Curtis Hall is fortunate to spend the better part of his working week with professional artist, David Lussier. When Curtis transitioned out of high school to adult services, it was our intention to have Curtis fill his days by being productive doing what he loves to do— create artwork!
David has been working with Curtis for seven years now. David writes—
I make my living as a professional artist; selling paintings in galleries, conducting outdoor workshops, holding classes in my studio and by attending plein air events around the country. Curt comes to work at the studio 3 days a week. He observes what is going on in a busy studio and absorbs the information like a sponge. On some occasions, Curtis will watch me paint a demonstration for students in a class. He enjoys it when other students are in the studio painting. He likes being a part of a working studio environment. He enjoys taking a break from his work to walk around and see what each student is working on. They in turn, like to walk over to see what Curt is working on. One example of Curt utilizing information given in a class is a day that I used a very specific color palette for my demonstration and later, looking at Curt’s work for the day, I saw that he was utilizing the exact same color palette in colored pencil that I was using for oil paints. Curtis processes what he learns in his own unique way that is personal yet universal. He sees the world in an abstract way and works with patterns and colors that vibrate on the paper. Curtis often likes to explore a subject by working in a series.
After three days at the art studio, Curtis also looks forward to work at the Creative Living Community of CT greenhouse! His favorite job is to fill as many trays as possible with soil in order to properly prepare them for seeding. Curtis is also learning how to seed and water the tender micro greens. There are other jobs, too, which include cleaning trays, vacuuming, greeting visitors and delivering the product. Through his participation, Curtis is able to be a productive member of the community. Curtis will be 30 in September and lives at home with his mom and dad, Randy and Cindy in Coventry. Curtis’ older sister, Crystal, lives in Baltimore, MD. Trips to the local farmer’s market to get Kettle Korn or riding in his dad’s 47 Ford farm truck are some of his favorite activities.
David is a compassionate and encouraging plein air workshop instructor. He is one of the top plein air painters working in the United States today and his passion for painting and teaching runs deep. David has a unique ability to reach each student where they are at with their knowledge of painting and to help them understand their painting strengths and weaknesses. David is committed to helping each student reach that goal. With his laid-back and friendly personality matched with an intense passion for painting, a workshop with David is a rewarding experience.
Andy enjoys his volunteer job at CLCC—he loves his co-workers and the sense of being part of a team, the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and the chance to socialize with people other than his family. It helps provide what every adult needs: a sense of responsibility, a feeling accomplishment, and a reason to get up and out in the morning.”
My name is Alex.
I am 23 years old and have High Functioning Autism. I volunteer at the greenhouse on Thursdays. I also help out at the farmers markets and enter the data from the volunteer sign in sheet. The greenhouse has been very good for me. It gets me out of the house. Some of the activities make me feel relaxed and proud of myself.
When I am there, it’s a friendly and safe atmosphere. I am trying to improve my work skills to get a paid job. At the greenhouse I work on eye contact, conversation skills and get the chance to keep practicing these skills. Jobs I do include: seeding, cleaning trays, recycling dirt/soil, and weeding the garden. I enjoy each task. Cleaning is challenging, but I have improved. A task list helps me to improve. Lexi, the greenhouse coordinator, gives me good tips and advice. The soil recycling is the most relaxing job.
I like being with other people who have similar disabilities. There are people without disabilities, and I feel equal to everyone there. Social events allow me and the other volunteers to see each other in a fun atmosphere. They have events such as bowling and having a meal together. I like having pizza together.
My name is Ryan Feeney.
I’m 30 years old and I live in Manchester. I work In Rocky Hill at Westside Market IGA as a cashier for the past 1 1/2 years. I also play the trumpet in local community bands. I’ve been involved with CLCC for the past 2 years. I volunteer at the greenhouse with cutting the micro greens and package them up so they can be delivered to local area restaurants. I’m also involved in the Arts in the afternoon which makes different arts and crafts. I also am involved with the activity’s such as bowling and Dave and Busters. I’ve gone to the CLCC’s fundraising events and thoroughly enjoyed them. I have enjoyed my time with CLCC and I have gotten to meet a lot of great people that have become my friends. I’m glad to be a part of this wonderful organization and I look forward to many more years with CLCC.
Matt, Romell, Sarah, Mr. Barone and Ms. Murray. Some of them are sporting the new CLCC tshirt during a recent work day at the greenhouse! Here is what they say about their experience at the CLCC greenhouse this fall –
I never knew that there was a market for micro greens.
We have learned that there are different kinds of micro greens.
I liked that I learned how to harvest the micro greens.
We learned that we like them on sandwiches!
We have met new friends and enjoy talking with them.
We enjoy coming here!