When I clicked on the video Dwayne Szot sent me, I had no idea that a profound transformation was about to happen. After a brief introduction by the video producer, my world opened to the tinkling sounds of children laughing, squealing with joy, calling out to their new friends and having the time of their lives.
Just beneath the sound of musical mirth was a sound you would never expect to hear. It was the sound of the mechanical whirring of motorized wheelchairs.
The children I was watching in this video were all wheelchair bound and they were having a BLAST!
Zot Artz is the brainchild of Dwayne Szot.
Growing up in a foster home that included two foster siblings with Cerebral Palsy, Dwayne developed a deep respect and understanding of the daily challenges they faced. This childhood memory inspired him to create the first wheelchair painting mechanism. His background in engineering and machinery repair, coupled with his love of art and children, has produced an incredible program designed for people with disabilities.
From his website Zot Artz, Arts for All, the program mission states:
“Creative expression is a primary human need, necessary for self-fulfillment and self esteem. Art is a form of creative expression in which individuals with disabilities can excel, given the opportunity.
Zot Artz Arts for All provides services, programs, art tools and supplies that allow individuals with different levels of abilities to creatively express themselves. We do this differently than anyone else. Rather than finding ways for people with disabilities to participate in activities for non-disabled people, we create entirely new activities and projects for people with disabilities and invite those without disabilities to join in.”
What a concept! This is the definition of thinking outside of the box and stretching beyond what we are told the limit is! Zot Artz went that extra mile and created a program that is the epitome of ARTS FOR ALL!
Zot Artz, Arts for All was created in 1990 with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation. Since then they have continued with great success and funding from local and international contributions. Zot Artz brings the art to the children hosting painting events in large venues around the world. They have a catalog of wonderful tools to assist schools, daycares, museums and recreational centers so they can utilize this all inclusive concept for education, therapy, fundraising, socializing, esteem building FUN!
Wheelchair painting is just one of the many art expression tools offered by Zot Artz. He has taken the entire image of the wheelchair and turned it upside down and on it’s head! When I asked him what he had in mind when he first started down this path he said he wanted to alleviate the stigma attached to being in a wheelchair and motivate children in this position with freedom of artistic expression. He wanted to give them something that would lead them forward and onward, beyond the confines of the chair. He wanted to see them smiling and laughing on that journey. I think this is something all of us can get behind and I say this to Dwayne Szot…Mission Accomplished!
What are some of the Art Expression Tools you can find at Zot Artz, Arts for All?
Imagine the thrill of flying through the day as a magical spinning wheel creates rainbows of color and the buzzing delight of sound and the impression of flying motion and you have, Give it a Whirl! Dwayne designed this item utilizing the Magic Wheels from the Windspiration Collection of HQ Kites and Designs. Give it a Whirl! turns a so-so day into a journey of enchanted discovery.
What could be more fun than blowing bubbles? How about a parade of bubbles that follow you everywhere you roll?! Small bubbles, big bubbles, lots of bubbles, Major Bubbles!
Zot Artz offers a wide range of items including those that get you out into the sunshine on a beautiful day. Every child loves to design a work of art that can be viewed and enjoyed by everyone in the neighborhood. How about something temporary that can be recreated again and again? How about Chalk, Walk and Roll?
Doesn’t everyone like to draw with chalk?
Isn’t fresh blacktop just begging for color?
We think so!
Our chalk drawer enables everyone to have fun and make his or her mark. The chalk drawer easily attaches to a wheelchair or walker and, with a simple change of handle, can even be pushed. The Wheelchair Bridge attaches and adjusts to a wide variety of wheelchairs, walkers, and standers.
But how about that wonderful invention we witnessed in the video? Is that available for purchase too? You bet it is! Art Rollers for Mural Painting is when you just have to go large and make a bold artistic statement! Zot Artz will also teach you how to divide up those large murals into wonderfully framed art to share with parents and children. Every spectator and participant will have a colorful, cherished souvenir to remind them of the possibilities of sharing something created for fun.
You can also auction or sell these beauties to raise funding for your next event!
The Art Rollers selection includes everything you need to do a large scale mural, plus a smaller art roller for early childhood development with walking.
The Zot Artz catalog includes many other fantastic tools like the Pogo Paint Poles, the Mini and Mighty Rolo, the Tabletop Printer and many other accessories to help make your next art project a fun filled event!
To find out how to place an order for your future Picassos, please contact:
Check them out online for the full catalog and ordering instructions here: Zot Artz, Arts for All
Not sure how to put this altogether for your group? Zot Artz also has instructional DVDs and Activity Guides available that show step by step procedures that will make your next event a successful one. Dwayne Szot and his crew are also available to travel to your location to help you out! Don’t delay! Play your order today for a future filled with self expression and artistic freedom, a future of Arts For All!
- Interviewing People with Disabilities (disabilitypower.wordpress.com)
- Stereotypes of Disabilities and Struggles of The Entertainment Industry (samanthaalfaro.wordpress.com)
- Media Representations of Physical Disabilities: Non-existent or Misrepresented (samanthaalfaro.wordpress.com)
- Disability: Just a Word? (ams10fall2013thurs.wordpress.com)
- Reflection on Principles and Practices Lecture (nonexclusion.wordpress.com)
- Burma’s First Arts Festival for Disabled Gets Underway (irrawaddy.org)
- You can never judge a book by its cover, or a person by his legs. (nonexclusion.wordpress.com)