Peckham & MSU Create Art Program For Workers With Disabilities

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Donni Cee always liked to draw. But for most of his life, he hid his talent from the people around him. "When they encountered me it sort of surprised them... they were not used to somebody who wanted to embrace their inner child, somebody who wanted to enjoy their life, so as a result I was mocked and ridiculed," said Cee.

But three years ago Peckham's "Art at Work" program changed all of that. Donni began taking art classes while at work, honing his skills and openly exercising his imagination. Donni's drawing is one of 100 works of art that now hang proudly in the Peckham work space.

"Just as important as looking at the wall... seeing them look at their own artwork and their own pieces on the wall was nothing short of incredible," said Sue McGuire, the Peckham Art Program Developer.

Peckham employees completed the art at work project with the support of Michigan State University. The College of Engineering built the installation, and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities worked with employees to create their pieces.

"This project allowed the art students and the engineering students to work together on something very important," said S. Patrick Walton, Director of MSU College of Engineering Core Experience.

And the project isn't finished yet... 200 more pieces of art work will be made to fill the entire wall. Donni says that the positive feedback he received at the reveal has changed his life, and he can't wait to get started on his next masterpiece.

"I thought I was just a retarded idiot that was destined to push a mop and be mocked, ridiculed. So when art from the heart actually revealed itself in the sneak peak that a lot of the artists such as myself went to, me and Dominique Johnson, another client artist, we were in tears. We were not used to people doing that for us. "