The Help Group Art Show - March 20, 2010

SANTA MONICA, California - Bear Givers got a dose of West Coast sunshine on March 20, when we visited Santa Monica, CA to sponsor an Art Show for the students of The Help Group. Founded in 1975, The Help Group serves children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, mental retardation, abuse and emotional problems.

The show was held in recognition of National Autism Awareness Month at the James Gray Gallery, one of many art destinations located in the Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica. Aptly titled "Through Our Eyes: A Celebration of Young Artists", it featured dozens of vibrant paintings from The Help Group students, thrilled that their works were on display in such close proximity to those of professional artists'.

These Art Shows provide a rich outlet for students to develop their artistic capabilities, in addition to giving them confidence with the knowledge that their work will benefit their school. For some, the possibilities are endless once given a paintbrush. When asked where she drew her inspiration from, one girl said that "the image floated into her mind when looking at the blank canvas." Another boy said that he felt like he was "the light in a dark world" while painting.

Children and parents alike beamed with delight as red stickers were placed next to paintings, indicating that they had been sold. With the turnout as large as it was, students are sure to reap the rewards of their creative pursuits, which will be on display until April 18th. We would like to thank gallery owners Heidi and James Gray for the space, along with Dr. Barbara Firestone, John Farrimond, the Art teachers and the staff of The Help Group for helping to coordinate this event.

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