“Classic Universal Monsters” by Kevin Babine. Courtesy photo

The Chocolate Church Arts Center presents “Headway,” a group show featuring artists from the Independence Association program Spindleworks. The show opens March 4 and runs to April 9 at the Chocolate Church Arts Gallery.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. There will be an open house event at the Chocolate Church Arts Center from 5:30-7 p.m. on March 31 with Spindleworks representatives in attendance.

Spindleworks, a nonprofit, provides self-taught and unique artists the tools necessary for self-expression and full inclusion in the artistic community. Over 15 artists will present their work in a variety of mediums, from painting to photography, in a show that promises just the kind of liveliness and color needed this time of year.

“We are a program of Independence Association, whose mission is to provide adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to live full and inclusive lives,” Senior Program Director Brian Braley explains. “We provide opportunity for artistic and professional growth in an experiential creative setting.  Our artists sell and represent their work whenever possible, which serves as an important source of income.”

Artists often work collaboratively on projects like murals, art installations and poetry books, but they also create their own work based on their personal desires and goals.

“Art gives us energy to super charge our self-esteem, explore self-identity, expand value, increase communication, form new friendships, nurture our spirits, build courage, dissolve boundaries, and enrich our imagination,” Braley said.


CCAC curator Kimberly Becker has long been a fan of Brunswick’s Spindleworks.  “CCAC has done shows in the past with them, and I was so enchanted by the work then that I contacted Spindleworks when I became curator here to arrange a show,” she said. “This group of artists create art unencumbered by preconception, and the results are marvelous.”

Spindleworks supports 50 artists from the surrounding communities including Bath, Brunswick, Richmond, Topsham, Freeport, Sidney, Portland, Wiscasset and beyond.

Braley named the show “Headway” in “the spirit of hope.”

“The pandemic has been a challenging time for us, and we have learned to adapt to the ever-changing environment,” he said. “Regardless of restrictions, we are finally feeling that we can move forward joyfully no matter what the world throws at us.”

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