‘Creative Expression’ exhibit opens Friday in Dubuque

Creative Expression in Dubuque, Iowa
14 students took part in a collaborative painting in last week’s Creative Expression Workshop event.

Opening Reception: Creative Expression Workshops exhibit

Dubuque’s Gallery C — Friday, August 1 at 6 p.m.

Creative Expression Workshops, a non-profit art program that helps people with special needs find vehicles for self-expression, is hosting a reception this Friday at Dubuque’s Gallery C featuring student artwork. Program directors will conduct discussions throughout the reception in an effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing these students and their families.

This past Tuesday’s workshop was held in Studio Works in the Millwork District of Dubuque. Students were introduced to abstract art with a brief demo, after which they all took part in making a collaborative painting. All fourteen students lined up and waited until it was their turn to add a few brushstrokes to the group painting. The students then spent the remainder of the workshop making their own paintings.

The results of Tuesday’s workshop were diverse — a few students slathered on paint with their palette knifes, while others used their brushes to apply patches of color.

Mary Ellen Jensen founded the program two years ago in an effort to connect people with special needs throughout the community. Since then, Creative Expression Workshops has fostered a safe learning environment for students to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Their workshops continue to operate thanks to the generous support of the public. All classes are taught pro-bono, and as the program doesn’t yet have a home base, they rely on local businesses to provide venues for conducting their classes.

All of these paintings along with a few pieces from earlier workshops (talking sticks, dream catchers, fairy gardens and portraits) will be exhibited at Dubuque’s Gallery C this Friday, August 1 from 6-9pm. The Creative Expression Workshops program gives students the opportunity to enroll in a wide variety of classes: arts and crafts, fine arts, music, poetry and yoga.