Recreational therapy's art sale a masterpiece

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | June 09, 2018

Image with caption: The Autism Social Club created artwork for the sale.

The Autism Social Club created artwork for the sale.

On May 9 and 10, staff and visitors to the Durham Outpatient Center were greeted with an outpouring of art.

The two-day art sale, held in the west atrium near the DOC's main entrance, was the work of the clients and staff of the Munroe-Meyer Institute's recreational therapy department.

Erin Bentzinger, adaptive therapy specialist, said that the art -- which included fusion glass pieces, door hangers and succulent plants in handpainted pots -- proved popular among shoppers.

"We did almost $850 in sales and I have only a few pieces left over," Bentzinger said.

The art was created by participants of various ages from seven different recreational therapy programs:

  • The Autism Social Club;
  • the Thursday night adult program;
  • the adult day program;
  • Girls Group;
  • Community Outing Club;
  • the Arnold Stern teen group; and
  • the afterschool program.

The effort took a year to both plan and create the art, and Bentzinger hopes to make it an annual spring event.

"We say 'spring,' but it worked out well this year that we held it right before Mother's Day," she said. "It was a good turnout, and it also allowed us to raise awareness of our programs and what we offer. People enjoyed learning about what we do."

The money raised goes back to the participants and into the programs.


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