Gallery connects people with and without disabilities

August 5, 2012 (TINLEY PARK, Ill.)

Garden Gallery and Studio is located in Tinley Park.

It is part of Garden Center Services, a not-for-profit organization serving people with developmental disabilities.

Gerry Beagles is the executive director.

"We had this building and we thought you know let's open up an art studio/gallery that would be a location for people both with developmental disabilities and people without from the community to create art and to be together," said Beagles.

They opened in May.

The studio in back is where artists with developmental disabilities from garden center services work.

Ray Campbell is one of the art assistant.

"Our folks can just make something beautiful almost out of nothing it just kind of shows you that there's a lot that they can do and come up with," said Campbell.

Some of their art work gets selected for the gallery.

"We kind of go through piece by piece and we just kind of sit down with them and just kind of look at it and you can kind of know right away if it's something that should you know we think should be hung up and put out for display to be sold or not," said Campbell.

All items in the gallery are for sale.

"For the people we support and the art they create they get you know thirty percent thirty or forty percent of the revenue directly and then the other amount comes back to the agency... and every penny that is made from the painting you know from the other pieces that we sell come back to the agency to support our programs," said Beagles.

Artist John McBride has two watercolors paintings hanging in the gallery.

"I love it; it's beautiful... it's hard to believe that you know this is from nothing almost. All the people came together and loaned pieces are offered and gift pieces," said McBride.

Art and music classes are also offered to people in the community for a fee.

"The general picture is that we want to be very inviting and welcoming we've got a cafe area its wife there are books that people can buy and you know take with them we just want to be a place where people of all you know backgrounds and experiences and skill levels can hang out together and enjoy each other," said Beagles.

Garden Gallery and Studio website

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