Birthday painting

From left, Teddy and Maura Sommers, Jessica Evans holding her painting and Grace Sommers.

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Sharon Held and her sister Maura, both of whom lived in Mendham, NJ, were regular volunteers at Matheny. Sharon, inspired by her experience at Matheny, went on to become a physical therapist and now lives in the Buffalo area where she is an associate professor at Daemen College in Amherst, NY.

When her sister, now Maura Sommers of Bridgewater, NJ, visited the Arts Access exhibit at the Bernardsville, NJ, Public Library in July, she decided to buy a painting as a special birthday gift for Sharon from her five siblings, parents, nieces and nephews.  Sharon’s 50th birthday was July 3.

Maura selected “Soaring So High You Can’t Even See It,” by Jessica Evans. The artist met with Sommers, her daughter Grace and her son Teddy to record a video interview that will be presented to Sharon along with the painting. Evans explained that the circles in her painting, “show my personality, and I love glitter. It shows me how I was feeling that day.”

Sommers hopes Sharon will be able to visit Matheny in December when she will be in New Jersey for several days.

Arts Access makes it possible for people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.