Two Enrichment Center Participants Displayed Their Work at 11th Annual NAMI Western Massachusetts Art Show

Two ServiceNet Enrichment Center participants recently had their art work on display in the 11th Annual NAMI Western Massachusetts Art and Poetry Show. The exhibit was held at the Chicopee Public Library, a location Enrichment Center participants frequently visit as part of their day program.

Enrichment Center Program Director Rebecca Wlcek organized and encouraged participation in the art show. The art on display was also for sale as part of the annual exhibit, with one participant’s painting purchased during the show. Beyond the thrill of having their artwork displayed and purchased, Wlcek noted that it was also seeing how engaged in the art-making process the participants were that made the experience so valuable and exciting.

“The participant who sold his painting is hearing impaired and has a brain injury,” Wlcek says. “This means he doesn’t tend to be very expressive at the program. But he is an engaged person who loves to be out and about. We knew he loved art and became really invested in the process when we presented this opportunity to him. It was great to see.”

The other participant who had work on display was already considered one of the most prolific artists at the Enrichment Center. He was thrilled to be part of the show, sharing his work with a larger audience. “We went together to see it every Wednesday that it was up so that the participants could see their work and their peers could go see their friends’ art up on display. Everyone got so much joy out of it. They still talk about it.”

Wlcek says that the positive response has inspired her to look for similar opportunities moving forward. “It was amazing, and I hope to do more of this in the future,” Wlcek says.

ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center helps people with brain injuries to become more functional and engaged with others. Participants are recognized for their unique talents and are encouraged to share their knowledge with their peers. The center’s goal is to provide a fulfilling experience for participants in their journey through rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.

The NAMI Western Massachusetts Art and Poetry Show is open to anyone with a mental health diagnosis to enter.

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