New Art Exhibition Highlights Works by Summit Center Students

By | July 26, 2022

The Summit Center, a behavioral health center in western New York, has collaborated with Daemen on a new exhibition to celebrate artists and learners with autism.

The show, consisting of paintings, digital artwork, and paper collage works by Summit students, is hosted by the Tower Gallery and the university’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). 

The show’s opening reception will take place in the gallery on Wednesday, July 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibition is free to the public and will be open for two weeks. 

“The focus of the show is the joy that comes just from the process of creating,” said Sandy Looker, a creative arts teacher at the Summit Center, which provides educational services for children and adults with autism and other developmental, social, and behavioral challenges.  

“We hope the show gets people to think about their own definitions of art,” she added. “These works demonstrate the joy and process found in creating – and our students find therapeutic value in painting. You may be seeing the pleasure that comes from sliding slippery paint across a canvas.”

Daemen’s Tower Gallery is hosting the exhibition until Aug. 5

The exhibition – the first ever of its kind at Daemen – is also an acknowledgement of a longstanding connection between the two institutions. Looker said many Summit employees are Daemen alums or are current students in graduate programs. 

Looker, who served in Daemen’s financial aid office for 15 years before taking the position with Summit last summer, worked with Brian Hammer, assistant professor of art, and Heather Putney, an adjunct professor of visual arts education at Daemen, to install the show. 

“Art is a universal language and artistic expression and the process of creation has the ability to inspire, and serve as an avenue for communication,” said Looker. “Art, no matter what subject, medium, or style it may be, evokes a response in the viewer.”

The Tower Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend of July, 30-31.