New art studio celebrates unique abilities

By:  Melina Matthes

A downtown Lincoln art gallery is reaching out to a unique group of people.

Live Yes Studios serves people with disabilities and strives to help them be recognized in the community as artists.  They've been working hard to get ready for their first gallery opening. 

Quinlynn loves to paint and she's currently working on a series of art for the opening gallery.  It's focused on food.  Quinlynn says she really likes pasta.  She was not born with her disability.   

“I was like 7 or 8 years old and I had a brain tumor and I had a stroke during the surgery,” says Quinlynn.

Live Yes Studios allows the artists to find some sort of self expression through painting and music.  It's an art–based day program for adults with developmental disabilities.  It is operated by RHD Nebraska or Resources for Human Development, a non–profit organization with art studios all over the country. 

“These are folks who don't have any formal training and some of the pieces that they've been able to produce are absolutely amazing,” says RHD Nebraska Director Kierstin Reed.

While many of the artists paint others are more musically inclined.  Kelly spends most of her time in the music room.  With help from a volunteer she can strum her favorite tune.  Kelly has several disabilities, but that doesn't stop her from her artwork, pieces that the staff cherish. 

“I leave work everyday feeling like we accomplished something big. I feel like we're making a difference in the lives of the people we serve and they're making a difference in our lives,” says Live Yes Director Jennifer Lewis.

The artists' work will be presented at an appreciation event honoring people who helped get the program up and running.  It's Tuesday, February 28th from 5-7 p.m.  It's open to the public and the art will be for sale.  Live Yes Studios is located at 330 S.13 St. in Lincoln.