Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman, a graduate of Alberta College of Art & Design, is a practicing artist with 11 years of residential, vocational and recreational experience in rehabilitation. (17 pictures) Read more about Paul at the bottom of the page.
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Where Anything Is Possible:

Working with a variety of care providers and arts organizations, I have had the privilege of creating art-making experiences for people with developmental disabilities. Artistic expression and experimentation is a valuable component in the life of any person. Creating art is an opportunity for reflection, a chance to explore ideas and feelings. The process engages problem-solving abilities, aesthetic sensibilities, and enables the development of a personal style or voice.

As facilitator in the studio, often my challenge is to adapt the media, the approach or the environment to suit the abilities of an individual. Exposure to all kinds of media is important, as all artists respond to some media more than others. Exploration is vital to developing a voice of one’s own.

I have learned that successful art making requires a sense of autonomy and authority. An empowered artist is the only one who knows where yellow goes on the canvas, or what pieces of wood to glue together. No one should feel that his or her choices are less valid than anyone else’s.

Artists deserve to be given genuine praise for creating, persevering, trying something new, innovating, sharing, and for being inspired by and inspiring others. Public exhibitions of work are a wonderful way to provide this encouragement beyond the studio, and are an essential part of the artistic process.

Through my teaching, I am continually rewarded by the innovative approaches to image and object making that these developing artists bring. I am often required to shed the baggage (acquired at art school) that I unwittingly bring to the studio. There are more ways of approaching paint, brush and paper than you might think!

When you create an environment where people are given the opportunity to make and solve their own problems, to experience a sense of accomplishment and to feel the pride of creation anything becomes possible.