A few months ago, we received a phone call from Edwin Peres from CADES in Pennsylvania. We had never met Edwin and he had never attended a Zot Artz art day or workshop. We were surprised and overjoyed to talk to Edwin about our art tools, activities, and the best way to get his program started. Then, we saw the photos from Edwin’s art day. We were beyond impressed. WOW!
CADES, Children and Adult Disability Educational Services, is a nonprofit human services organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, using a family-centered approach to care. A regional center recognized for excellence, we work every day empowering people with special needs to achieve their highest potential.
Enjoy our interview with Edwin Peres below!
What is your job title?
I currently hold the position of Art Instructor at CADES: George Crothers Memorial School in Swarthmore, PA. I am just starting my 2nd year here and I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing organization and community.
Are you an artist?
Yes! My education background is in art and I have been creating art for as long as I can remember. I believe that everyone has the gift of art inside of them and I love helping my students bring out their full artistic potential in class. In my opinion, the role of an artist is to not only create pieces of “art” but to also act as a conduit and motivator to help the people around them bring out their talents as well.
How did you hear about Zot Artz?
I was cleaning out my studio desk when I found a printed flier left behind by the last art teacher. Labeled “Art Adaptions”, the photos show how much fun the kids participating are having. Needless to say, I did not throw out the flier!
What made you want to try an activity?
As soon as I saw the flier I immediately went on the website and I was hooked. I watched ALL of the Zot Art videos online and knew that their products would be a perfect fit for my students. Thanks to a very generous donation from the Annual CADES bowling event, the art department was able to purchase some of very own official Zot Artz wheelchair rollers!
How did your event go?
The event was amazing and the students had a blast! We had 15 classes participate in making 4 very large pieces, roughly 20’ x 20’. With help from our very talented staff and therapists, all students were able to participate on their own level with the assistance of switches and talkers to make commands as to have the rollers go forward, backwards, left and right. I look forward to using and purchasing more Zot Artz products for the students!
Do you have any advice for someone considering a Zot Artz event/experience?
I urge anyone considering purchasing Zot Artz products to do it! Do not hesitate to ask Dwayne and Marianne for any tip, as they were extremely helpful and responsive to all the questions I had. We exchanged emails and phone calls, and thanks to all their help and prompt responses, the event was a breeze and a huge success! One additional tip I have is to not forget to reuse and recycle in the cleaning up process! You can get a great deal of use out of all of your materials which may seem like scraps!
Are there any tools you would like to see be made in the future?
Since finding out about Zot Artz and hosting an event, I have been working on a few ideas of my own for my students! I just made a stamp roller that fits into a paint roller. It’s like a miniature version of the big wheelchair rollers we purchased from Zot Artz! I’d like to see, or even collaborate on, a multiple brush that is held together with one handle. Another tool that I would LOVE to see in the future would be a drip art tool. The basic concept would be a paint tray, much like the one used for the wheelchair rollers, that is broken up into different sections. Each section is for a different color and once all the sections are filled up you then would pull a lever of some sort releasing all the different colors simultaneously.
Thank you Edwin for sharing your Zot Artz experience with us. We can’t wait to see what your students create in the future.