Fairhaven artists celebrated

NILES — More than 50 artists were celebrated at Fairhaven Foundation’s 19th annual Calendar Art Show Nov. 1 at Ciminero’s Banquet Center.

Artwork from 13 of those were chosen to be displayed in the foundation’s 2018 calendar, said Linda Tiihonen, director of Fairhaven Foundation. Other artists received honorable mention and a medal.

“We’re here to celebrate abilities, artistic abilities,” Tiihonen said.

After discovering an individual with artistic talent, she said the foundation had the very first art show in 1999.

“If they want to do art, we want them to do their best and get on the calendar,” Tiihonen said. “To see how they can impress us, be more than they thought they could be and more than what we thought they could be.”

It is important to focus on a pathway to employment without losing individual expression along the way, said Rick Mistovich, community employment director at the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Mistovich said it’s very important for the individuals at the school and the board’s workshop to be able to express their thoughts and ideas. The art show also has shown that the foundation and its individuals can go further, Tiihonen said.

The Collective Palette Studio is an example of how they have gone further, offering studio space for individuals to display their artwork, Tiihonen said.

There, Tiihonen said artists have sold $3,000 worth of art with 90 percent of it returning to the artist.

Each spring, the foundation starts accepting artwork from preschoolers to senior citizens and a panel of judges outside the agency picks the artwork for the calendar, Tiihonen said.

The art show used to be at Fairhaven School, but Tiihonen said it was taken out in 2009 because the foundation wanted the public to see the talent its individuals have.

“The goal of the foundation is to celebrate and appreciate,” Tiihonen said. “To inspire them to do better each year and each year gets more exciting.”