Finding Respite and Healing through Art

Meet Catherine Dixon (Cat), parent of Lucy who was born with a club foot on her left side. Lucy went through several rounds of serial casting and wore Ponseti braces for most of her first year. As Lucy grew, her tendons didn’t stretch along with her bones. As a result, her orthopedist recommended a surgical intervention – a procedure called Anterior Tibialis Tendon Transfer. So, at the tender age of four, Lucy was admitted into the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital where she met Bella Heilbrunn, an ArtMix Teaching Artist in The Lolly Project.

A Mother’s Story: How ArtMix Changed Her Sons’ Lives

Let me introduce you to Susan LeVay, a parent of two sons with autism. Susan first registered her boys, Jonathan and James, for ArtMix Community Arts Classes, and when they became teenagers, they became interns in the Urban Artisan program. In the beginning, they were challenged to learn many skills. When they completed the program, they had “gained confidence in themselves, pride in their work, better social skills, and a sense of accomplishment at earning a paycheck,” Susan recalls.

“Redefining Inspiration” March First Friday

March is Disability Awareness Month, and we are celebrating with our new exhibit “Redefining Inspiration.” On Friday, March 3, join us at the ArtMix Gallery from 6-9 p.m. to see artwork from our students who are redefining disability.


The theme for 2017 Disability Awareness Month is “I’m Not Your Inspiration.” People with disabilities who are successful, athletic, employed or simply good neighbors are often given the title of inspiration by people who don’t know them. This year’s campaign theme emphasizes that people with disabilities are people first – people who want to be fully included in their communities just like everyone else.

Disability Awareness Month

March is Disability Awareness Month, a time to celebrate inclusion, learn about respecting people with disabilities, and reflect on real and perceived abilities and disabilities. The Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities is helping us celebrate by providing helpful information and tools. We’re pleased that Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Danville City Council have issued proclamations recognizing Disability Awareness Month.


The theme for the 2017 Disability Awareness Month is “I’m Not Your Inspiration.” People with disabilities who are successful, athletic, employed or simply good neighbors are often called inspirational by people who do not fully know them. This campaign theme emphasizes that people with disabilities are people first — people who want to be fully included in their communities, just like everyone else.

Reclaiming Clay

This week in the studio, our Urban Artisans have been going through the process of reclaiming clay. That is the proper term for recycling clay that is unworkable.

Bucket full of saturated clay

Clay is a tricky material to work with. If it is too dry it will crack and crumble, but if it has too much moisture it will be too sticky to mold. That means it has to be just right.


We use clay on a daily basis here at ArtMix. It starts out with the right amount of moisture, but our hands and the air in the room slowly dry it out. Reclaiming the clay begins when the clay becomes unworkable.

Meet the Bledsoes!

Betty Bledsoe is a single mother who has been fostering and adopting children since 1985. In 2002 she and her children joined the ArtMix family, and more than 50 Bledsoe children have come through our doors. Betty and her 13 children join ArtMix every Tuesday night for Community Arts Class.

“I have seen my children grow mentally, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and physically since they began ArtMix classes!” – Betty Bledsoe


The Bledsoe’s holding garden stones they created at ArtMix.

Meet Meghan

Meghan is a student at Franklin Central High School and an intern artist in the Urban Artisans program. Meghan has been involved in ArtMix since preschool when she visited the studios on school field trips. 1_-meghan-and-linda

When Meghan entered high school, her parents requested that she be a part of the Urban Artisans internship program to help with the transition from school to the workplace. Meghan’s father, Wayne said, “Our goal for Meghan was not to have some mediocre job. We thought that her being creative and being able to use those talents would be really good for her independence.”

Sneak Peek for Yelp’s Totally Bazaar!

Yelp is only two days away, and we can hardly contain our excitement!  Yelp’s Totally Bazaar is an annual pop up shopping extravaganza, and this year there will be more than 140 local businesses.  Find the Yelp Bazaar at Central Public Library from 6:30 – 10 pm on Thursday, December 8.  This year all attendees must RSVP!

We’re too excited to wait for you to see all the great stuff we’ll have for sale, so we’re giving you a sneak peek here!  We’ll have holiday ornaments, Indiana ornaments, holiday trees, small and large snowmen, and much more from the Urban Artisans.

Watch Our New Video

We are proud to release our new video! This quick video highlights the great amount of impact ArtMix has made. Hear from parents, teaching artists, board members and staff about the work we are doing to transform the lives of people with disabilities through the creation of art. Please enjoy!

To help us continue providing access to the arts for people with disabilities, please visit our donate page.

Video produced by Dan Henkel and Phil Cramer.

Success in Urban Artisans

Urban Artisans began in 2001 as a program designed to help students with disabilities transition from school to the workplace. Over the years the program has changed, but the goal have remained the same, to provide students with an opportunity to receive pre-vocational training in an inclusive and professional arts setting.

ua-summer-pics-001Urban Artisans is a unique internship program that teaches students with disabilities practical skills they can use to further themselves as individuals and as professionals. The interns gain social skills and learn how to be collaborative and cooperative while they work together as a team to create artwork. Along with making the art, interns assist in marketing and selling it.