“I am thinking about what the next big painting may be. This time it will be more people. Sitting people this time. Last time I painted people they were all standing. Now I want it to be sitting and talking.” – Marvin Young
When Envision Unlimited took over a day center from another agency that was having difficulties, one individual in particular stood out. Marvin Young — a client at the center as well as a frequent patron of its arts studio – had long been drawing pictures of staff and other clients. But when it came to sharing his work with a larger audience he preferred to keep things to himself. Envision staff recognized his immense potential, however, and today he is blossoming as an artist whose work can command four-figure prices.
Envision’s Arts Consultant Monika Kimrey worked to establish a relationship with Marvin as a mentor, learning his creative process and slowly encouraging him to share his work with new audiences. Upon receiving six new pieces from Marvin, she asked for his permission to frame it for art shows. Five of the six pieces sold immediately.
After this success Monika asked Marvin what he really wanted to do; he responded that he wanted to make a large-scale work. Supplied with a 15’x4’ canvas, Marvin toiled for weeks, finishing it just in time for an art show in October. An admirer posted a photo of the piece to Instagram, which was seen by a friend and art collector in Boston who offered $2,000 for the piece.
Marvin has subsequently been commissioned to do two smaller pieces for a corporation’s offices and is using his newfound experience to learn about managing his finances and the business side of creating art. He maintains his privacy and personal space, but over time has a better sense of working with others. He’s even going to have lunch with the person who purchased his large piece of art when she visits from Boston.
Envision’s Arts Studio Program has been around for over a decade, and Marvin is one of many clients who have found new meaning and purpose within its creative environs. Says Monika, “I want people to understand that Envision clients do have the capacity for an art career. Their work is really great and they’re brilliant, wonderful, fantastic people to be with. Marvin is a real trailblazer.”Tags: arts, Arts Studio Program, Day Programs, Employment Services, Marvin Young, Monika Kimrey