Merritt’s Dream Print E-mail

Spring 1995 Visual Artist Merritt Ireland approached Pacesetters TN pioneer Joyce Sievers about realizing Merritt’s dream of bringing an Artist in Residence (AIR) program to individuals with disabilities in Tennessee.  Merritt met with Joyce, Gail (Ring) Dial, and Joyce’s daughter Wendy Moreland, who was Pacesetters Director at the time, to explore the possibility of getting grant funding for Merritt to offer an art program to Pacesetters TN individuals.  Merritt brought materials about arts programs for individuals with disabilities with which she had extensive experience, including programs in Knoxville, TN and northern California.  Merritt had been Artist in Residence (AIR) for 5 years full time at Fort Saunders Developmental Center in Knoxville, funded by Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC).  She had also been AIR at Creativity Unlimited, an art center for developmentally challenged adults in San Jose, CA.  In California she had also served on a committee to study starting a Visual Arts Center for the developmentally challenged.  This Committee was directed by Dr. Elias Katz, who had helped create five such centers in the Bay Area, the most famous being Creative Growth in Oakland CA.

Merritt with variety of Pacesetters work 2001-2008 at Art a la Carate galleryMerritt with Putnam Center artists and their work Spring 2001 at Putnam Center.
Merritt with variety of Pacesetters work 2001-2008 at Art a la Carate gallery
Merritt with Putnam Center artists and their work Spring 2001 at Putnam Center.


 
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