For the month of April, we are working in collaboration with the wonderful ARTHOUSE. Learn more about the charity and how it’s giving purpose to those with disabilities.
Back in 1999, Becky Sheraidah started to run art workshops for men and women living with severe epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. With the workshops allowing those who lived with disabilities to start expressing themselves creatively, Becky could see a positive change in the artists. In 2005 she founded “ARTHOUSE Meath” (or simply, ARTHOUSE) – a thriving non-profit business that offers purpose, health and well-being to each artist through its doors.
Since 2005 ARTHOUSE has grown into something recognisable. The artists create artworks which are developed into wonderful products for sale. ARTHOUSE is now stocked in over 400 stockists and has worked with brands such as LUSH, Fat Face and the Royal Academy of Arts. 100% of sales revenue sustains the enterprise, enabling it to expand and evolve, and we are so happy to be supporting such an incredible charity.
In a recent interview, Becky states why being part of the ARTHOUSE team is so important to the artists; “The platform ARTHOUSE is creating is one where the beneficiaries of the Charity are themselves included in making the Charity work. Feelings of involvement, purpose and inclusion help us all keep mentally well, and we want to offer those feelings to the artists too alongside the high standards of vital 24-hour support also required.”
Acceptance, respect and contribution are important too, as Becky explains “The artworks produced tells the story of talent and skill, qualities that are sometimes overlooked in people living with disabilities. The artwork gives a voice to the artists saying ‘I can, I am!’
Two of the talented artists featured in our Papergang Box are Chris Hodding and Dominic Chin. Dom and Chris often combine their creative talent, “The best thing is working in a team with my best friend Chris” says Dom. “Our paintings were in the window and then they sold. It makes me feel pretty good to see that. On a Thursday morning it’s fun chaos. One piece of advice I’d like to give to others is just make sure you join in and you can become part of a team”. Yes Dom! Go Chris!
It’s not just creating work and having a sense of purpose for the artists. Becky states that the finest moments are when the artists get to meet those who buy their artwork, “The artists recognising that their skills are truly valued and having a great sense of achievement is vital. Many tear jerking moments have happened when an artist painting or design sells when the artist is actually present – that moment is always so special.”
The future aim of ARTHOUSE is to offer people more opportunity and become a household name in order to change attitudes and help people to feel integrated, accepted and respected.