artAbility 2015-16

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

artAbility is a student-led project supported by the University of Idaho’s Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) in collaboration with the Idaho Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN), Moscow Chapter. The project was created in 2014 to encourage adults with disabilities to express themselves through participation in art workshops with local art instructors and University of Idaho student volunteers. Over 200 pieces of art were created during six art-workshops in 2015-16. Eighty of those pieces were on display at the CDHD hosted Open House on April 25, 2016 to present the artwork to the public and give them a chance to meet the artists.

Project Partner

  • University of Idaho 2015-16 Student Arts-Fee Grants
  • Stepping Stones

Project Director

Ashley Kuznia, currently a senior at the University of Idaho, will be graduating in May 2016 with her B.S. in Psychology. As an intern and trainee at the Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD), Ashley was given the opportunity to brainstorm and secure funding for the artAbility project in 2014. She has since been accepted to the University of Kansas and will be attending in the fall to pursue her M.S. in Counseling Psychology.

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 Jen Magelky-Seiler, a member of the Idaho Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN).

In total, 28 University of Idaho students attended a volunteer training this year and 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 varying skills and abilities in addition to assisting them in their artistic process.

Ashley Kuznia, artAbility Project Director.

artAbility Workshops

Participants with instructor Lauren Mccleary in the classroom.

Paper Collage with Lauren Mccleary

In these two workshops, participants learned how to use paper as a medium for color in addition to practicing forms of balance in a composition through collage and construction of accordion books. Photos from the Paper Collage Workshop.

Watercolor with Aaron Johnson

In these two workshops, participants experimented with varying tools to create diverse textures and patterns while also studying still life objects to represent in both realistic and abstract form. Photos from the Watercolor Workshop.

Instructor Aaron Johnson demonstrating technique in the Watercolor 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.