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Taking Comfort in the Community of Art Classes

Taking Comfort in the Community of Art Classes

Meet Leah Keel, a student in our Community Arts Classes who has sold work in the ArtMix Gallery. Leah stumbled upon ArtMix as she was exploring the Harrison Center for the Arts where ArtMix resides. As she recalls, “the smell of clay and the hallway filled with ceramics” was something she needed to be a part of.

When we asked Leah what makes ArtMix so special, she replied, “I am disabled. I love being able to come when I am not at my best and just relax and listen to the people around me. I know I can be me. I can be forgetful, or in pain, or just having a bad day and no one cares, or stares, or peppers me with questions. This no-judgment zone is healing for my soul.”

“I am not defined by my disability, my gender, or my skin.”  —Leah Keel

Within our headquarters lies the ArtMix Gallery, an ongoing showcase of art, ability and inclusion of work created by Urban Artisans and Community Arts Classes students. Each month, the Gallery is the hub of new work by these students during the First Fridays events. Leah commented, “I have purchased ceramics created at ArtMix. The work is unique and expressive – they are a daily reminder of this organization that gave me my life back.” An exhibition of Leah’s work was held in the gallery a few years ago. “Creating and exhibiting my art (and selling it!) was a boost to my self-esteem and well-being. ArtMix helped me survive a difficult time, restored my self-assurance and led me back to a path of creativity.”