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Arts for All Community Project
(finished May, 2011)

Adaptation of Arts for All Laser Assisted Paintings to Needlepoint

Description of Project:
As a tribute to the exemplary artists at Arts for All, a non-profit corporation, in Tucson, Arizona, we did needlepoint adaptations of three original paintings done by disabled students.  Marcia Berger, the current director, is an innovative pediatric physical therapist, and wanted to provide an after-school program in the performing arts for children with and without disabilities. The students, ages three through adulthood, come from throughout the greater Tucson, Arizona area. All programs attempt to provide a quality art focus for children and youth with and without disabilities.

Specifically, we adapted paintings done by artists with limited mobility because of nervous-system disorders such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or accident.  They paint by using a device called Laser Assisted Technique. The device consists of a computer assisted laser pointer attached to the artist’s head.  A computer screen projected on the artist’s work space is used as a virtual palette that lets them communicate thickness of line, texture, color and shape to a volunteer “tracker” working with the artist.  Three of  the paintings are very abstract with areas of several layers of color.  The whole project has become very challenging and instructive to us.

Our needlepoint artists chose stitches and threads which added texture and depth to the paintings.   We used a variety of stitches both simple and complex. Some of our thread choices added even more texture.  

Our final presentation of our adaptations was done at the annual Sweet Chair-ity Auction of Arts for All which raises funds for its summer programs.  We mounted our needlepoint treasures as backs to chairs (see photos).  One of our chairs was in a live auction and two of them were in the silent auction.  We averaged $150 per chair!  The artist of the piece in the live auction was present when his chair was bid on. 

Estimated Number of Stitchers:   12

Wilmot Library Needlepoint Exhibit
January, 2005

Southwest Presbyterian Church

We decided that pillows for the Church would be a good community project because the Church has a stone bench around the wall which is uncomfortable to sit on.  The designs are adaptations of Mimbres pottery designs.  The Mimbres  is an ancient Native American culture from the Southwest.  Sue Strause designed each of the thirty-five pillow faces with varying borders and suggested the color scheme for each pillow.  This community project took the Chapter two years to complete.


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