Ten artists at St Louis Center have worked on the windchimes project over the past four months: Jerome, Linda, Lee, Jacqui, Cathy, Ray, Kyle, Mike, Albert, and Joey

The project was artist-led. Each artist started by thinking of something that they would like to share a story of. Each artist sat down individually to record their story. These stories were then the inspiration for the art piece. Each artist created a “story-telling windchime” to be presented alongside their story podcast.

Each week the artists worked alongside their clay instructor, Eli Zemper, to create their windchimes piece by piece. They started by making a bowl shape that would become the base of the windchimes. Then the artists completed drawings that were inspired by their stories. They then learned how to make underglaze transfers with those drawings. This is what allowed the drawings to be transferred onto the clay. Eli and the artists even created their own darkroom at the Center to complete this task! The artists then carefully chose which drawings they wanted to transfer to the clay and cut pieces to make their chimes that would hang from the base. A team of staff helped assemble the windchimes and they are now on display at the library for all to see.

The display has a QR code next to each windchime that will link you to the artist’s story podcast. You can use your smartphone to scan and listen to each of them. Most of the artists are new to clay work and thoroughly enjoyed this project. They are very proud of their work and creativity, so please take a look (and listen) if you get a chance!

The showcase opened on May 5th with an artist reception out in the reading garden. Family members of the artists as well as friends and supporters of St. Louis Center stopped by to view the artwork.

A group of ten people with intellectual disabilities and 2 staff members and their instructor.

Clay artists standing (l to r), Alexis (staff), Ray, Albert, Joey, Mike, Eli (instructor), Lee, Jacqui, Haylie (staff), and Kyle. Seated (l to r) Cathy, Linda, and Jerome.

The showcase will continue for the remainder of May 2024. The display is outside in the reading garden at Chelsea District Library.

Logo for Michigan Arts & Culture Council

Also, six artist’s works will be submitted for an upcoming art show in Lansing called Breaking Barriers Art Exhibit. This is on July 26, 2024.

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of a grant from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council and administered by Creative Washtenaw.


Read the entire issue of St. Louis Spirit here!

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