artAbility 2014-15

Art Ability Open House stenciled on a sign of whitewashed boards.

In 2014, the University of Idaho’s Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) sponsored artAbility, a student-led project entitled "Creativity without Limitations." The project was created to encourage adults with disabilities to express themselves through participation in art workshops with local art instructors and University of Idaho student volunteers. CDHD hosted an Open House on April 30, 2015 to present the artwork to the public and give them a chance to meet the artists.

Project Partner

  • University of Idaho Arts at Idaho: Student Arts-Fee Grants

Project Director

Ashley Kuznia, currently a junior (2015) at the University of Idaho, is majoring in psychology with a minor in art. As an intern and trainee at the Center on Disabilities and Human Development, Ashley was given the opportunity to brainstorm and secure funding for the artAbility program. In the near future, Ashley plans to attend graduate school to eventually become a licensed psychologist with a specialization in art therapy.

Student Involvement

Students at the University of Idaho had the opportunity to volunteer as art-workshop assistants. Prior to volunteering, they attended a mandatory one-hour instructional seminar on how to interact with and assist individuals with disabilities, facilitated by Dr. Matthew Wappett at the Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD).

In total, 17 University of Idaho students attended a volunteer training and 15 different students were able to volunteer at one or more of the six workshops provided.

Through these workshops, students got the chance to interact with individuals who have disabilities as well as assist them in their artistic process.

Ashley Kuznia, artAbility Project Director.
CDHD student volunteers receiving disability training from Dr. Matt Wappett, CDHD Associate Director.

artAbility Workshops

Participants with instructor Aaron Johnson at Heron's Hideout.

Outdoor Oil Painting with Aaron Johnson

In these two workshops, participants worked outdoors at Heron’s Hideout to learn about observational sketching before transferring their image onto canvas and painting with oil paints. Photos from the Outdoor Oil Painting Workshop.

Watercolor and Alcohol Inks with Lianne Wappett

In these two workshops, participants experimented with multiple textures and tools to create abstract artwork with the use of felt squares, straws and droppers in addition to brushes on Yuppo paper. Participants also got to make an ornament to take home with them for the holidays. Photos from the Watercolor and Alcohol Inks Workshop.

Participants with instructor Liann Wappett in the Watercolor and Alcohol Inks class.
Participants with instructor David Herbold in the Wood Sculptures class.

Wood Sculptures with David Herbold

In these two workshops, participants painted, decorated and assembled hanging sculptures from wood shapes and found objects in addition to creating animal and robot sculptures using string art, pre-cut wood, paint and rope. Photos from the Wood Sculptures Workshop.