A local art gallery has teamed up with the state organization on Arts and Disability VSA North Dakota to provide free art education to adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Once a week students from the Anne Carlsen Center head over to Impact Gallery in Bismarck for a chance to let out their creativity at the VSA art program.

Twenty-six year old Karissa Schauer is always the first one in and last to leave art class.

“I really get into painting and when I get started I can’t stop,” Karissa Schauer, art student.

Schauer says the program is a chance for her to have fun experimenting and try new things.

[pull_quote_center]”I just really enjoy it and I love seeing my friends and I love seeing other people. I love being a part of the community,” said Schauer.[/pull_quote_center]

The class is open to people of all abilities

VSA North Dakota offers many art programs but this is the first time classes are being held in an actual art gallery.

“We do believe that these students have the ability to be good artists who can display just like they are seeing here on the walls. I think it’s very inspirational to them,” said Linda Olsrud, executive director VSA North Dakota.

And, the gallery provides a space for students to express their feelings.

“It give you an outlet to express things that are hard to express,” said Lexy Bender, art student.

The idea for Bender’s painting is based off of a tattoo with deep meaning.

Bender says it symbolizes recovery from a dark past and is happy to be able to share her story through art.

The students just finished their acrylic paintings and get to take them home.

They’ll move on to other forms of art like Calligraphy and work with clay when the four week classes resume in January.

For more information on the VSA Art Program you visit or find them on Facebook

For more information on the VSA Art Program you can visit the link on our website.


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