November 30, 2004

Wheelchair art exhibit opens this Friday at SIUC

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -A new form of creative expression debuts on Friday, Dec. 3, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Student Center."From Our Perspective: An Exhibit of Wheelchair Art," is the inaugural art exhibit from SIUC's Touch of Nature Environmental Center. The large-format, acrylic-on-masonite paintings are the creation of campers in wheelchairs who participated in the Camp Little Giant 2004 summer residential program. The display runs through Jan. 28.

A matted and framed picture of each of the wheelchair artists, along with a brief biography, will accompany each painting. The artists are from Anna, Chicago, Mount Carmel, Marion, Wyanet, Des Plaines, Centralia, Evanston, Wheaton and Jacksonville.

Touch of Nature has been the site of Camp Little Giant for more than 50 years. The camp offers residential summer camp opportunities to people with physical and cognitive disabilities.

An opening reception, underwritten and hosted by Chartwell's Food Service, is set for 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday in the Student Center's Art Alley. The event is free and open to the public.

Reproductions of the wheelchair art are available in the form of greeting cards. They are available in packets of six for $12 or in packets that include two of each of the six cards, plus a bonus card, for a total of 13 cards for $25. All packets include envelopes that are color coordinated to match the cards. All proceeds will go to support Camp Little Giant.

To learn more about the greeting cards and to find the order form, go to

Associated Lumber and Hobby Lobby, both in Carbondale, donated materials for the wheelchair art pieces and the display in the Student Center.

Serving others is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Photo provided