Themes of inclusion and inspiration are woven into Greater Napanee’s latest Pallet’able Art display, which was unveiled Thursday at Winchester Park.
Painted onto a wooden pallet, the double-sided public art is the latest in the Greater Napanee Art and Culture Advisory Committee’s ongoing series spread throughout the town. Autism Network Lennox and Addington and Community Living Lennox and Addington sponsored the latest installment.
On one side is Barbara Grawberger’s Inclusion, which features nine kids, all representing a different neurological condition, standing side-by-side with the globe as a background.
“At first glance my pallet’s concept is children united across the world – and that’s the intention with hidden and obvious symbolism representing neurodiversity and inclusion among our community,” Grawberger wrote. “Within the image of the globe, the blue water represents the ‘light it up blue’ initiative created by the UN for World Autism Day, and as well flexibility and universal understanding such as water itself. The sunflowers within the land part of the earth represent unconditional compassion, unity and love, and the colour yellow is a symbol of friendship. I chose to use these flowers in order to bring attention to the additional contributions of the flowers painted by individuals included from Community Living on the backside of the pallet.”
Each of the children are painted purple.
“The children themselves are painted a single colour to show equality among our community,” added Grawberger. “I chose specifically to have the stick figures reminiscent of children, and each has a specific neurological condition as well as different sensory and mobility aids (such as the child in a wheelchair, one with a guide dog and one with the ear protection.) There is a child in the middle with a balloon that contains a rainbow, which recognizes LGTBQ+ people within neurodiversity and represents a spectrum.”
Mandy Stapley of the Autism Network LAC was on hand to help unveil the artwork. The project was a special one to her as her son Hank is on the spectrum and Winchester Park is one of his favourite parks.
“I come to Winchester Park often with my son and we’ve seen Pallet’able Art around town,” said Stapley. “There are many families using this park, which include those of the disability community. Art is an amazing way to express and convey messages, and it needs no words.”
On the reverse side is a scene of colour flowers titled Inspiring Possibilities, which is also the motto at Community Living L&A.
“This was worked on by some of our individuals and staff,” said Liza Blades, manager of Community Living L&A. “When they were doing it they were thinking about spring and the chance to come back together because obviously during COVID we haven’t been together expect virtually.”
Inspiring Possibilities made for the perfect title.
“That’s what we attempt to do at the agency with the individuals we work with, to inspire possibilities for employment, volunteer and social interaction,” added Blades.
Tim Nimigan of the Greater Napanee Arts and Culture Advisory Committee noted this was the 29 Pallet’able Art display installed across town. A full list of them can be found at www.GreaterNapanee.com.