Dwayne Szot, founder of Zot Artz

Dwayne Szot, founder of Zot ArtzAbout Dwayne Szot

Dwayne Szot, founder and president of Zot Artz, is just the right combination of artist, engineer, and big brother to excel at helping children with disabilities experience the joy of making a mark and creating art.

Szot grew up in a mid-western foster home with a foster brother and sister who had Cerebral Palsy.  Other children and adults with disabilities lived in the home, and Szot observed and respected the special challenges they faced.  He credits that experience for giving him the courage and motivation to create the “painting wheelchair,” one of Zot Artz’ most popular art tools, to help children with disabilities create art.

As a youth, he spent hours fixing machines with his foster father – welding, bolting, and making do with what was available.  “It developed a can-do attitude as well as a fascination with machines and mechanical design,” says Szot.

Szot’s education focused on art, starting with commercial and graphic art in high school.  Winning graphic arts contests helped him attend the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He received a masters degree in fine art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  His collegiate study of art combined his love for machines and art. He designed and built machines that he used to apply color to huge surfaces including building walls, roofs, and even a frozen lake.

Having studied how a machine could extend his ability to make a mark, and remembering his foster siblings’ struggles, Szot was inspired to create a mechanical device that would extend a disabled person’s ability to make a mark.  The result was the first “painting wheelchair.”

He worked with special education departments, hospitals, and residential facilities, creating art tools and bringing art to children, but it frustrated him that when he left with his adaptive tools, their art opportunity left with him.

He founded Zot Artz to create adaptive art tools and make them available to teachers, therapists, residential providers, hospitals, parks, and other facilities who could offer art experiences to children. Zot Artz currently has a complete line of adaptive tools that make the creation of art possible and fun for children with and without handicaps.  Szot also facilitates art experiences using his special Zot Artz  tools.

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