. “I feel really comfortable teaching and exhibiting my work at Santa Barbara Art Works…I can be myself here, especially being around other artists with disabilities.”

Please help UCP WORK, Inc. continue to employ Brian MacLaren with the job he enjoys and help us give the gift of art instruction to the many students served in the Integrated Arts Program. Give today or on #GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, at

For more information about Santa Barbara Art Works and to view Brian MacLaren’s portfolio, visit the gallery M-F 8:00AM-4:00PM.

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