MISSOULA – Opportunity Resources looks to empower people living with disabilities by helping them with housing, jobs and education.
Their art program allows their clients the ability to sell art they created in the art studio, but also provides a creative outlet to express themselves.
Opportunity Resources’ art department helps people living with disabilities create art and then sell it.
“There is a lot of people that have disabilities that have hidden talents and that’s kind of our job: Get them in here and see if they have any of those and I would say a large portion of them do,” said ORI art director Tom Lind.
All it takes is one look around Opportunity Resources’ office to realize how much beautiful art is created at ORI.
Lind believes the art is special because the creators of it have a unique quality.
“They’re so unfiltered. They have these wonderful qualities a lot of people with disability or most of them are unfiltered and so they paint that way. They take the colors they want and they spread it around,” Lind added.
“It might look like something it might not sometimes they don’t care. Some of our best painters are just nonobjective painters. The truthfulness of it is the key and that’s why I think they win so many awards.”
And besides all the awards the art is also sold and the artists keep the profits and build some self-esteem.
“They get all the profits from that and it’s very gratifying, and self esteem-wise it’s a wonderful part to the formula is to increase their self-esteem,” Lind said.
It’s a great all-around experience for Opportunity Resource clients but it’s also extremely rewarding to the instructors.
“Sometimes people who see these kind of interviews might get the impression that the clients are the lucky ones, and perhaps they are to some degree, but they never consider the idea of what it does for us. I mean, self-esteem building works both ways,” Lind said.
Lind says that they would look to sell more of their art to business’s to display in their offices. All of the art is available for sale at ORI’s office on South Russell Street in Missoula.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News