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Turning Exhibit Fabrication Scraps Into Therapeutic Art

Posted By Kevin Fett
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Benjamin is one of more than 6 million American children that have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Children with ADHD have trouble concentrating, paying attention, staying organized, and are sometimes mislabeled as problem children.

Charity - Ion ExhibitsGetting Ben to sit still or keep interested in any activity is very hard. One day Ben’s mom, Cirena, brought home some scrap wood to serve as canvasses. She thought painting might be an activity that would engage him.  She was astonished to find that Ben engaged for hours painting.  Ben says “making pretty things makes me feel happy”.

Scraps for kids - Ion ExhibitsCirena went on to host painting sessions for Ben and other kids within the family, neighborhood, and church.  She saw an opportunity to re-use waste from exhibit builds for children to create artwork. Cirena contacted Krystal Harkness here at Ion Exhibits for help, and we started a program to supply scrap wood for kids to paint. The program quickly grew to involve over one hundred kids in the community.

Kids’ paintings are donated to fundraisers and charities including the Disabled Veterans of America. In addition, they have sold over 500 paintings on an Etsy website “A Little Bit Board” to sustain the supply of paints for the program.

In a post I shared the story of our experience mentoring college students enrolled in the School of Technology, Art & Design at Bemidji State University.  Ion Exhibits is equally proud to support an art program for children that engages their attention and stimulates creative expression.  I'm proud of Krystal for leading this charitable contribution that gives back to these kids, it makes us all at #teamion feel happy too.