Creativity is innately a part of all of us. Art enhances everyone's quality of life, and strengthens our communities. Art Rocks is a program hosted by The Dreaming Bear in Marion, Iowa, in collaboration with Options of Linn County, which gives adults with developmental disabilities a chance to express themselves through art. Artists spend time with others, working on various projects such as painting furniture (their favorite thing to do!), creating sculptures and paper crafts. Selected art pieces are further developed by owner, Dori, put on display and sold. Proceeds are reinvested in the Art Rocks program, providing more art supplies to continue. The artists gain a sense of worth and accomplishment, knowing they have helped to create and object of beauty and value. We have already had so many success stories in our studio. There are folks who were not able to focus on one task more than 10 minutes at a time, who are working feverishly with a paintbrush for an hour or more. There is a gentleman who barely spoke or looked me in the eye in the beginning, and now he smiles, giggles, and gives me hugs before he leaves. I truly believe we are broadening their world.
A frequently asked question is, "How can I help?"
The answer, a number of ways:
Purchase Art Rocks products, which are available in our store, The Dreaming Bear, 720 11th Street, Marion, Iowa 319-373-7070. The selection is always changing!
Sponsor an artist! A $20 artist sponsorship can easily buy the supplies needed to complete one or two fairly large projects! As a sponsor, you will be notified when your piece has been completed. You will have the opportunity to stop by and take a look at the project, purchase it, or put it into our inventory for someone else to purchase and enjoy.
Donate gently used or unfinished furniture for us to paint! We are always looking for the following, in good condition: (Please, nothing that needs repair.) Small tables, coffee tables, old windows, wooden footstools, bar stools, chairs, and small decorative items, such as wooden bowls, picture frames, candlesticks, serving trays, etc.
Soon, we hope to have a volunteer program put into place, so you can work with us in the studio, either working right along with us, or assisting with prep work.
Our goals for the future are:
To increase the number of artists we have visiting our studio in one week's time.
To create enough art pieces to support several small gallery showings a year, which will help us raise awareness.
To purchase additional equipment that will broaden our range of products sold. We hope to start working on pottery, and fabric items soon.
Thank you for supporting this valuable program! We appreciate it so much! If you have any thoughts, questions, ideas, please go to our Contact Us page, and email or call us anytime.