Cache Valley Artist Creates Art Access Center
Access to resources that enable individuals with disabilities to create art are hard to find. One Utah high school teacher is opening a studio to help fill that need.
Michael Bingham is a high school art teach at Ridgeline High School in Millville. In his spare time he is a Masters of Fine Arts student at Utah State University, with an emphasis on drawing and painting.
His personal goal is to help people of any ability access art. To do this Bingham is installing adaptive tools at a Logan studio he is calling Jump The Moon. There, Individuals with disabilities will receive the support they need to create all types of art.
“Everything in here is meant to be really accessible,"Bingham said. "In the past I think the size that somebody could make if they have limited motion they’ve only been able to make really small things. I want to flip that around and make it so that they can make really big things.”
One of the adaptive tools in his studio is a paintbrush attached to a wheelchair used by the artist to create large paintings. Bingham also helps students attach a spinning tray to a piece of paper. While it spins, a protective box holds in the paint as it spreads out to create a unique work of art.
“There’s a lot of people that will be using our studio down here that don’t have a lot of use of their hands or arms," said Bingham. "Their limited in their motion. This way just to squeeze some paint and turn a button on and the machine makes things happen is kind of exciting. I think a lot of people with limited motion are going to find this a really fun way to make some interesting art. And there’s no way that you’re ever going to make two that are the same. They will each be completely different and unique- kind of like the people who will be using this place.”
Different rooms accommodate different needs. For sensitive students there is a less stimulating room. There is an art gallery, library, and a separate wood shop where Bingham makes his adaptive tools. Work is still being done to complete the studio but artists with special needs are already using the creative space. Bingham has used some of his own money to funding Jump The Moon. He believes the need for this type of community resource will bring in additional donors.