Who we are

     Our Art Works operates as a non profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our goal is to assist, educate, and reach out to people with disabilities in Northeast Mississippi. In the Lee county area we work with hundreds of people with developmental disabilities (DD) and who are wheelchair users; therefore, we are grateful to be able to work with the citizens in our community that have significant disabilities, males and females of all ages and races. At Our Art Works, we take our art program to Day Facilities that assist people with disabilities and they come to our studio. We also take art programs to nursing homes, rehab centers, hospitals, church groups, elementary schools, Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, and any organization or club that contacts us. When visiting schools every child gets a canvas to drip paint and we speak about art, disabilities and we stress the importance of wearing seat belts. We speak about how seat belts will prevent injuries in automobile accidents and will save your life.

We strive to get students out of their homes and into Our Art Works studio filled with expression and creativity. The Our Art Works studio is located at 603 Clayton Ave and it is dedicated to helping our consumers. We have students from accidents that left feeling alienated. They are welcome at Our Art Works and have someone to talk to and confide in. We visit home bound students who can’t come to class. We leave art supplies with them and offer encouragement.

Our annual city cookout always second Tuesday in May in front of city hall has grown to a huge event partnering with other organizations sharing information with the community. We will continue to work together with other community organizations for the greater good of the people we serve.
In the beginning

     The idea for Our Art Works began when William was working for a nonprofit called LiFe.  LiFe empowers people with disabilities and people with spinal and brain injuries. He spent a year working for LiFe visiting people with brain and spinal cord injuries in hospitals and their homes what life did for him when he was injured. Working for life he made new friends. He started painting when he was in rehabilitation at the shepherd center in Atlanta. He spent months recovering from a car accident and learning how to start over. When he returned home he continued to paint but painting wasn't working how he wanted. One night the movie "Pollock" with Ed Harris was on TV about Jackson Pollock. Watching that movie he thought he should try drip painting. William began painting using spoons. He controlled the drip with a spoon by holding it with a styrofoam ball. Couple years of experimenting in the art of the drip he discovered new paint dripping techniques. He was drip painting with anything such as pans, bowls, cups, eating and cooking utensils. He went crazy dripping paint.
The future

     Our Art Works looks forward to what the future holds and the lives that can be touched through this amazing program.

There is a great need for our unique organization in Tupelo. There is nothing like it in Mississippi. We have been an organization for ten great years. As we continue to grow and work together with our consumers, creating art to them is more than a recreational activity.

     “Art  is  a  safe  way  to  express  feelings,  it  helps  us  express  ourselves  slowly  and  at  our  own  pace. Art  helps  us  find  our  true  selves  and  express  our  pains  and heartaches  that  language  does  not  have  the  ability  or  power  to  convey.   Feelings  that  stem  from  trauma,  violence,  or  abuse  are  often  overwhelming  and  words  alone  rarely  capture  or convey  their  true  intensity.  Pictures  tell  us  far  more  than  words  can  ever  express.”

     “Searching  into  our  artistic  selves and  creative  mind  can  help  provide  a  whole  world  of  self-discovery.   Art  is  the  best  healing  tool  possible  when  we  are  feeling  emotions  that  are  too  painful,  too  deep,  too  hidden  to access. Art  is  the  bridge  that  allows  us  to  reconnect  to  those  feelings.”