Art Sense offers creative oasis for Darke County residents

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Brellenthin with clients in front of pirate exhibit.

UNION CITY—As you arrive at Art Sense, just outside Union City, it appears to be like any other dayhab facility. But it’s once you enter the center that you realize it’s something much different.

Among the many programs for the clients, Art Sense offers a focus on art.

The large art displays are the first thing you notice when entering the center, and might be, aside from the happy clients and employees, what makes it so joyous to be at.

The Beatles exhibit.

In charge of the artwork at the facility is Art Coordinator Tracy Brellenthin.

With help from Brellenthin, the clients have completed exhibits with themes such as the Beatles, Grinch, Alice in Wonderland and Pirate’s Cove. They even made props for a recent Versailles High School theatre production.

Established in March 2014, Art Sense, licensed by the Ohio Department of Development Disabilities, serves adults in Darke County with developmental disabilities.

“We offer them teaching and training opportunities for job skills,” Tracey Ross, Director of Operations at Art Sense said. “We also engage them in activities of daily living. We do a lot of arts, crafts, and we do outings into the community.”

The Beatles exhibit.

In addition to the many arts and crafts, some of the outings planned for 2023 include visits to Paycor Stadium, the Columbus Zoo, Kings Island, a Dayton Dragons game and the Dayton Art Museum.

The “Karaoke Council,” (which any client may join) votes to determine the various outings and activities the dayhab will do each year.

Along with other dayhab clients in Darke County, Art Sense clients have artwork displayed on the second floor of the Greenville Public Library.

Recently, Art Sense partnered with Greenville High School, and will welcome Career Tech students to the facility to collaborate on artwork. The artwork will then be sold afterwards to support the Special Olympics.

Art Sense also put together a Grinch exhibit for their annual Christmas party.

Clients are also able to earn paychecks while doing housekeeping at Art Sense. Jobs like taking out the trash, dishes, sweeping, etc. allow the clients to earn money each week.

As most of the clients still live with their families, Ross said the program is a great way to give the families a break.

“It’s an awesome program,” Ross said. “The clients really enjoy it. They’re excited when they come, and they get to see their friends.”

Most of the clients served at Art Sense, of which they average about 40, receive a voucher through Darke County Developmental Disabilities (DD) for adult day center services, and have freedom of choice to choose a facility that best serves them.

There are three adult day centers in Darke County, in addition to Art Sense there is Your Happy Place, in Greenville, and ActiveDAY, in Greenville.

For more information on Darke County DD, go to their Facebook Page, site or contact Darke County DD Community Connects & Advocacy Coordinator Sue Huston at sueh@darkedd.org. For more information on Art Sense, go to their Facebook Page, or contact Ross at Tracey.Ross@UCMResidentialServices.com.