The special art program, funded by an anonymous donor and spearheaded by Diane Misasi, former principal of the East Region Special Education Programs at Liberty, culminates in a Spring Art Show and Reception on Friday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the COE special education building on the Liberty campus. The event showcases the students’ projects as well as the art that originally inspired the entire program.
“The idea that our special-education students could make ‘real’ art – what I like to call gallery-quality art – came from The Liberty Lionassemblage piece,” said Ramona Kennon-Frink, art teacher for the program. Kennon-Frink assisted students last summer in the collection of broken and discarded objects lying around the campus – objects apparently unremarkable, even worthless, but when re-purposed expressed meaning and beauty.
The collection of “junk” was collaged together and made into a wonderful piece of art – The Liberty Lion. “This isn’t a wonderful work of art by special-needs students; it’s a wonderful work of art – period,” said Kennon-Frink. “That is what I want people to take away from this project.
“If we modify our approach to how art is created, these students can have a voice that has real impact, reflecting their unique view of the world. As human beings, we all feel the need to create. Some of us just need a little extra help.”
“Ramona brings a sense of empowerment to our students unlike anyone I’ve ever met,” said Misasi. “Last summer’s Liberty Lion project showed what could be done with one’s imagination and everyday materials. I thank Ramona for bringing such a wonderful program to East County.”
– Contributed by Diane Morrell, CCCOE