Studio B hosts dual exhibits: Jane Ammon's Photographs, ‘The Clothes They Came to Us In' and KenCrest's ‘ArtWorks!'

By Jane Ammon

An important aspect of Studio B’s mission includes providing opportunities to enhance lifelong learning, creativity, and health and wellness through the arts while serving as a dynamic “go to” destination for fun and friendship.

This aspect will be realized fully in two very special exhibits which will open at Studio B on Friday, May 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.

In the main gallery, the photography of Jane Ammon will feature compelling photographs of 30 internationally-adopted children.

In the studio’s classroom gallery, the exhibit will feature ArtWorks!—artwork by 25 to 30 artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities—who attend the KenCrest EmployNet program.

Jane Ammon: The Clothes They Came to Us In

Ammon, a child photographer in Berks County, resides in Fleetwood. The exhibit, titled “The Clothes They Came to Us In,” was inspired by her daughter Madeline whom Ammon and her husband adopted in 2008.

Ammon posted a photograph of her daughter on a blog in January 2013, that “went viral” (http://www.janeammonphotography.net/2013/01/adoption-photography/) which subsequently turned into a personal project she developed through a Facebook invitation allowing Ammon to tell the stories of the children so that they felt heard and valued. The invitation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/257095557784774/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Over the past year, Ammon has photographed 30 children hoping to honor the unique challenges these children and their families have faced in the hope that, through her lens, their stories of courage and vulnerability can be shared. Ammon urges, “I believe every child can be heard. Listen.” Ammon can be reached by calling 610-781-2816.

Susan Biebuyck, Studio B’s gallery director, offered, “We are pleased to present Jane Ammon’s photography in celebration of her enthusiasm for adoption and motherhood. Her ability to blur the lines between her passion for photography and her love of life are exemplified in her exceptional photographs. Don’t miss this emotional and moving display.”

Jane Stahl, Director of Community Relations at Studio B, added, “When Susan (Biebuyck) met Jane (Ammon), their love for children and fine art created an instant bond between them that inspired Susan to invite Jane to exhibit her work at Studio B. We are eager to share this exhibit in honor of children and their families and especially those the Universe brought together in unique ways for unique rewards.”

“My own best friend saved the clothes her adopted daughter from El Salvador came in and was able to schedule a photo session right before Christmas of Andrea--now all grown up and living in Arizona- with her (homegrown) twins. Their inclusion in the exhibit will be a special treat for me and our friends,” Stahl continued.

“Studio B is especially grateful to Zerns Farmers Market for the funding provided for this exhibit and to the families whose stories have inspired the artist,” Stahl concluded.

ArtWorks! Sponsored by KenCrest

Funded by the River Crest Fund, KenCrest’s Art Works! program allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive instruction weekly in artistic technique. Art Corner’s, Jean Esther, Studio B’s most popular art instructor, has facilitated twice-weekly classes at KenCrest, and inspired the collaboration between the two venues. Esther and Angel Perez regularly offer classes at Studio B.

“Jean knows that the mission of Studio B complements KenCrest’s—developing, celebrating, and showcasing the assorted artistic gifts and abilities of individuals,” noted Stahl.

“It’s actually art instruction, not arts and crafts,” explained Allison Smale, director of program enhancement and growth for KenCrest.

KenCrest has led the way for people with disabilities since its founding in 1905. Each year, the organization helps over 7,600 people with developmental disabilities and autism live the best life possible. KenCrest EmployNet which spearheads the ArtWorks! program serves 220 individuals assisting them in reaching their career and vocational goals. Contact Allison Smale for additional information asmale@kencrest.org or 610-327-4606 ext. 2430.

EnployNet has been providing employment supports for over 20 years utilizing a person-centered philosophy of support which focuses on an individual’s goals, dreams, and strengths to create a service that is individually driven and outcomes-based. Positive Approaches and Gentle Teaching

Following the exhibit at Studio B, ArtWorks! will be on exhibit on June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Shorty’s Sunflower Café in Pottstown. The Sunflower Truck Stop will be on site offering their culinary art to show visitors. All the art on exhibit will be for sale.