Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Despite Disabilities, They Feel 'The Power of A.R.T.'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Despite Disabilities, They Feel 'The Power of A.R.T.'

Article excerpt

Byline: TANYA PEREZ-BRENNAN, The Times-Union

King Cannon knew exactly what kind of painting technique he wanted to use.

It was the drip, pour method. Once he had decided to cover the canvas in bright green paint, he knew red was his next move.

But as messy as that sounds, his hands were never covered in paint. In fact, he wasn't even near the canvas. But he was busy focusing on what kind of painting he wanted to create.

"Sometimes I think about it first," Cannon said, as he sat in his wheelchair.

He was watching Diana Le Munyon bring his art alive.

Le Munyon was the one covered in paint, her jeans splashed with dabs of red and yellow. Her finely manicured red nails clasped the Styrofoam cup of red paint, poised to fall on the canvas wherever Cannon saw fit.

Cannon is one of five artists who use a special technique to create art, even though they are severely limited by physical disabilities. The methods include having a helper called a tracker and sometimes using a special laser to direct the tracker's movement.

The artists will have 20 works on exhibit in a show called "The Power of A.R.T." opening tonight at the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art.

Artistic Realization Technologies, or A.R.T., was created by Tim Lefens, a New Jersey-based artist.

Lefens went to The Arc Jacksonville's Medically Fragile Program last year to train people in using A.R.T. methods.

George Kinghorn, chief curator and deputy director of JMOMA, sat in on a session and was intrigued by the process and the art that resulted.

"Many of the pieces are abstract but exhibit great use of color and brush stroke," Kinghorn said. "I was impressed by the whole spirit of the project."

After Lefens trained the staff, the students adopted different artistic techniques, said Diane Halverson, who sits on the non-profit's board.

And although a tracker like Le Munyon is there to help, every decision that goes into making the art comes from the participants, Halverson said. …

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