40 West shows off art made by residents with disabilities

The art is part of the Arc’s See Me campaign

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 3/10/20

Westminster resident Anicee Lamoreaux is only 16 years old, and yet, she has already broken over 200 bones and had four major surgeries. She suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone …

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40 West shows off art made by residents with disabilities

The art is part of the Arc’s See Me campaign

Posted

Westminster resident Anicee Lamoreaux is only 16 years old, and yet, she has already broken over 200 bones and had four major surgeries. She suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease — a genetic disorder that makes it easy for her bones to break.

But she doesn’t let her disability get in the way of her love for creating art. Lamoreaux likes to use vibrant colors when she paints to express her personality. Art helps her relax, and she uses it as a way to express her feelings. Her art has been on display at the Colorado State Capitol and the White House in the past, but now, she can add another accolade to her resume — 40 West Arts District artist.

Lamoreaux’s art was on display with fellow artist Jeff Alexander at the 40 West Arts District’s First Friday event on March 6, as part of the Arc’s “See Me” campaign that helped the two artists have their work on display. The campaign, which aims to raise awareness and promote inclusion, is in correlation with Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

“I want people with disabilities to open up and express themselves through art. There is no right way to paint,” said Lamoreaux. She had four of her paintings at the First Friday event, including a music piece that featured a piano, guitar and microphone.

The idea behind the Arc’s campaign is to help bring people’s identities into focus, rather than a person’s disabilities, said Lori Ropa, executive director of the Arc in Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties.

“It is about who they really are. See me as an athlete, see me as a graduate, see me as an artist — none of those things have to do with people’s disability, and their disability isn’t their identity,” said Ropa. “We do really believe that all people should be valued and respected for who they are.”

Alexander, who lives in Georgetown, gained his passion for painting and drawing from his father, who owned an art gallery in the city. He had five mosaic art pieces on display in the 40 West Arts District.

“(People with disabilities) are not stupid,” said Alexander, who has dyslexia. “We’re very artistic. Some of us have autism, some of us have learning disabilities, but we’re not someone you should be afraid of. We’re very nice people, you just need to get to know us.”

Lamoreaux and Alexander’s art will be available for purchase throughout the month at 6731 W. Colfax Ave.

“We’re always excited to bring new artists into the district and give them a way to share art with our community. Whether it is folks with disabilities that we work with or anybody — if we can help bring their art to a broader audience, we’re excited to do that,” said 40 West Arts District Board Chair Bill Marino.

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