Downtown Art Studio Helps Adults with Disabilities Turn Passion into a Career

Erin Ziegler, age 50, is a student pursuing art classes at Santa Barbara Art Works located in downtown’s arts district. Despite the stigma often surrounding people with developmental disabilities, she is independent, socially expressive, and passionate about creating and selling her unique artwork. Through the services of UCP WORK, Inc., Erin’s employment in the field of visual arts, highlights the purpose and importance of integration and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. While at the studio, she is served with essential life skills and job training to become a professional and employable artist, and works alongside instructors and other artists from her community. What sets Santa Barbara Art Works' programs apart, is that the student “resident artists”, are encouraged to make their own choices on classes to attend and which mediums to use throughout the entire art process. “We use a variety of techniques to adapt to the individuality of each artist, so that they can be as independent in the studio as possible, and we offer assistance when needed,” describes Studio Manager, Jacob Allio, “We also provide custom made tools for artists who need physical support.”

Erin Ziegler’s artwork consists of elements of floral and fauna that are juxtaposed in abstract layers of acrylic paints. Her large canvas landscapes are described as having a “Monet-like”, impressionist quality, as if the viewer is walking through multiple fields of flowers. When visiting the studio, you’ll find that Erin shares a studio space with a fellow artist and has been selected as the Featured Artist for the Month of March for the next 1st Thursday event, which further supports the gallery’s vision towards social and community integration. For more information about Santa Barbara Art Works’ upcoming Artist Exhibition:

What: 1st Thursday, “Spring Arts Collective”. When: Thursday, March 5, 2020; Time: 5:00 - 8:00PM.

Where: Santa Barbara Art Works, 28 E. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, CA.

What: In collaboration with Downtown Santa Barbara 1st Thursday’s, Santa Barbara Art Works presents, “Spring Arts Collective”, a collection of original artwork, including landscapes, watercolors, and printmaking design, from the creative ima