Art helps people heal.
Like many artists, Michelle Cooke has spent a large part of her career employed as a teacher both part and full time. But for the last several years, as director of the visual arts program for the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association, she has been working with a most unusual and challenging group of students: adults and preschoolers who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other cognitive difficulties. She describes her methods in using art history and hands-on learning exercises (some students can’t see or hold a paint brush) and explains how she helps “find the art that each individual has.”
Below are examples of art made by adult students in Cooke’s classes and a photo of the artist at work on a glass installation.