Using the Zot Artz art tools equals fun for all! Zot Artz was recently interviewed by PBS. Before watching the clip, learn more about how Zot Artz started from Dwayne Szot, founder and president of Zot Artz.
What gave you the idea to create Zot Artz?
Dwayne: It’s all those parts and pieces that make us who we are. I grew up in a foster home with children of all abilities. I have strong memories of giving my foster sister a ride in the red wagon, down a gravel road, to catch the school bus. She had CP and could not get there fast enough. Sometimes, I would give her a piggyback ride to the bus stop.
What is Zot Artz mission/vision?
Dwayne: Our mission is to create completeness experiences through the arts.
I believe our tools, as sculptures, are the instruments to reach individuals of all abilities. I want to create life-affirming experiences for everyone.
What is your favorite art tool?
Dwayne: It seems to be the one I am working on at the moment!
It’s a combination of all the tools that create a magical experience.
They all have a beauty of their own.
For example, Chalk, Walk, and Roll, as someone rolls along, for the first time ever, creating poetry with chalk on the sidewalk from the dignity of his or her own mobility.
Major Bubbles, the simple joy of bubbles in space, as an individual rolls through the room creating a floating composition of bubbles.
The Zot Artz tools are about the importance of mark making and the completeness of experiences. We all want to create something that helps us experience beauty or create beauty.
What is your favorite memory?
Dwayne: There are so many memories they merge together over time.
Sometimes, I think it’s when I realize what is needed to complete experience. Sometimes, it’s the joy I see when someone has left his/her mark with the art roller. Sometimes, it’s the sharing and creating together, brothers and sisters, all abilities, experiencing the joy of creating together.
What’s your dream event?
Dwayne: I’m working with re-gifting the gift of art. Transforming the large wheelchair paintings into a hundred pieces, a hundred art cards. They are assembled and become composition sculptures that are in turn regifted back to the community. The paintings become part of the fabric of the community.
I love Zot Artz shows, which are over-the-top experiences, like a rave for all, becoming interactive environments.
Where did you see Zot Artz in 10 years?
Dwayne: I would like to be in a place where more people are doing what I’m doing.
If not, what the studio and I have it achieved over the years will end.
I need to work on this because no one else will.
I would like to create a way in which individuals with disabilities can play a greater part making this possible. Zot Artz does a lot of large community-based and museum events. I would like to see more experiences available for small activities, such as birthday parties for children of all abilities. I would like to create a way for Zot Artz tools to be produced by individuals with disabilities as a work opportunity. Providing meaningful employment opportunities is one of our current goals.