The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs have had their silhouettes and creative inspirations preserved in a “legacy” piece of artwork with the help of students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.Young students from
Each year, the center invites an artist or group of artists to collaborate with the center’s students and create a work of art that commemorates the graduating class and is placed on permanent display at the center’s facilities in Homewood.
Seven students from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History and Medium: Art Club at UAB jointly planned and implemented this year’s legacy piece. During visits to the center throughout the spring 2015 semester, UAB students drew silhouette portraits of each child and invited them to fill the silhouettes with paints, markers and crayons. The portraits were then digitally scanned, composited, printed onto canvas and presented to The Bell Center during graduation.
Participating UAB students include Mikala Buwalda of Harvest, Medium co-interdepartmental liaison Melody Hollenbeck of Montgomery, Medium co-president Katelyn Ledford of Birmingham, Medium vice president Bryce Martinez of Birmingham, Daphne McClure of Fairhope, Jonathan Niega of Moody and Medium co-president Jacob Phillips of Dothan. Medium faculty advisor and DAAH outreach coordinator Jared Ragland, MFA, led the group.
The Bell Center Legacy Project was extremely rewarding, Ledford says.
“Through the project, my classmates and I were given the opportunity to utilize our artistic abilities, and because of the joy and positivity expressed by the kids, our love of art was rejuvenated,” she said. “For an artist, it is essential to get involved within the community, and The Bell Center legacy piece allowed us to help a program worthy of recognition while creating stronger bonds with each other.”
Since 1984, The Bell Center has provided quality early intervention services in a center-based program in Birmingham. Infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delay receive services from a team of physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and early childhood special education teachers as each child works on specific individual developmental goals. Children come from throughout central Alabama with a wide variety of special needs and diagnoses, ranging from cerebral palsy and Down syndrome to autism and rare genetic disorders.
Programs at The Bell Center are designed to promote growth in motor skills, as well as language, cognition, self-help and social skills. Each child is evaluated annually, and goals are tailored specifically to each child’s needs. Since its inception, the program has provided dramatic results for its more than 1,000 children.