Work Activity Center gives adults with disabilities a chance to create

Aug 24, 2022, 7:10 PM | Updated: 9:29 pm

In order to get good at something, you have to practice.

A lot.

“I started when I was a little girl,” Katelyn Pugmire said as she was putting the finishing touches on a horse painting. “I start with one line.”

The artwork Pugmire has painted through the years shows she has put in the work.

A lot of it.

“I don’t know. It just became a natural talent,” she said.

For her, it’s more the act of painting, rather than the outcome, that’s truly special.

“Sometimes, even when I listen to music while I work, it broadens up an inspiration and just lets me drift,” she said. “It expands my imagination.”

Pugmire was painting her picture at the Work Activity Center in West Valley.

It’s a place for any adult living with a disability to do activities and have fun with others.

About 80 people take part in different activities like painting, dancing, puzzles, etc.

Some of the paintings done by people in the creative arts program are stunning.

“For people who don’t have a great vocabulary or vocal ability, any way that they’re able to express their feelings, their emotions, their wants, their needs, is important,” Shannon Fournier, who is the director of strategic advancement for the Work Activity Center, said. “Especially some of those deeper feelings that are heard to express even in words, they’re able to put on canvas or on paper.”

For example, one painting in the room shows a dried lakebed with a dead tree in the middle.

That artist wanted to express his thoughts on climate change.

“That’s kind of scary and that’s exactly what that says,” Fournier said while looking at the painting.

That painting, and the others, will be sold next week during an art show to help fund the creative arts program here.

The annual “Expressions of Us” art show will be held at the Viridian Center in West Jordan on Tuesday, August 30th, from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

The Work Activity Center relies on donations and fund raising to pay for art supplies for its creative arts program.

“We like to buy quality stuff so our individuals can use quality stuff,” Fournier said.

For Pugmire, she says she’s happy to do her part in making sure this program continues.

Her horse painting is one of a handful or pieces she painted for this art show and sale.

“Yes, these are my babies,” she said with a smile. “This is a good way to say this is what I can do. Please allow me to show you more.”

All that practice wasn’t for nothing.

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Work Activity Center gives adults with disabilities a chance to create