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UNIQUE The Art & Literary Magazine

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The Gray Lady Jeffrey Harrington Acrylic on Canvas 18” x 24”

Jeffrey Harrington, 22, has autism and expresses his emotions and feelings through his art. He’s been making art since grade school when a teacher accepted that he saw the world in a different way. He painted The Gray Lady while taking a class at SU. The piece reflects tones of gray and the way he can feel during our long winters. Previously in UNIQUE 2008 - 2012

UNIQUE Premier Sponsor

The Drescher Corporation Thirteenth Edition Sponsors

J.W. Burns & Company Investment Counsel Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. Patrons of the Arts

Tania S. Anderson The Bonadio Group PurEnergy L.L.C. SUNY Oswego V.I.P. Structures, Inc. Friends of UNIQUE Tim, Sue & Robert George INFICON Onondaga Hearing Services Relph Benefit Advisors Media Sponsors

Opening Exhibit Partner EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART

UNIQUE Publisher ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc.

Key ARISE Staff Tom McKeown, Executive Director Nancy Kern Kronen, Director of Development & PR

Editorial Board Lauren Bristol, Sparky Town Restaurant & Catering Dan Cummings, NewsChannel 9 WSYR Nienke Dosa, MD, SUNY Upstate Medical University Linda Erb, Gary Forbes, Onondaga Hearing Services Sean Kirst, The Post Standard Lauren Pistell, Richard S. Shineman Foundation Debora Ryan, Everson Museum of Art Kristen Smith, Time Warner Cable Lauren Unbekant, Syracuse Stage

Editorial Staff Elizabeth Martin, Managing Editor Gigina Long, Editorial Assistant Frank Vair, Editorial Assistant Sarah Steele, Intern

Submission Process UNIQUE is published annually to display the creative work of people with disabilities living in Central New York. We welcome submissions of written and visual art. Guidelines and deadlines for UNIQUE 2014 will be announced in March 2014 and available on the ARISE and UNIQUE websites.

Alternative Formats Portions of UNIQUE are available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact ARISE at (315) 472-3171.


Contact UNIQUE UNIQUE Magazine c/o ARISE 635 James Street Syracuse, NY 13203 UNIQUE is made possible through the support of corporate sponsorships and individual donors across Central New York.


From Dan Cummings, Morning News Anchor & Managing Editor NewsChannel 9 WSYR In his book, No Man Is an Island, my favorite author Thomas Merton said that “art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” The works of literary and visual art that greet you here offer just such an opportunity. Please take your time as you turn the pages in this magazine. Allow the prose or poetry to sink into your soul. Let your gaze linger on the drawings, paintings and other original expressions. Each one is the creative work of a person with a story to tell. I had the honor of serving as one of the judges for the entries submitted for this year’s issue of Unique. It was extremely difficult and rewarding at the same time. Difficult, thanks to the number of high-quality entries. Rewarding, because each entry gave me a glimpse into the life of another human being. These artistic expressions of hope and pain, love and loss are as unique as the individuals who created them. Often, what can’t be expressed in any other way, finds an ideal outlet in a poem, an essay, a drawing, painting or piece of sculpture. It’s the mission of ARISE to give everyone the “right to dignity, personal responsibility, and self-determination.” You will find those rights beautifully and candidly on display in this special magazine. With gratitude to the artists and to ARISE, I invite you to join them on that journey of finding yourself and losing yourself on each of the pages that follow.


UNIQUE From Elizabeth L. Martin, UNIQUE Managing Editor UNIQUE 2013 is my fifth anniversary with the publication. Even over such a short time, I am inspired by the growth of the publication and of the artists and writers. My first year (2009) saw a record number of submissions at 147, when we still allowed two submissions per artist. We quickly narrowed the guidelines to allow only a single submission per artist. This year, we nearly broke the submission record with 141 pieces made by 142 artists. The cover artist this year, Jeffrey Harrington, has been involved with UNIQUE longer than I have, and I thought I could recognize his artistic style. “The Gray Lady” is something new for him, and I am thrilled about this new direction. As always, this publication cannot happen without the work of the Editorial Board, editorial staff, our sponsors, and all the artists and writers who submitted work. We thank them for their time and effort. It is well worth it. Enjoy.

About ARISE ARISE is an Independent Living Center run by and for people with disabilities. Our mission is to work with people of all abilities to create a fair and just community in which everyone can fully participate. We are guided by the philosophy that individuals with disabilities have a right to dignity, personal responsibility, and self-determination. Through more than 50 programs, we offer services in Onondaga, Oswego, and Madison Counties. Some programs vary by county and some are available in additional counties in Central and Northern New York

About ARISE Foundation f o u n d a t i o n


Every day, ARISE works to remove barriers, sustain needs, strengthen skills, and enrich the lives of people with disabilities in Central New York. The ARISE Foundation was established in 2011 to ensure that ARISE can continue to provide extraordinary services for people with any type of disability – both today and tomorrow.

Table of Contents FRONT COVER: Jeffrey Harrington, The Gray Lady........................................ ii

Vivian A. Golding, Still Life, Sprig of Flowers....................... 16

BACK COVER: Vickie Darby, I Was Only Ten.......................................9

Kimmy Harvey, White Picket Fantasies... 16

BACK COVER: Andrew Swarm, Set Free/Hands Off..................................1

Anne Burgmeier, Sunset on the River.... 17

Jacqueline Colone, Inner Soul................1

Wyatt Kyle, The Ending of a Sad Memory................... 18

Anastasia Vance, yin and yang abstract style.......................2 Jenny Dunlop, Not Easy... But Possible.....2 Erika Vitthuhn & Tanner Woodland, Bullfrog..................................................3 Sarah Hamlin, Creation..........................3 Carleen Giannotti, Fire & Rain................4 Kenny Krafft, Fruit by Candlelight............4 Amanda Townsend, Story of Life............5 Christian Poirier, Tranquil Sunset............5 Lauren Lamanna, Sunflower...................6

Meghan Milazzo, Still Life..................... 17 Kirsten Stellato, Table of Plenty............ 18

Jessica Nelson, Herman....................... 19 Timothy Wobus, Landscape.................. 19 Kristen Stosal, The wolves with palm trees..................... 20 Marissa Ramos, Untitled....................... 20 Jennifer A. Fulco, Necessity’s Run......... 21 Benjamin Elman, Me........................... 22 Robert M. Szpak, Subaquatic Hen Pecking Order................ 22 Kaushik B. Krishnan, The Vase............. 23

Steven J. Mandigo, T-Pod.......................6

Elizabeth Watson, Mother and Daughter............................. 23

Josh Webster, RUINS.............................7

Derek Grindle, Cloud............................ 24

Margaret Lawless, Made With Love.........7

Mark Kearney, Bronze Brushes.............. 24

Amber Micek, Your Move........................8

Joshua Webb, Hidden in the Jungle........ 25

Randy Wilson, My Florida Retirement Home.....................8

Jevon Consler, Night Weathervane........ 25

Jill Tallmage-Coomey, Wish Upon A Star.................................. 10

Martha Wadleigh, I Wish...................... 26

Carolyn A. Bevens, The Outsider........... 10 Mary Coogan, Anna’s Life..................... 11 Nancy Marshfield, Hitching a Ride......... 11 Lorraine Piazza, The Spirit of God, His Presence In Nature........................... 12 Donna August, Soft Petals.................... 12 Joanne Mark, Capture the Innocence..... 13 Anna-Marie Kuiper, Facing Delusions..... 14 Benjamin Cooper, Winter #6................ 14 Christine Eldred, R E A L I T Y.............. 15 Renee M. Thornton, Looking Up - Heaven.............................. 15

Richelle Maki, looking back................... 26 Julia McKinney, I am........................... 27 Hilary Cookhouse, Poseidon & Amphitrite Greek God & Goddess of the Sea............. 28 Joseph Lisi, Joseph the Cowboy............. 28 Joseph Rufo, Old Girlfriend................... 29 Jonathan Earl Tipton, A Beautiful Chair.29 Jean K. Syrell, A Square Blossoms......... 30 Katrina Urben, Neighbors Barn.............. 30 Kristen Webb, Trevor and Reagan Take a Walk.............. 31 Brian Haher, Abstract Summer.............. 31 Honorable Mention................................. 32


Set Free/Hands Off Andrew Swarm Oil on Canvas 18” x 24”

Inner Soul Jacqueline Colone Photography 10 ½” x 7”

Andrew Swarm, 49, has been painting since being inspired as a boy by his grandmother and uncle. He feels that his diabetes, cancer, asthma, anxiety, and depression have enhanced his work. Set Free/ Hands Off reflects the influence of Salvador Dali and Andrew’s love of nature. First year in UNIQUE 1

Jacqueline Colone, 17, has Down syndrome. She enjoys playing guitar, dancing, and kickball. Inner Soul is a self-portrait that uses a double-exposure technique where a textured screen is layered over the original. The portrait shows there is more to her than one thinks. Previously in UNIQUE 2011

yin and yang abstract style Anastasia Vance Oil on Art Board 14” x 11”

He never said it would be easy But he gives strength to the weak

Not Easy... But Possible Jenny Dunlop

His ever-present love Available to all those who seek For those who mourn He wipes their tears For those who are scared He calms their fears And even when I can’t understand I know I can always trust His Hand Even in this battle I can find rest Knowing that God’s way is the best When I feel I can’t go on any longer I turn to Him And He makes me stronger.

Anastasia Vance is 23, lives in Oneida and has Asperger’s syndrome. She is inspired by graffiti and finds that her disability helps her see life in a unique way. yin and yang abstract style is dedicated to her mother, and represents her wish for peace in the world. First year in UNIQUE

Jenny Dunlop, 19, uses writing to capture her experiences of living life with a disability. Not Easy... But Possible was written during a struggle with negative and frightening thoughts that wouldn’t seem to go away. Previously in UNIQUE 2007, 2009, 2010 - 2012 2

Bullfrog Erica Vitthuhn & Tanner Woodland Colored Pencil on Paper 57 ½” x 25 ½”

Creation Sarah Hamlin

White wall White as ocean foam Staring back at me, sighing Lusting after the jars beside it Dried crusted color on their sides And pooling in bright harmony on the wood Vibrating bristles, shivering with elation Comb over the wall, clothing it in spatters and streaks And the wall once too white, too free Bleeds rainbows that drip to the floor And all at once An explosion of light Of creation – of life – shines through And nothing seems old to me anymore While the wall beams brightly at the Empty jars of glass beside it And breathes a thank you before dying

Erika Vitthuhn and Tanner Woodland both love reptiles. They collaborated to create Bullfrog at a program that provides support for people who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. Previously in UNIQUE 2009, 2009, 2011 (Erika); 2002, 2006, 2007, 2011 (Tanner) 3

Sarah Hamlin, 17, is an active member of her school and church, and is a member of the “I Am Norm” campaign. She takes inspiration from other poets and from music. Creation is about the raw power of artistic creation to express individuality. Previously in UNIQUE 2007, 2008, 2010 - 2012

Fire & Rain Carleen Giannotti Acrylic on Canvas 37 ½” x 36 ½”

Fruit by Candlelight Kenny Krafft Oil Pastel on Paper 24” x 18”

Carleen Giannotti, 54, started creating art through the A.R.T. Program at Upstate Cerebral Palsy. She began Fire & Rain using her favorite colors, orange and blue, and slowly layered in more colors. The painting is a gift to her brother. Previously in UNIQUE 2012

Kenny Krafft, 14, has a learning disability and selective mutism. He enjoys art because it allows him to be creative in a very natural way. He also enjoys the satisfaction of seeing a completed piece. Fruit by Candlelight was inspired by the objects found around his house. First year in UNIQUE 4

Story of Life Amanda Townsend

Lonely only me, Sitting alone, World doesn’t know, Life is incomplete, I am invisible, Illusion of people, Do not Understand, Brain doesn’t Know, Help by talking to me, Not as nothing, Somebody understands Me, I know their story.

Tranquil Sunset Christian Poirier Oil on Canvas 16” x 20”

Amanda Townsend 22, has Down syndrome and is inspired by her brother. She began making art in school, and feels it allows her to be creative and have fun. Story of Life, like most of her poetry, expresses her mixed feelings about herself. Previously in UNIQUE 2009, 2010, 2012 5

Christian Poirier is 21 and enjoys bowling and spending time with his family. He began painting after watching Bob Ross on TV. He has autism and finds that painting helps him relax. Tranquil Sunset was created using colors that he finds calm and happy. Previously in UNIQUE 2011

Sunflower Lauren Lamanna Oil Pastel on Paper 18” x 24”

T-Pod Steven J. Mandigo Ceramic Sculpture 11” x 3 ½” x 9”

Lauren Lamanna, 12, has a learning disability that makes reading difficult. She likes to draw, and her favorite class is art. Her father and brother both went to school for artistic careers. She created Sunflower because she likes the way that sunflowers are bright. First year in UNIQUE

Steven J. Mandigo, 14, likes to ride his bike, play video games, and to do yard work and landscaping. He takes many art classes to learn about different forms. One assignment was to create a tea pot showing something he enjoys. T-Pod reflects the artist’s love of technology. First year in UNIQUE 6

RUINS Josh Webster Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 30”

Made with Love Margaret Lawless Fiber Art 36” x 31”

Josh Webster, 24, enjoys painting because it is helps him relax when days are hard due to his traumatic brain injury. RUINS was inspired by a building he saw while on a drive in the country. It expresses hope, renewal, and new beginnings. Previously in UNIQUE 2008 – 2010, 2012 7

Margaret Lawless, 54, grew up in Vernon with her father and enjoys crafting and sewing. She created Made with Love because of the joy she feels when sewing, and because quilts offer security and lessen the stress and worry of life. The colors were chosen to reflect her feelings. Previously in UNIQUE 2010

Your Move Amber Micek Woodcut Print, Ink on Paper 5” x 8”

My Florida Retirement Home Randy Wilson Acrylic on Canvas 28” x 19”

Amber Micek, 35, combats the isolation of living with schizoaffective and bipolar disorders by using her imagination to create. She made Your Move in the style of a woodcut to demonstrate her love of using her imagination to create scenes of beauty and whimsy. Previously in UNIQUE 2010 - 2012

Randy Wilson, 54, began creating art in 2011, and challenges himself to think outside the box. He makes his art using a point system with a trained tracker that assists. My Florida Retirement Home is a project he designed down to the last detail including ramps to the doors. First year in UNIQUE 8

I Was Only Ten Vickie Darby

I was only ten when it began. Late night when I was alone. You preyed on my innocence and trust. How did I know it was wrong? You did things so horrible to me. My soul and body were scared. What you did to that little girl left me alone and scarred. You said it was to show your love, taking my body for your use. Now I know that what happened to me wasn’t love, but abuse. All the dirty things you did to me won’t ever be washed away with rain. Nothing will rid my heart of this never ending pain. I hope that you hurt as much as I do. Do you even remember what you did? Nothing will make up for the pain you caused when I was a kid. The physical scars you put on my body have since healed with time But my pain still shows inside. Whenever the child inside me cries it’s that little ten year old girl. I had to grow up fast and way too soon. All the pain and hurt that you have caused with always be remembered. Like a flower that forever blooms.

Vickie Darby, 36, is a Syracuse native and a writer who draws inspiration from her own experiences. I Was Only Ten powerfully depicts painful moments from her past. First year in UNIQUE 9

Wish Upon A Star Jill Tallmage-Coomey Watercolor on Paper 17 ¼” x 23”

The Outsider Carolyn A. Bevens Acrylic and Watercolor on Canvas 20” x 16”

Jill Tallmage-Coomey is 43 and has been happily married for six years to a wonderful man. Wish Upon A Star captures the wondrous feeling of seeing and wishing upon the first star in the night sky. First year in UNIQUE

Carolyn A. Bevens, 43, finds that art provides an escape from both the troubles of the world as well as her physical and mental disabilities. The Outsider captures transitions in life, of children growing and leaving the home, and the knowledge that God ensures things will be all right. First year in UNIQUE 10

Anna’s Life Mary Coogan

Ginger spice and white pepper too. Brown vessels to a joyful soul. Nothing is better than these. In bed, on the bus, most anywhere. Come follow. Cave drawings in slumber, I love you. Pads and salt are never a good match. Sweet dreams always. Chain about the neck for safety not torture. A wanderer. My left side will It’s a beginning so much. All my life I will too hard to

never be the same without you. now, an end, for you have taught me always remember because ten is much forget.

Hitching a Ride Nancy Marshfield Acrylic and Ink on Art Board 7” x 5”

Mary Coogan is 55 and a martial arts enthusiast. She is legally blind and has bipolar disorder. Her experiences with her disabilities fuel her artistic creativity. Mary’s dream is to write a novel. Anna’s Life is a living testament to her faithful guide dog, Anna. Previously in UNIQUE 2004 11

Nancy Marshfield, 75, experimented with painting a variety of subjects from angels to flowers before settling on whimsical subjects. Her motivation is to bring joy and happiness to others. Hitching a Ride is inspired by her love of horses and cats. First year in UNIQUE

The Spirit of God, His Presence In Nature Lorraine Piazza Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 18”

Soft Petals Donna August Mixed Media on Rice Paper 20” x 30”

Lorraine Piazza, 55, began creating art 20 years ago at the suggestion of therapists as a way to deal with her schizoaffective disorder. Art gives her an outlet for her creativity. Picasso and Van Gogh are her role models. This painting was made after a joyful and spiritual walk. First year in UNIQUE

Donna August, 48, suffered a heart attack at the age of 29, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. She has always loved art and drawing, and uses it to express her emotions. Soft Petals was created out of a love of nature, and flowers in particular. Previously in UNIQUE 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 12

Capture the Innocence Joanne Mark

I glance across the crowded restaurant and notice a senior couple at the corner table. Her eyes focus only on him and they seem deep in conversation. She reaches up and touches him on the cheek. He smiles at her and blows her a kiss. They hold hands and they look so in love. After dinner, he helps her on with her coat and guides her toward the door. She stops and smiles at all the patrons. The waitress stops at my table and says, “Isn’t that so sweet? He takes her to dinner every week. They have been married some sixty years and he just adores her. She has Alzheimer’s and he brings her back to the nursing home until next week.”

A recent incident at a local laundromat involved a confused, elderly gentleman who stopped in for directions. I saw his dilemma and advised him that he was only one block away from his intended destination. Upon leaving, he stopped at the door and said, “Now that I have the directions, I think I may have lost my car. Can you help me?” I took his hand and lead him to the parked vehicle just outside the door. I smiled sympathetically as he touched my cheek in a very gracious manner and climbed into the back seat. The driver of the taxicab winked at me as he pulled away!

Joanne Mark, 60, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, and has since found an increased compassion for others, especially seniors who are struggling with the effects of dementia. Capture the Innocence evokes the spirit and adaptability of people with dementia. Previously in UNIQUE 2012 13

Facing Delusions Anna-Marie Kuiper Fiber Art 35” x 34”

Winter #6 Benjamin Cooper Photography 8 ¼” x 10 ¾”

Anna Marie Kuiper, 44, has schizophrenia and began making wall hangings when she was 16 as a way to show people the pain she feels. Facing Delusions shows hallucinations and delusions bursting from her head. It is dedicated to her friend, John Hershey. Previously in UNIQUE 2012

Benjamin Cooper is a 44-year-old photographer living in Syracuse. He captured the melancholy feeling of winter in this photograph of ice clinging to a sword. Previously in UNIQUE 2011, 2012


We must go on-so they say,

REALITY Christine Eldred

On this long, hard, hopeless way. This wretched road..... Only music and amnesiac thoughts of things past – Together, these drag the body along that road. Day after day, hurting people along the way. They’re glad to have me…. they say. Only looking at this from one way. Intelligence…Ha! The more you have, The more slowly and painfully it is lost! Which I suppose, is really the cost.

Looking Up - Heaven Renee Thornton Acrylic on Paper 19” x 15 ½”

Christine Eldred is 49 and sustained a traumatic brain injury when she was 17. She created R E A L I T Y while recovering from her initial accident. She uses writing as a way to process the complex emotions that stem from her traumatic brain injury. Previously in UNIQUE 2008 - 2012 15

Renee Thornton, 27, was raised in Fairmont and received her diploma from West Genesee High School. Renee has CHARGE syndrome and is legally blind. Looking Up-Heaven is based on visions of the heaven that she believes is above. Previously in UNIQUE 2009

Still Life, Sprig of Flowers Vivian A. Golding Computer-Generated 9 ½” x 7 ½”

White Picket Fantasies Kimmy Harvey Acrylic on Canvas 16” x 20”

Vivian A. Golding is a 70-year-old wife, mother, and grandmother. She views art as therapy to help with her multiple sclerosis. Still Life, Sprig of Flowers is based on memories of visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and is dedicated to her husband, Bud. Previously in UNIQUE 2003 - 2007, 2009, 2012

Kimmy Harvey, 43 and an LPN, sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2008. She uses art as therapy to free her mind and soul of her feelings. She has come to enjoy expressing herself through art. White Picket Fantasies represents an idyllic dream of life. Previously in UNIQUE 2012 16

Still Life Meghan Milazzo Oil Pastel on Paper 18” x 24”

Sunset on the River Anne Burgmeier Acrylic on Canvas 17” x 15”

Meghan Milazzo, 12, was encouraged to draw by her mother in order to relieve her nervousness. She has been drawing ever since, and finds that it helps her cope when she has difficulties in school. She hopes Still Life will influence others to pick up a pencil and begin to draw. First year in UNIQUE 17

Anne Burgmeier, 21, uses art to generate feelings of happiness whenever she is feeling down. Sunset on the River was inspired by a photograph that reminded Anne of a camp she used to visit with her parents. It evokes happy memories for the artist. First year in UNIQUE

Table of Plenty Kirsten Stellato Acrylic on Canvas 36” x 12”

It is not easy to be me Always trying to set my mind free.

The Ending of a Sad Memory Wyatt Kyle

Dark souls grabbing at my heart Crazed thoughts tearing me apart. I try to keep it straight in my mind To put the past so far behind. The future is bright, but yet a mystery But looks to be much better than my history. What is to come is unknown The like I have – I have for chose. The creature inside me knows no bounds The vast void inside my head, I try to control. I fill my soul with deep thoughts and memories I lock them away in my heart. I am loving and caring, but yet not whole What and where is the puzzle piece that will complete me?

Kirsten Stellato 44, grew up in Germany and has schizoaffective disorder. She is inspired by beauty in creation and uses art as a form of communication. Table of Plenty was painted in order to have the appearance of gracious dining during a time when the artist experienced poverty. First year in UNIQUE

Wyatt Kyle, 12, believes that having Asperger’s syndrome deeply moves him to create and express in himself in written form. He has a vast imagination and likes to put his feelings on paper. His poem comes from his need to express himself after having a bad day. First year in UNIQUE 18

Herman Jessica Nelson Polymer Clay 2” dia. x 2”

Landscape Timothy Wobus Acrylic on Canvas 10” x 13”

Jessica Nelson is 48 and lives in Canastota with her fiancé David and their dog Petie. She enjoys cartooning, as well as working with clay and Sculpey, a polymer clay. Herman represents her creativity. She feels the piece is cute and quirky. First year in UNIQUE 19

Timothy Wobus, 28, is autistic and non-verbal, and uses art and his paintings to express himself. He uses large brush strokes and bold colors to reflect his moods. Landscape is dedicated to Lynn Baum, his recently-retired art teacher. Previously in UNIQUE 2006 - 2008, 2010 - 2012

The wolves with palm trees Kristen Stosal Watercolor on Paper 13” x 16”

Untitled Marissa Ramos Colored Pencil on Paper 8” x 8”

Kristen Stosal, 30, has been creating art for two years. She enjoys both writing and painting, and is an avid collector of all things Twilight. The wolves with palm trees was inspired by a trip to the Wolf Mountains as well as the Twilight series. Previously in UNIQUE 2011

Marissa Ramos, 11, and loves camping and playing with her dog, Rita. She draws and sculpts with clay, and is inspired by nature, her teachers, and her interests. She enjoys drawing animals, both real and imaginary. Untitled was inspired by the artist’s interest in Pokemon. First year in UNIQUE 20

Necessity’s Run Jennifer A. Fulco

I don’t love Oblivion— I love her son, Reality. He keeps me climbing that tree So I scrape my knee Up against his branches so rough— For he’s quite tough. I’ve seen their whole family In poetry. So it may seem When Oblivion lets off her steam— Reality returns With its whip and cool burns. It’s a rough ride To uproot and collide Against these two muses When I’m wearing two different shoes. I clash myself trying to define them And sew them into a hem For work pants to wear. They do wear Out when I discuss them too often. Yet, Oblivion knows how to soften The burden of a hard day’s work And she does lurk Around at night As a farthing in sight. I always return to Reality, my true son For he is a necessity’s run.

Jennifer A. Fulco, 45, channels the overflow of emotion from her bipolar disorder into poetry. She finds it cathartic as it creates stability to manage her emotions. Necessity’s Run is derived from feelings of passion and control, and the need for lucidity in creative expression. Previously in UNIQUE 2007 - 2012 21

Me Benjamin Elman Mixed Media 17 ¾” x 22”

Subaquatic Hen Pecking Order Robert M. Szpak Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 30”

Benjamin Elman, 15, has autism and limited verbal and written expression. He expresses himself through art and music. Me focuses on identity. Benjamin selected and arranged photographic parts of his face, mostly removing his mouth and emphasizing his eyes. First year in UNIQUE

Robert M. Szpak, 64, studied art at the Boston Museum of Art and Syracuse University. Robert uses art to share his experiences with schizoaffective disorder. Subaquatic Hen Pecking Order is about the process of dominance between people in a confined space. Previously in UNIQUE 2008 - 2012 22

The Vase Kaushik B. Krishnan Ceramic Sculpture 8 ½” dia. x 15 ½”

Mother and Daughter Elizabeth Watson Colored Pencils on Paper 23” x 17”

Kaushik B. Krishnan is 15 and has attention deficit disorder. He discovered his love of clay in ceramics class at school. He finds working with clay therapeutic because it helps him focus and become calm. The Vase is one of many vases he created in ceramics class. First year in UNIQUE 23

Lizzie Watson, 20, lives in Fayetteville, and loves the Twilight series. She has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, and has been creating art since she was young, at times as an outlet of escape. Mother and Daughter is dedicated to her mother. Previously in UNIQUE 2009, 2011, 2012

Cloud Derek Grindle Mixed Media 19” x 15”

Bronze Brushes Mark Kearney Mixed Media on Paper 23” x 28”

Derek Grindle, 23, has autism and feels art allows him to speak to people in a language they can understand. He hopes to have a career in art. Cloud is the result of a multi-step process, including painting, photography, and collage. Previously in UNIQUE 2004-2012

Mark Kearney is 59 and used to work as a carpenter. He still enjoys building, creating, and painting. Bronze Brushes captures the essence of brushes, both real and abstract. They represent the hard work that goes into any art project. Previously in UNIQUE 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 24

Hidden in the Jungle Joshua Webb Collage 18” x 12”

Night Weathervane Jevon Consler Watercolor on Paper 15” x 21”

Joshua Webb, 15, is developmentally delayed and enjoys creating art in a variety of media. Hidden in the Jungle was created as a surprise gift for his mother. While he tends to give away his artwork, this piece will be placed in his family’s living room. First year in UNIQUE 25

Jevon Consler, 40, became fascinated with the weather while serving in the Air Force. He learned forecasting, and has since enjoyed the interplay between facts and guessing. Night Weathervane is a watercolor painting that demonstrates his love of the weather. First year in UNIQUE

looking back Richelle Maki Mixed Media 5 ½” x 5” x 2”

I am destroyed.

I Wish

I want to become wishes so I won’t feel anymore.

Martha Wadleigh

I am graceful for God since I was eight years old. Know if it was not for him, I would be dead right now. I am almost sixty years old now. The only way for me to stop the feeling is to die and be reborn again. Twice I have tried suicide but God didn’t take me yet. Everyone say that I am very strong. I don’t know why he is keeping me alive. My wishes would help stop the pain that my family is going through. See them suffer deeply watching the hurting. I can’t help them. I want to. If I become wishes maybe I can stop everyone in the family. Their hurt because I know how their hurt is I see it. I want to take the hurt away. So they can live painless life. This is why I want to be a wish.

Richelle Maki, 42, is inspired by the world around. She began taking photos after being diagnosed as hypercoagulant with fibromyalgia. While exploring what to do with her photos, she discovered mixed media and Steampunk art styles. looking back is a tribute to antique photography. First year in UNIQUE

Martha Wadleigh is a 60-year-old writer living in Syracuse. She used her personal experiences of pain, sorrow, and regret as inspiration for I Wish. The poem speaks to a strong core of belief, and to the universal desire to spare loved ones of any pain and suffering. First Year in UNIQUE 26

I am........ Julia McKinney

I am a Survivor someone who’s gone to Hell and back. Like a soldier who’s gone to battle, Running through the mine fields watching my every step ducking and dodging the bullets, never, knowing if one will hit their target “me”. I am a survivor someone as a child, been hurt by those who were supposed to protect me, yet violated me. I am a survivor someone who has gone down that dark, scary tunnel of addiction Not knowing which way to turn like a mouse in a maze. I am a survivor who gave birth to a beautiful daughter who lights up my life like a bright summer day, only to lose her to suicide, One devastating day, “why oh why” did she have to leave. It will always to be a mystery-no answers come to mind. I have survived each tragedy in my life and become stronger for them. I have not only survived but I have become an inspiration to family and friends sharing my experiences my hopes and my dreams to make their lives better. Who know way back when I would break through, break the chains that held me down, held me back from becoming all that I can be. To realize that I can and have pushed past the words, actions people have used to keep me down. I have risen up learned how to stand on my own two feet. Live a life on my own terms, not on the terms of others.

Julia McKinney, 51, uses her struggles in life as inspiration for her writing. I Am........ shows her determination to live life on her own terms. The repeated mantra of “I am a survivor” acts as inspiration for her and, she hopes, for those around her. First year in UNIQUE 27

Poseidon & Amphitrite Greek God & Goddess of the Sea Hilary Cookhouse Ceramic Scuplture 8 ½” x 6” x 2 ½” 9” x 6” x 2 ½”

Joseph the Cowboy Joseph Lisi Watercolor on Paper 12” x 18”

Hilary Cookhouse, 20, incurred a traumatic brain injury at the age of 3 months, is now legally blind, and has other disabilities. She creates textures and details in slabs, and molds them over objects. She loves the feel and sounds of water and enjoys working with clay. Previously in UNIQUE 2010

Joseph Lisi, 16, enjoys painting and drawing. Creating art has always come naturally for him. He is further encouraged by his art teacher, Mr. Barrett. Joseph the Cowboy was painted based on a picture of himself as a cowboy. He enjoys painting in an impressionistic way. First year in UNIQUE 28

Old Girlfriend Joseph Rufo Oil on Paper 19 ¾” x 19 ¾”

A Beautiful Chair Jonathan Earl Tipton Pastels and Chalk on Paper 28” x 33”

Joseph Rufo, 20, has Down syndrome and enjoys playing sports and following NY teams. Through painting, he expresses himself and is not defined by his disability. Old Girlfriend reflects a struggle between happiness and sad thoughts. Previously in UNIQUE 2010, 2011, 2012 29

Jonathan Earl Tipton, 19, has autism, and has been creating art since he was five. He studies ceramics and drawing in high school. He enjoys drawing a variety of subjects, from superheroes to still life pieces. A Beautiful Chair expresses the need for comfort and relaxation. First year in UNIQUE

A Square Blossoms Jean K. Syrell Acrylic on Canvas 11” x 14”

Neighbors Barn Katrina Urben Acrylic on Canvas 20” x 16”

Jean K. Syrell, 53, a mother and grandmother, uses art as part of her therapy in treating her bipolar disorder. She paints to tune out the world and express her emotions in a positive, creative way. A Square Blossoms was created to help with her fear of crowds. First year in UNIQUE

Katrina Urben, 22, has agenesis of the corpus collosum and epilepsy. She draws, paints, and creates jewelry to relax and express her feelings. She began drawing cats and then moved on to landscapes and architecture, as reflected in Neighbors Barn. Previously in UNIQUE 2007, 2008 30

Trevor and Reagan Take a Walk Kristen Webb Watercolor on Paper 9 ½” x 10 ½”

Abstract Summer Brian Haher Acrylic on Foamcore 39” x 31”

Kristen Webb, 28, has cerebral palsy. She finds painting a fun activity, and feels proud when she finishes a piece. Trevor and Reagan Take a Walk is a reproduction of a photograph of the artist’s niece and nephew. It is her first painting featuring people. Previously in UNIQUE 2010, 2011, 2012 31

Brian Haher, 25, has autism and sometimes paints what he sees in his dreams. Abstract and surreal art are his favorite styles because he can show how he feels and use a lot of imagination. Abstract Summer is an effort to do a painting in the style of Jackson Pollock. Previously in UNIQUE 2012

UNIQUE UNIQUE Contributors Adam’s Apple Services, Inc. Tom & Lynne McKeown

UNIQUE Donors R. Douglas Eaton & Nancy Kern Kronen Maurie Heins Benjamin & Elizabeth Martin

Support ARISE and UNIQUE Your charitable contribution is a strong statement that you share our commitment to celebrating the artistic expression of people of all abilities. Your donation to UNIQUE or other ARISE programs makes it possible for us to continue to provide a wide array of services for people who have all types of disabilities in Central and Northern New York. ARISE is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. To make a donation, use our secure online form at or mail a check to: ARISE Foundation, 635 James Street, Syracuse, NY 13203. To learn more about ARISE, please visit our website at or call us at (315) 472-3171. Thank you for your generosity.

Honorable Mentions The UNIQUE Editorial Board recognizes the talent and creativity of the following artists and writers: Shaun Benishek Tim Bennett Guadalupe Leyva Bran Paul Brennan Robert F. Brown Valerie Brown Diane Budnar Maggie Byrnes Robert W. Cram Derek Curtis Quran Dansby Mike Dayger Melissa Deferio Suzanne DeMarzo April Dennis William J. Donovan Jr. Danny J. Drogo Joe Dumas Esther R. Dygert Christine Ellis Sue Ellis

Theodora A Emch Kayla Fike Chloe Fraser Nicole Genung Virginia Hall Bob L. Harmon Larry Hayes Sr. Roger Henley Elissa Hyre Steven Ingerson Benjamin Kellogg Erin Kelley Jeremy Kelley Jon Kettler Ashley Kulak Sujit Kurup Bithea Lattimore Robert Lehner Josh Leonard Dawn Liddle Marie Martin

Brandon Maruszczak Lucas McCormick Matthew McCrohan Connor McHale George Miller Kevin Mulder Caden Myers Chloe Newman Teddy Nicholson Christiane Nunn Lionel Nunn Shawn O’Brien Jared Okun Kaitlyn O’Reilly Ginger Ott Amber Pinette Shawn Plunkett Curtis Pollard oramella Putman Steven J. Richer Jr. Edward Rigdon-Boysuk

Kathleen Roland Hannah Rufo Susan Ryan Kateri Senke Eyal Sherman Natalie Smith Erica Sorar Melissa Sorar Betty S. Stevens Aiyana Tarbell Jenna Thurber Jamie Trouskie David Viel Karen Voas Donna Walrath Carol Wells Linda Wilder Larry Wood Tasha Wood

I Was Only Ten

Set Free/Hands Off

I was only ten when it began. Late night when I was alone. You preyed on my innocence and trust. How did I know it was wrong? You did things so horrible to me. My soul and body were scared. What you did to that little girl left me alone and scarred. You said it was to show your love, taking my body for your use. Now I know that what happened to me wasn’t love, but abuse. All the dirty things you did to me won’t ever be washed away with rain. Nothing will rid my heart of this never ending pain. I hope that you hurt as much as I do. Do you even remember what you did? Nothing will make up for the pain you caused when I was a kid. The physical scars you put on my body have since healed with time But my pain still shows inside. Whenever the child inside me cries it’s that little ten year old girl. I had to grow up fast and way too soon. All the pain and hurt that you have caused with always be remembered. Like a flower that forever blooms.

© Copyright 2013 ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc.