Smoky Mountain News

March 6, 2024

In 2004, my life was completely changed when one of my twin boys was born with Down Syndrome. Initially, I felt as though my world had crumbled, envisioning the worst possible outcomes.

However, as this little boy, named Jake, grew and nestled his way into our hearts, I came to realize that we had so much to gain from this experience. Jake has single-handedly revolutionized our family’s perspective on the world.

As the executive director of the Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville, I have the unique opportunity to host an exhibit that will offer Haywood County a glimpse into this extraordinary world. 

I’m excited to announce a very special art exhibit at the HCAC Handmade Gallery. Entitled “Challenge Me, Art by Differently Abled Artists,” this exhibition will run from March 6 to April 7, with an opening reception to be held on Friday, March 8, at the gallery.

The gallery will not only showcase the vibrant artwork created by my son Jake, but also feature the remarkable works of other differently abled artists we have had the privilege of meeting organizations such as The ARC of Haywood County, Haywood County Special Olympics and Haywood Vocational Opportunities.

This exhibition celebrates the remarkable abilities possessed by individuals with different abilities. It is a testament to the power of art to transcend barriers and foster understanding and appreciation. We invite you to join us in this inspiring journey, as we explore the boundless creativity and resilience of these exceptional artists.