Because many of the artists have limited to no use of their hands, or communicate in other ways besides using speech, they work with art facilitators, or ‘scribes’. Acting as visual translators, scribes take great care to understand and accurately convey an artist’s creative vision. Scribes work closely with artists to establish a language that is suited to their unique creative process. While each artist takes a different approach in guiding their scribe, all scribes follow the lead of their artist as they dictate the direction of their work.
In contrast to the traditional ‘helping’ relationship where abled people ‘help’ dis/abled people by doing things for them instead of with them, Artists Without Barriers honours the diversity, knowledge, and creativity of artists living with communication and mobility dis/abilities. By guiding scribes through their unique process of creative exploration and discovery, artists act as guides and mentors to their scribes.
Becoming a successful scribe requires excellent listening skills, patience, presence of mind, perceptiveness, attentiveness, and an ability to follow an artist’s creative guidance. Scribes are required to commit to an initial three-month period to allow time for skill development.
Many of our scribes feel that their experiences in the AWB studio have facilitated growth in their own creative practices outside of the group. If you are someone who thrives in positive creative spaces, and has a talent for painting and drawing, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.