We’re thrilled to announce that Brittany’s photograph, The Dance Studio at Walt Whitman: High School, 2007, will be among the artwork exhibited at Alexander’s Angels DOWNrightART Exhibit, beginning on Saturday, March 18 at the Castello De Borghese Winery.
The art exhibit was founded by Alexander’s Angels in 2008 to highlight and celebrate artists of all abilities, especially those with Down syndrome.
Here’s the story behind Brittany’s photo:
In 2007, Brittany entered and received multiple recognitions for her photo in the Walt Whitman High School PTA Reflections competition. It all began when her special education teacher and very creative classroom paraprofessional at Walt Whitman HS armed each of the students in Brittany’s class with a camera and set them off to discover “My Favorite Place” (the theme of that year’s competition). Brittany’s favorite place was the dance studio, and she took a very creative photo of the dancers reflected in the dance mirror. Her photo was recognized at the local, South Huntington level, the Suffolk Region level, and then advanced to the NY State level. No entrant was prouder than Brittany when she received her Certificate of Excellence at the Suffolk Region.
When Brittany snapped that photo, no one had an idea where it would lead. While the dance studio was her favorite place, the closest she had gotten to taking a dance class was to sit outside the door of the studio during lunch and watch the dancers. Due to scheduling difficulties and limitations caused by her lack of dance experience and her disability, Brittany had been unable to participate. Made aware of Brittany’s desire, Ms Turner worked miracles to make it happen. A plan was put into place to open a dance class for Brittany and her interested classmates with different-abilities, once a week, for ten weeks, so she could feel some ownership of the dance studio. This creative class introduced Brittany and her friends to basic dance movements and rhythms and culminated in a recital on the Friday before the spring vacation. The recital took on a life of its own when the word spread, and instead of a small audience of parents, the dance studio was lined with friendly faces from all over the district who came to support the three girls who participated. It was a memorable experience for both the girls and their audience.
If Brittany had never taken this photograph, she would not have been able to realize her desire to be a part of the dance program at Whitman. Not only did her photo enable her to creatively express her love and admiration of dancers and the art of dance, it pointed out how interrelated the arts really are. Her one photo inspired people to think outside the box to solve a problem and to give differently-abled students the support they needed to make their dream come true.
Please join us at the opening reception:
Terracotta Gallery at the Castello Di Borghese Winery
17150 County Road 48
Cutchogue, NY 11935
The exhibit will feature 84 artworks from 30 different artists.