April 23,1998

WIRC clients take ceramics class

A number of intellectually handicapped clients of the West Island Readaptation Centre (WIRC) have been working this year in the Visual Arts Building.

They do various tasks, such as scraping tables, cleaning the lunchrooms and blackboards and the protective masks and glasses worn by some of the artists, and collecting the recycling boxes.

Less skilled than the WIRC clients who have been working in the Henry F. Hall Building for several years, they are accustomed to the rote activities of sheltered workshops, and find their new environment stimulating.

"It takes time to train them," said WIRC educator Linda Leblond, who supervises their work here. "They had to be encouraged to pay more attention to detail." But the added social contact is good for them, she added, and one shy woman was "transformed" by the experience.

Concordians have been very friendly, especially some of the students. One Ceramics 230 student, Louise Giroux, suggested that they come to class, and the professor, Francine Potvin, agreed. The idea fitted perfectly with the course, which emphasizes empathy and the closeness of art with other aspects of life.

A total of 13 WIRC clients from various projects started their own ceramic pieces in the class in mid-March, and then went back on April 1 to finish and fire them
in class. - BB

Copyright 1998 Thursday Report. For technical comments please e-mail   Webmaster