Chicago Tribune: Nature is His Inspiration, He is Ours

November 30, 2018 By mdrake

… Viau creates his artwork at Arts of Life in Glenview, a studio that supports adult artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also serves as the archivist at that studio.

“He allows the viewer to see the understructure of the work. You can see the layers that he builds into it,” said Megan Harrigan, arts coordinator at Arts of Life.

Harrigan noted that Arts of Life provides a space for the artist but they work independently.

“We have staff and volunteers who all have backgrounds in fine arts who are there to assist with needs the artist may have but staff never makes a mark on anyone’s work. Everything is made 100 percent by the artist,” Harrigan said.

The gallery where Viau’s work is displayed was created by OTR (Over the Rainbow Association) which provides accessible homes for adults with physical disabilities.

“It gives an opportunity for people to come in and see not only the artwork but to understand what we do,” said Les Russo, chief financial officer of OTR.

In addition, to painting, Viau writes poetry. He has published two books of poems and is currently working on a third one.

“He uses his artwork images in his books and he self-publishes them,” Harrigan said.

He sold four paintings at an average price of $250 each on the Nov. 9 opening night. He also sold several of his poetry books at the opening.

“Art gives meaning to my life,” Viau said. “I can share my talents with other people.”

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