“Love at first sight with clients who are happy and giving.” That’s how Vicki Dougherty describes her feelings regarding the developmentally disabled artists who ply their talents in the little house with the purple door. For the past two months, Dougherty has served as studio manager for the Unruly Arts studio, located at 5403 Elmer Drive in Toledo, adjacent to the Toledo Botanical Gardens.
Fulfilling a mission
Toledo is fortunate to claim Unruly Arts as its own. UA’s mission is “to provide a process-oriented environment which is open to people of all ages and abilities to create art without restrictions or boundaries. The studio operates with a spirit of openness and joy, guiding each individual to showcase their talent and ability and create professional opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. Lori Schoen, art director, said Unruly Arts was born the summer of 2016 “when a group of artists started meeting on the porch of my house, getting together once a week and painting and working together. When it became cooler we moved to a garage and ended up finding an incredible spot.” They moved into rental space at the TBG site on January 3, 2017, although UA is not affiliated with TBG.
Range of mediums and ages
“I have six artists who are jewelry makers, painters, clay artists and glass artists,” Schoen says. The artists range in age from 25 to 43 with varying disabilities. Because Unruly Arts is artist driven, “if they want to learn a certain thing we try to offer it. We are a process-oriented studio,” she explains. One artist, Shanna Richie, 27, from Sylvania, suffers from epilepsy, a seizure disorder. “I do jewelry, painting and mixed mediums. I like anything and everything. I have always liked art and have found my calling. I am happy coming to Unruly Arts,” Richie says. Studio manager Dougherty has been volunteering with Schoen and says working at Unruly Arts is “like working with a family with great volunteers.” Unruly Arts seeks to collaborate with other organizations, Schoen says, “We hope to make connections and collaborate with senior centers and the Ability Center and anybody who has an interest.” Unruly Arts is a 501©3 non-profit and they are self-funded and rely on sales and donations for sustenance. Neither Schoen nor Dougherty receive a salary. “When the artists sell a piece we split the profits 50/50” says Schoen. Unruly Arts is looking for donations, which are tax deductible. All donations are appreciated, both monetary as well as painting supplies, brushes, art supplies or gift cards from arts and craft stores. Unruly Arts is open 10am-3pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but will expand its hours as the weather warms. UA invites people to visit the Facebook page a facebook.com/unrulyarts/ or contact Lori Schoen at 419-704-5941.