Studio 84’s Artist of the Month: Laurie Narad

Laurie Narad says, “When I was a little girl I always wanted to be an artist, yet I did not think it was possible until coming to Studio 84.”

Laurie thinks back to four years ago when she started coming to Studio 84, she was afraid to mix colors, and now she does it all the time with confidence. Coming to the art studio twice a week has its health benefits, too. Laurie has Cerebral Palsy and experiences a sense of relaxation when she is painting. It has also helped with the dexterity in her left hand. Laurie says art has taught her there is no one way to create something.

Laurie is currently beginning in Studio 84’s Vocational Training Programming that will assist her in developing her art as a career. She’s sold many of her notecards and coffee mugs with her art on them at local venues such as the Whitewater City Market and an art fair in Jefferson.

With the help of staff, Laurie works from a custom designed easel that makes her canvas and paints easily accessible. There is a special support board that gives her good arm a place to rest and stay steady.  She says that some days are easier than others and some days she needs someone to hold her arm still enough to be able to paint due to her Cerebral Palsy. She will let staff know if she needs a stencil or an area taped off to help guide her and prevent paint from getting where she doesn’t want it.

Laurie states that staff Ben Kelly and Intern Stacy Whetlow are very good at inventing and developing ways for students to be successful and she is very grateful to have them on board.

You can see some of her work at Studio 84’s store located at 121 W. Center St. in Whitewater, WI

Studio 84 in Whitewater is a non-profit art studio that provides experiences in the arts for the community. They specialize in the creative and vocational development of people with disabilities, including those with Autism, physical disabilities, cognitive limitations, and mental illness. The studio is open to all ages and all abilities.

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