Adaptive Tools Unlock Creativity and Unleash the Artist

Picture a giant blank canvas surrounded by huge quantities of paint and interesting-looking art tools—the perfect stage for artists with disabilities to let their creativity loose. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the worth of a picture painted by a thousand artists!

Zot Artz Image.  Mural Creation.

Zot Artz Art for All is like the conduit for the creative process. Founder Dwayne Szot has developed a full line of adaptive art tools that allows individuals whose artistic intent is hindered by disability to more fully express themselves. At Abilities Expo Chicago, that expression will take place on an enormous canvas where anyone can fix a giant roller to their wheelchair (or utilize another tool) and let the creative juices flow. The final masterpiece will be gifted back to the community.

Dwayne credits his upbringing in a foster home with children of all abilities as the impetus for inventing his assistive technology. "My foster sister who had CP and I were always late for the bus because she could not get there fast enough with her crutches," he recalls. "So I started pulling her in a little red wagon down the long gravel road."

Creating a mural with Zot Artz founder Dwayne.

His commitment to using technology to move beyond limitations was further strengthened in college as he pursued a degree in art. "I felt as though I'd become a sort of meta-mechanical painting machine, creating artwork over and over again. At one point, I created a self-portrait of myself as an art machine," said Dwayne. "But it was this thinking that led me in the direction of the machine as a creative extension of oneself." From there, it wasn't long before he secured a grant from National Endowment for the Arts and created the very first painting wheelchair. 

Dwayne launched Zot Artz in an effort to initiate a whole new movement. His mission was to open art up to people with disabilities who would greatly benefit from such a confidence-building activity that develops motor skills, concentration and social interaction.

Plus, it's just plain fun.

Having fun creating art with the Zot Artz mural making machine!

"The art roller is a creative extension of one's mobility and allows us to create beyond our reach. All of us together, walking and rolling." he commented. "The tools are important because they are a means to an end for people of all abilities. However, in the end, it's the creative experience that we all remember! This magical environment is the Zot Artz Experience!"

In addition to the giant floor mural, Zot Artz will also offer kids the opportunity to create their own individual masterpieces which they can take home with them. (For this activity, there is a suggested donation of $5 to help cover the expense of materials.)

For more on Zot Artz Art for All, visit www.zotartz.com.

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