ART EXHIBIT SHOWCASES TALENT OF SCO FAMILY OF SERVICES' RESIDENTS AND STAFF
November 10, 2015 -- The Sea Cliff Arts Council hosted an opening reception this past Wednesday evening at the Sea Cliff Library for an exhibit of artwork by children who are residents at the Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center (RJMCC) of the SCO Family of Services, located at Park and Downing Avenues. The facility (formerly known as St. Christopher Ottile) is a Residential Treatment Center providing 24-hour nursing care, social services and a variety of therapies to children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
The colorful and sophisticated works on display, which include paintings, photographs, and mixed media pieces, demonstrate the great talent among these young people, who too often unfortunately are recognized by others only for their disabilities. The works also exhibit the tremendous efforts of the SCO's staff, its Recreation Department and its Art Therapy program, led by Art Therapist Suzanna Shayer.
Art therapy, Ms. Shayer explained, promotes a variety of benefits within her students, most of whom have severe autism spectrum disorders. It helps to build life skills and to promote sensory, social and emotional functioning. It empowers her students, who can understand very well what is being communicated to them but who cannot respond verbally, to express themselves.
Although a beautiful visual product is not the ultimate end of art therapy, the works on display are quite impressive.
“This exhibit is a testament to the talent and creativity of our young people with special needs and the dedication of our staff who have used art to engage our youth and showcase their talents,” said SCO Executive Director Douglas O’Dell.
Also in attendance at this past Wednesday’s opening was Assemblyman Charles Lavine (13th A.D), who is in the process of securing a $250,000 state grant for SCO for capital improvements. “This is one of the really great organizations we have in New York - they do such unbelievable work,” he said to Northwordnews. “I’m glad we can give our support to SCO.”
All of the artwork on display is available for purchase with the proceeds going toward future art and recreation projects and trips for the children in the RJMCC program. Anyone interested in purchasing art from the show should contact Shelley Feldman, RJMCC Director of Recreation/Volunteer Services & Creative Arts Therapies, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.671.1111 ext. 185.
The SCO exhibit will run through the end of December. Be sure stop by the Sea Cliff Library to check out the works of these remarkable young people.
SCO Family of Services helps vulnerable New Yorkers build a strong foundation for the future. The organization gets young children off to a good start, launch youth into adulthood, stabilize and strengthen families and unlock potential for children and adults with special needs enabling those they serve to meet life's challenges with support, care and acceptance. SCO has played a vital role delivering human services in communities throughout New York City and Long Island for more than 100 years.
For more information about SCO's Family Services Click Here.
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Photo (left): (L to R) RJMCC Residential Director Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, RJMCC Art Therapist Suzanna Shayer, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, SCO Executive Director Douglas O’Dell, RJMCC Director of Recreation/Volunteer Services & Creative Arts Therapies Shelley Feldman, RJMCC Recreation Specialist Emily Alterman and RJMCC Program Director Amy Gunter.