First Friday

An example of the art work which will be featured at ORVAG's First Friday.


Art, Autism and Disabilities -- Come see artwork created by individuals with an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory or some combination of these at the Ohio River Valley Artist Guild's First Friday, March 2, at the Cox Gallery, location on the second floor of the Cox Building, 2 East Second Street, Maysville.

The disability substantially affects a person’s life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person’s lifetime. Every month, the First Friday brings a new exhibit that features artists from the guild, community or around the country. You will be in awe of what these individuals have created.

ORVAG is pleased to announce the following nonprofits, as well as other individuals, are participating: Brighter Future Inc., Comprehend, Inc., and Mason County Schools. Brighter Futures provides support to individuals that reflect their core values. They believe all individuals have the right to choice and opportunity in all aspects of their lives. They believe in a person-centered approach that stresses the individual’s choice regarding all aspects of his or her life. They have 10 pieces in the show. Comprehend is committed to the continual pursuit of excellence in behavioral health services by providing the highest quality individualized care through a staff of dedicated and expert professionals. Thereby, they become the employer, provider and partner. They are committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals, families, and communities by advocating for and providing behavioral healthcare services in a welcoming and caring environment. They also have 10 pieces of art in the exhibition. Mason County Schools will have approximately 40 pieces art. The art will be from Straub Elementary, Mason County Intermediate, Middle and High School. ORVAG thanks Stephanie Martinez and her Mason County High School students for conducting workshops at the schools as a community services project to create the artwork for this exhibit. What an amazing collection of art and talent in our area from these organizations and individuals. You will not want to miss it!

Jesse Stevens, a 20-year-old from Carter County, who has autism will have 12 of his pieces of art on display. His creativity comes out when working with his therapist. His interests include art, video games and classic rock and roll.

Autism affects many and is often left undiagnosed. It is a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by repetitive behavior patterns. Come meet Ganesh, Terri and Dr. Raghu Srinivasan and hear their personal journey with autism and their search for a cure. Take time and watch the YouTube video: In Pursuit Of A Cure For Autism.

ORVAG will be sponsoring a silent auction Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All proceeds from the auction will go to the nonprofits participating in this event.

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The College Cafe under the supervision of Chef Patrick will be providing the refreshments for Friday night. Their display of the food is a true work of art as well!

There will be an Art Smart talk on Sunday, March 4th starting at 2:00 pm that continues to support this exhibit. Speakers include Terri and Dr. Raghu Srinivasan, Dr. Amy Powers Johnson, formerly from Maysville, an Occupational Therapist from Children's Hospital, Cincinnati and Holly Huber, a Speech Language Pathologist, Lewis County School System. Holly owns her own business as well, Speech Soup Publications, Therapy and Teaching Products with an Edge. Her website is

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit is on display until Thursday, April 5th, at the ORVAG Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the Cox Building, 2 East Third St., Maysville, KY 41056. The gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon until 4 pm. Please enter through the ORVAG gift shop located on the first floor. If you are unable to come when the gallery is open, please contact Dee Wer-line, 513-314-1175, to make other arrangements.

ORVAG is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to support area artists, both with peer group and outside educational opportunities; to promote arts within the community and area; plan and execute various outreach programs that include guild members, students and other organizations promoting the arts and enhancing the local environment.



Editor and reporter, covering Mason County.

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