Great artists in their own right

. June 28, 2013.
artist

Stars are born every day at Kan Du Studio in downtown Findlay—artistic, fresh and inspiring stars painted by “differently-abled” artists who express their creativity and confidence with each brush stroke.

Kan Du Studio, affiliated with the Blanchard Valley Center and Blanchard Valley Industries, opened in 2007 and moved to its downtown location at 329 South Main Street two years ago.
Approximately 38 adults with disabilities ranging from autism to cerebral palsy utilize the art studio to produce works of art that are sold to the general public. “It’s their job and they get paid for their work,” says Erika Clark, studio manager. “They may be artists with disabilities, but they are great artists in their own right.”

Kan Du artists create whatever inspires them, including jewelry, pottery, sketches, garden stakes, oil paintings and more, says Clark. But in the spirit of Flag City U.S.A., the studio’s signature items are stars constructed from aluminum printer plates donated by The Courier newspaper.

The production crew cleans and primes the plates and the artists work together to decorate and meld them into the star shape. Available in small, medium and large sizes for $30, $35 and $40 respectively, the stars can be customized based on the client’s interests. “We’ve created just about everything—from Ohio State Buckeye to Cleveland Indian stars,” says Clark.

Kan Du Studio is a fun, upbeat place to hang out. Artists create art at their own pace, taking breaks to socialize and dance. But the best part is the transformative aspect of Kan Du Studio, says Clark. Artists grow in confidence and learn about responsi- bility and accountability. “I’ve had artists cry when someone purchases their art because they are so excited and proud,” she says.

“They love Findlay and love feeling like they are a part of the community. Kan Du Studio opens up another part of life for them that they never experienced before.”

Kan Du Studio is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. For more information, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KanDuStudio.