Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sherrer Accepts Original Art Work from Bee’s Knees

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Chouteau) accepted an original mixed-media piece created by David Blose of El Reno and Lindsey Pluess of Oklahoma City today. Blose and Pluess are artists for the organization Bee’s Knees, a program of Youth and Family Services Inc. and Autism Oklahoma that gives young artists with developmental disabilities the opportunity to create and sell art.

“I was first introduced to Bee’s Knees through Leadership Oklahoma where I met Dee Blose, who came to speak to us about Youth and Family Services, Inc.” said Sherrer. “Throughout my time in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, I have been a supporter of several organizations that work with people with disabilities, and it was truly an honor to work with Bee’s Knees.” 

Bee’s Knees was founded about three years ago by Dee Blose, executive director of Youth and Family Services, Inc., as a class to teach young adults with disabilities about entrepreneurship. From there it grew into a program that basically functions as a small business that creates handmade products such as notecards and calendars and original one-of-a-kind masterpieces and then sells them through various exhibits and venues. The program is designed to promote self-sufficiency, and allow these adults to have work in an environment that is more conducive to their needs.

Sherrer worked with Brandon Smith, Bee’s Knees coordinator, to commission the piece. 

“The only direction I gave was that I wanted the piece to reflect the various state symbols of Oklahoma,” said Sherrer. “I wanted it to be a painting that I could hang in my office and remember the people I am here to serve and protect. I could not be happier with the way it turned out. It is a beautiful piece that evokes a smile.”

Sherrer commissioned a work in 2011 that was a mixed-media piece painted on local newspapers depicting Oklahoma state symbols.  The 2013 piece also contains familiar state symbols but features a three-dimensional presentation in which the symbols appear to float above a field of brightly-colored puzzle pieces, symbolic of the puzzle of Autism. 

Sherrer is a graduate of Oklahoma Partners in Policymaking, a disability advocacy program, and serves on the House of Representatives Human Services Committee. He has also been appointed to the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disability.

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