Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Random Extra Credit Dump


        I went to studio 8 ten with my mom. We entered the building and I realized what the organization was about right away. It is a place for people to go, so they do not feel different. It’s a place for people to go to so they can express them selves fully without being judged. At first I thought I would be walking in to an extremely large building. Before even seeing the place I expected It to be full of Paint and Pastel covered people drawing away. I was expecting six or seven people sketching a naked person with a large jeloantous overhanging belly. But this was not the case, I realized upon opening the door that the environment was different, I didn’t really look for people at first, I was too preoccupied with the gift shops image. Snowflakes fell from the ceiling, Glitter speckled on all edges. I then looked at the front desk. The receptionist, If that is the name for the position, was a young lady, she held a smile at me while I stared, with my glaze stuck. At that moment I realized the purpose for the building and the purpose for the extra credit assignment. I suddenly became quite nervous. I have had multiple classes with one or two mentally handicapped persons, but they where always the minority. I felt out of my element, because today it was I who was the minority.
            I greeted the receptionist and introduced my self. I expressed my reason for coming to the studio, and then asked for a tour. A young man stood up and greeted me. He had a strange accent and it was extremely hard to follow his speaking. I became lost in translation. I solely concentrated on trying to understand his words, because I felt that if I did not, I would seem to be a rude individual. I began asking questions. I asked questions about everything in the building, I was so nervous because I didn’t want to be seen as a threat that I did not talk to any one but our tour guide. He showed us amazing works of art, art that no one I have ever met would be able to duplicate. I saw a post card for the Barbary Coast, Its face was very abstract but very intriguing. It looked as if it was doesn’t by computer but I was told a man did it. I was shown paintings, some of the most beautiful abstract paintings I have seen in person. I was shown soaps, pillow, gift baskets, and any other sort of art you can imagine. I was amazed at the patients and time some of this art took to complete. I was honestly astonished.
            We walked to the back corner and I was shown chairs that where decorated with random art. Some of the paintings just looked unreal. There was even a cactus protruding from the seat of one, with sand and rocks by the base, emulating the Las Vegas desert very nicely. I still felt nervous, I felt as if I was being judged as different, because to me, I was different. The young man showed me a magazine with his picture on the cover, he smiled wide and proud, I flipped through the magazine and saw more amazing pieces of art. The detail and craftsmanship to some of these pieces were just too amazing. I felt bothered because I could tell they all were expecting my mother or me to purchase something, but neither of us had any money because we were both struggling financially as it is.
            The experience was very enlightening, because before that moment I had never felt that much like a minority in my life. I have been in situations where I was the only Caucasian person but I didn’t feel this kind of exoticness. I understand how it must feel to be perceived as different. I now understand that no matter what disabilities a person has, no matter if it is physical or mental, they can still have talent, and they can still be much better that you. This experience made me want to get back into art, just for the fact that these individuals do what they want no matter what the expectations.

11 comments:

  1. Yeah, it's always a bit of a head trip to find yourself as the minority when that rarely happens. I think it's a healthy experience for white folks though,seeing life from the other side for a bit.

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  2. I'd be nice if we could go to places that they followed the same rules...not being judged automatically.

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  3. Sounds like a really intrinsic experience :O

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  4. You know, honestly I feel that people with special needs are the ones who are lucky. Don't get me wrong it sucks that they can't lead a "normal life" but if you really think about it half the time they are or look happy with where they are and what they do. Reminds me of this guy that used to work at a local McDonalds.

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  5. Sounds like a very eye opening experience

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  6. I agree with Ciolis, us "normal" people are gloomy and depressed most of the time while they are always happy. I have a friend and he's autistic and he's always happy and smiling! We could really learn a lesson from them.

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  7. Sounds like a pretty great place.

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  8. @Walkabeast - true man, everyone should experience it, makes a guy more accepting.

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