April 9, 2002
Methodist Rehab gears up for annual art show featuring work of disabled artists
By Collin Johnson
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center and Goodwill Industries are searching Mississippi and nearby states for disabled artists interested in entering the 14th annual Goodwill Art Show being held at the Jackson hospital.
Methodist Rehab will be collecting artwork by disabled artists until Friday, April 12. The art will hang in the hospital’s halls and be judged May 13. The overall winner receives a $1,000 award. Disabled students will receive awards from a $250 purse and local disabled artists will serve as judges.
“We always get excited around here when the artwork starts arriving,” said Sandra Walker, director of volunteer services at Methodist Rehab. “And this year we want more entries than ever before so we’re asking all disabled artists to participate.”
The Goodwill contest has grown every year its been held. From 1998 to 2002, it doubled in number of entries from 71 to more than 150.
This year, Goodwill Industries and Methodist Rehab are being joined by Very Special Arts of Mississippi, a local division of an international body dedicated to creating learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities.
“All of the art is for sale,” Walker added. “And the artist receives all of the money from the sale.”
Disabled artists have always been recognized at Methodist Rehab. The hospital’s gift shop houses an art gallery that displays their work year round. But each year from April to June, art from all over the state lines the halls leading from the two-story atrium mall to the hospital’s cafeteria.
“Many entrants are patients or former patients who have found a talent they didn’t know they had,” said Walker. “It’s great for anyone’s self esteem, but it’s especially so when you’ve lost the use of legs, arms or eyes. Having your art hanging on the walls for everyone to see is therapeutic.”
The awards will be held May 19 and art will continue to hang at the hospital until June 10.
Disabled artists just wishing to drop off artwork can do so at the front of the building without having to park, Walker said. “Just tell the receptionist what you’re doing.”