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Carole Mikita ReportingAn exhibition of art by children and their mothers is opening this evening in Salt Lake. How many children have been influenced to reach beyond their apparent capabilities by determined mothers? That's how Kindred Spirits Art program for children with profound disabilities began.
Brightly colored, imaginative pieces of papier mache -- unique works of art because of who created them. Five-year-old Julius Steubing loves his specially-designed rocker. Brain-injured at birth, he cannot speak or even swallow with his form of celebral palsy. His mother, a professional artist, knew she had to do something for her son and other children.
Alison Perreault-Steubing and Julius Steubing, Founders, Kindred Spirits Art: "Even children who come in that are a little apprehensive that are not familiar with disabilities melt and become friends."
Adam loves to play with his new racetrack. Now five he was born prematurely and has brain injury, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and autism. Regular buttons on most toys are too difficult for him.
Tina Persels and Adam Persels, Kindred Spirits Artists: "What Dad did was he adapted it with a light switch and now Adam can just push the button and run his racetrack."
Typical dollhouses can be very frustrating for children who can't stand or even kneel. One here was made by a little girl with cerebral palsy and her mom, who covered it in papier mache. It has all the rooms and it simply rotates.
Seven-year-old Brittea Hirschi is exhibiting her friendly dragon, Emeralann. Brittea also has cerebral palsy; through this program she and her mom have discovered their creativity.
Chandra Lovell and Brittea Hirschi, Kindred Spirits Artists: "It was difficult because we had deadlines. But it was a lot of fun. I haven't worked with it since probably high school (she giggles)."
Kindred Spirits is just that, because through the art, this group has made a place where the mothers find support and their children find acceptance and friendship. The exhibit titled 'Fact & Fiction of Papier Mache' opens tonight at six at the Rio Grande Depot and will be there through June 10th.