I entered the Art Contest for young people with disabilities at the last minute. It was crazy doing the Made Fair and getting everything done for that contest but we did it!
The theme was `The Journey.’ The essay is too long but I copy parts of it for you to read. Along with photos of the pieces I submitted. Enjoy!
I wrote about how I `journeyed’ into the pot holder business; how my Mom put her hands on mine and made the pot holder at the beginning; and how gifts for teachers moved into actually selling them around town.
My tandem bicycle was my first major purchase. The tandem has opened up `The Journey’ experience to us. Some `journeys’ are simple as riding to the library or the post office; others are opportunities to exercise and get out of the city to enjoy the natural beauty around Missoula.
I `journeyed’ into the fiber arts for my Senior Project. I took a weaving class at Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners Conference. At the Conference I bought a kit for Australian Locker-hooking. My `Trinitarian Triangles’ piece demonstrates my `journey’ into joy. I went to the Conference intending to learn to weave. Unexpectedly I tried something new suggested by a vendor who took an interest in my endeavors. My Mom read the directions and helped me. Already I have made many trivets and the small wall hanging I submitted for this contest.
This past year—my first year out of high school—has been `journey’ of discovery. I discovered that I respond unfavorably to many foods. This has led to `journeys’ into new recipes and ways of eating. I am also learning how to monitor my own physical and mental well-being by journaling. Keeping a journal is a way of tracking the `journey’ in thought and action. I love it. It helps me feel confident and competent as I `navigate’ into the unknowns of adult life.
I also began to explore photography with the camera my parents gave me. The photo I entered was taken in Antigua, Guatemala: Sun and Moon. The cycle of work and rest; activity and refreshment; childhood and adulthood. I love to photograph all of my `journeys’ from the exotic to the everyday: XinJiang, China to dinner in the oven .
My Mom was a bundle of worries this year as I transitioned into my `adult life.’ Yes, I was slow and uncertain and maybe a little sad to have high school be all done. She was worried. But I would like to tell her that it is a `journey.’ I am learning what it means to have so much free time and learn what I like to do with that time. I am on a `Journey’ and I am enjoying each step of the way.
I entered a photo of the scarf I dyed using fiber reactive dyes and ice! The process was unique and rather messy. When the ice was all melted the scarf was brown and muddy looking. But . . . when we washed it and hung it to dry, it was beautiful. And so it is a metaphor for `The Journey:’ the journey may be messy, uncertain, confusing but we know the Guide and can walk with Him in confidence and joy. Thus my `Trinitarian Triangles’ piece shows that `Trust’ is part of `The Journey.’ My scarf sends me into `The Journey’ in style.
Disclaimer: Mathalia has a developmental disability which means that she is cognitively delayed. Her mom helped her write this essay. Her artwork is less a philosophical statement about the `Journey’ than it is a visceral response to her openness to the possibilities around her. She loves her life; she likes to try new things and meet new people even if that means she may be pushed out of her comfort zone. Her love of `The Journey’ encompasses a deep trust in the One who guides her each step of the way. Her artistic explorations and expressions are her way of saying: `I don’t know what it all means but the One who does holds me in His hand.’