Texas Wesleyan partnered with Evergreen Life Services as part of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan on March 1 to celebrate intellectual disability awareness with an informational art gallery during free period.
The attendees of Evergreen Life Services brought their artwork to be put on display as well as sold to the faculty, staff, and students at Texas Wesleyan’s Bernice Coulter Templeton Art Studio and Gallery. Four artists showed more than 30 original pieces of art.
Founded in 1950, Evergreen Life Services is a non-profit organization that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live more abundant and independent lives, according to evergreenls.org. Evergreen has grown into a large human service agency meeting the needs of more than 1,300 people with disabilities in their communities across eight states. It helps people develop skills, socialize with their peers, and receive needed health and personal care services.
“Part of our diversity and inclusion council, the strategic plan that we started this year,” said Human Resources Generalist Christi Tallent, “is to bring more awareness on campus for diversity and inclusion for employees and students.“
Evergreen Life Services is located about half a mile from Texas Wesleyan’s campus and is open to the public for visitation and scheduled tours. Tallent plans to schedule a tour of Evergreen soon for anyone of the Texas Wesleyan community that wants to join.
“Evergreen caters to adults who have intellectual disabilities at all different levels,” Tallent said, “and they provide group homes, art classes, job training everyday living training.”
The people who go there either live in a group home and then they can go to the facility from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the afternoon, or they live at home with their parents, Tallent said.
“We have four participants who are here today and they have created all of this art work,” Tallent said. “Half of the money goes back to them and half goes back to the organization.”
Dr. Kit Hall, professor of art and manager of the gallery at Texas Wesleyan, had recently started the art studio on campus, and thought it would be a great idea to bring their xxxart to the studio.
“March is disability awareness month,” Hall said, “so we are celebrating the art as well as them and some of the Evergreen clients that are here that made the art.”
One of the artists from Evergreen at the event is Michael Evans.
“Art is a great way for all of us to escape,” Evans said, “and it’s awesome that people are getting to see our art.”