Maria Daley with a painting of a fruit basket by Pamela Brown

Maria Daley with a painting of a fruit basket by Pamela Brown

Vibrant ‘Colors of the Seasons’

Vicuña Arts Studio in Maple Ridge opens its annual show featuring paintings by artists with developmental disabilities on Thursday

Maria Daley is all a flutter amongst rows of paintings pinned on walls and others stacked high on shelves.

With just two days left until the Vicuña Arts Studio’s annual show opens, she’s framing canvasses, fielding phone calls and still has to hang the art.

Two huge 48-by-58 creations rest on the wall in her office.

“Gigante,” she exclaims in Spanish, marvelling at the creations of Pamela Brown and Lindsay Anderson, two of more than 40 artists whose work is featured in Colors of the Season.

Daley has been using art to transform the lives of people with developmental disabilities since she opened Vicuña in 2008.

The studio is a creative outlet for individuals from the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living. She offers artistic instruction tailored to the skill level of each participant in her class.

She has blind students and others who paint while seated in wheelchairs.

“They are painters,” she says.

“When they come here they are artists, nothing else.”

Vicuña has since relocated from its location on Dewdney Trunk Road to a new home on Kingston Street, where it is housed with other programs offered by the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living.

The new location has allowed Daley to take on new students. The ones who have been painting with her since 2008 are now seasoned professionals.

“They are getting more and more demanding,” she says with a laugh, explaining how her students are picky about the hues they chose and art they create.

“At first when they come here they think, it is impossible,” says Daley.

“Once they start, they really go.”

Art show

Colors of the Season will feature more than 120 paintings by artists from the Vicuña Arts Studio on Thursday, Dec. 13 and Friday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The studio is located at 1-14491 Kingston Street in Maple Ridge. Info: 604-465-7526.

Artists featured in the show include Brittany Tunbshell, Loni Neville, Norma Dacosta, Bill Foster, Nicole Locke, Cheryl Longstone, Eric Darville, Cameo Parks, Gord Baird, Farrah Desjarlais, Darren Lang, Brenda Powers, Pamela Brown,  Deneen Perry, Lindsay Anderson, Nicole Trepanier,  Alana Girvan, Bryce Dunwoodie, Alli Lemmi, Lori Semonski, Natasha Brayshaw, Calum Andres, Angela Mounce, Nicole Hodilay, Eric Preza, Lisa Newman, Karla Sarradet, Scott Couture, Janet Jay, Alyssa Vanderklok, Natalie Parfitt, Cheryl Kirpan, Kai Chow, Sherrie Greenwood, Susan Bryce and 10 other artists from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.