Square Foot Chat with Nikole and Russell
March is a busy time at The Arts of Life! In addition to it being Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, it is also the start of our 6th Annual Square Foot Show. The theme of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is "Life Side by Side", which perfectly fits the Square Foot Show since it's a great example of inclusion and different communities coming together. North Shore artists Nikole and Russell sat down to chat about the Square Foot Show and what it means for the community at large.
Nikole Heusman (NH): The show premiers around different artists from all over the country and they come and they submit their art, and artists who have disabilities they do a square foot piece.
Russell Copenharve (RC): People can come and see our artwork. More people come work with us. More people show artwork. Maybe they’ll come work with us, together.
NH: I think it shows our specialties on our art. It shows how people who have disabilities are people too—without disabilities and with. They can put their expression, how they feel, about heir art on paper or on canvas. It shows how they feel. We met a lot of different artists who are not part of The Arts of Life. We met some people who came to the show who wanted to come back to The Arts of Life.
RC: And our neighbors come over here. All the people came over here. They enjoyed it. They liked it. All different people. Chicago people, city people, all over the place. I wasn’t scared. I showed people my artwork. Made a speech. We had a good time. And she made a speech [referencing NH]. I made the speech different.
NH: And make this square foot different. It helped us express our feelings through words—different speeches.
RC: And it helps make more people study our work. Make people feel they come more and more. They see our artwork show.