Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zack's Art Show

This week, Zack was honored as one of a few students from his school whose art was chosen to be hung in the local art museum.



One entire gallery was set aside for art, mixed media, and sculpture from children of the mid-shore area, and I was even more thrilled for Zack when I realized this wasn't just for his school, but for an entire geographic area.  And more in a bit on why I was REALLY REALLY thrilled.



Zack has a very serious look on his face, but he said he felt a little embarrassed.  However, I think it's safe to say he has nothing to be embarrassed about.  This is his art, an African landscape.





Now, beyond my amazement at the various things Zack did to make this painting, you have to understand -- this is a child who until Kindergarten couldn't even physically hold a crayon without crying that it hurt his hand.  It was all a sensory thing.  He's always hated coloring books, preferring to scribble on paper on his own, but for a long, long time, I wondered if he would ever be able to make shapes.  Due to his sensory and physical delays as a toddler, things that came easily to most came with a lot of tears to him.


For instance, just the feel of finger paint was murder to Zack.  This was a child who couldn't stand to put his hands in anything gritty, dirty, sticky, slimy -- nothing at all that had a sensory change.  For months and years we worked with him with varying degrees of success, and I read every book on Sensory Integration Disorder I could.  And then one day, I was able to teach him how to hold a brush, and tolerate paint.  



Most parents would look at that picture and just see a happy kid painting.  I look at that picture and see a happy kid doing something he'd fought and cried over and refused to try.

When I look at that picture, I remind myself that we are all, inside, somewhere, a little kid afraid to try something new.  Something that may look easy as pie, something as simple as just sitting down and DOING it, can be frightening to some of us for some unknowable reason.
 



Time to get your fingers paint-y, your brushes glopped with color, a brand new box of crayons out. 

Time to believe you can do it.

Time to be able to accept it if you CAN'T.

Because if you CAN'T do it, there's always another lovely thing to try right around the corner.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

42 comments:

  1. Wow! That is a wonderful painting!!! Zack is very talented!

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  2. Wow! That is a wonderful painting, Zack! I'm sure your Mom and Dad are very proud of you!

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  3. Wow that is awesome! I had never heard of that disorder. Is it still a struggle for him? I really like his painting. It keeps your attention and has a balance to it that is interesting. I love those tree tops. Very cool! Good job Zack!

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  4. What a beautiful story and what an awesome painting! Zack should be very proud to have his work hung in the company of Jacob Lawrence! He is a favorite of mine! Way to go Zack!

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  5. What a beautiful story! Love the painting, too.

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  6. That is an awesome painting. He did a great job.

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  7. Looks like cute little Zack got his mommy's creative talent. Fantastic painting!

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  8. What a great painting. he got the antelopes just right and the sky...wow!. There is so much we take for granted in the world, I am glad your family was able to overcome his sensory disorder, he is on his way to becoming a talented artist. Looking forward to seeing more of his work.

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  9. Congratulations to Zack.
    An awesome painting indeed young man.

    And congratulations to you mom for nurturing your child to overcome fears.

    You should both be PROUD.

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  10. Zack that is an incredible painting! I love it! You did a wonderful job, way to go!

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  11. A Big Congrats to Zack! I totally understand where you're coming from with the sensory issues. What a huge accomplishment for both of you!

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  12. Zack's art is terrific! Way to go Z-man!

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  13. Very good painting. That's great that he used different techniques. Zack, you are very talented! Love your painting.

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  14. Just one word for that... LOVE! Zack is a lucky boy to have a Mama with so much of it ~~T

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  15. Thank you again, Lori, for your words of wisdom. I'm taking them to heart in this whole blog development I'm working on. I keep telling myself that "trying is lying" and I'm either doing it or I'm not. Then I go on a head trip that's no fun at all. I think that the next time that happens, I'll come back here, see Zack's incredible picture, and read what you have to say. It made me feel courageous.

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  16. I am very impressed at his work. For a second grader, whether he had issues early on or not, he is definitely very talented. Love the animals, they look pretty real to me.

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  17. Congratulations Zack! Love the antelope!

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  18. That painting is just fabulous - until you read the whole story - then it gets a whole new dimension. Congratulations to Zack - for mastering the difficulties, for having his work chosen to be exhibited and for creating a work of art that is utterly beautiful!!!

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  19. I too, had never heard of this disorder until now. It is a credit to him and to his parents who have helped him to overcome this hurdle in his life. He is clearly a talented and artistic boy.

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  20. Zach did some great artwork! I love the way the sky looks especially.

    My son had some of the same sensory issues when he was younger. We had him tested but didn't get a diagnosis until he was diagnosed with Aspergers as a teenager.

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  21. Besides that the painting is beautiful, you have an amazing and talented kid. If he is a fighter at this age, we will reach as far as he desires.
    I can see why you are so proud of your not so little Zack.
    He is a lucky boy for having such a mum. And it looks like he has taken after your artist talent!!
    Hugs your way.(For both of you)

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  22. Such a beautiful painting, I completly love the colors! Zack your amazing just like your mum!

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  23. One person's hill can be another person's mountian .
    As a mother of a child with bi-polar disorder I can appreciate the thrill of victory at each accomplishment.
    Zack has not just over come an obstacle . He is an AMAZING artist !
    I truly am in awe !
    This is a Wonderful piece of ART !!!
    Way to go Zack!!!!!!!
    m.e. :)

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  24. Lori - you both have every reason to be proud - that's a great achievement on Zack's part and IMHO he has some real talent! I'd say he has a great eye for colour and texture. Love it!

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  25. Lori what an awesome picture you made Zack, very inspiring!

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  26. Congratulations Zack, what an honor to have you work recognized!

    Several friends and I just paid a lot to learn from Jesse Reno what Zack is doing instinctively. You should have him look him up, he'd relate I think. Great video on his website.

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  27. Awesome! Zack's talent totally rocks!
    It's interesting, recently I was reading a post over at Boho Girl and Denise was saying the same thing about their boy, Cedar, not liking the texture thing with his hands, having problems with paints, etc.
    You both are such patient moms and that seems to be the answer, just look at the results!

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  28. Without even knowing a thing about Zach, I would have picked his painting out as wonderful, from his interpretation of trees to the line drawings to the swirls in the sky. It's really a very nice painting! Congratualations, Zach!!!!

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  29. Zack's painting is awesome! I would proudly display it :) He is working though some difficult things and gives me lots of inspiration! I have a 2nd grader too :)

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  30. Yeaaahhh Zach!...congratulations, the art work is awesome! Lori, I think you have a picasso on your hands!

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  31. Before I scrolled down and read the full story, I was prepared to leave a comment truthfully appreciating that little mans' beautiful art. It is a lot more sophisticated than anything I have ever managed to paint/ draw, and I honestly admire it. Knowing his love- hate relationship with paint, I am even ore in awe at his talent, eye for colours and detail and altogether (sorry if I stretch out an overused word) whimsical approach. Nicely done, mate. Darn good job.

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  32. That's a great painting...I would never have guessed that a second grader did it, especially the antelopes. My son had sensory issues when younger as well, and he's learned to deal with them as he's gotten older. I think it's great when you can see what wonderful thing kids accomplish as they overcome their challenges.

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  33. Great job, Zack! I love the colors! You deserve to have your painting exhibited in an Art Gallery! That is so exciting! Keep working on your talent, you never know where it will take you. Hope to see more of your work on mom's blog soon! Have a great week!

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  34. What a wonderful way to cultivate creativity and a passion for art. He is quite the artist. Move over Lori, Zack's on your heels.

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  35. Congratulations Zack! It really is a beautiful painting. I hope you keep on doing what you enjoy!

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  36. Kudos to Zack - his painting is very cool! And his ability to overcome is awesome! Awesome kid!

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  37. Congrats to Zack, the budding artist! His painting is really cool - love the watercolor addition. This is one of many proud moments for him - one day you'll be able to remind him of how his art was displayed.

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  38. I'm tearing up over here. Oh, Zack, your momma's so proud of you and it shows!

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  39. Lori Always such Wisdom!! What a wonderful picture..look at the drawing its so intresting..what a clever little guy that is a really great picture!

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  40. zack's painting is amazing i love that sky

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  41. What a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL post. I got a little teary even. Zack's painting is amazing. Thank you for sharing this!

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