Today started off rushed but turned out to be such a fill your cup up kind of day.  I went to bed last night a little bored with the season and woke up to beautiful sunshine and a ton of possibility.  I had some unfinished business I needed to get taken care of and so when that was all completed the kids and I were able to check out a new gallery in town and it was amazing!

I had my first visit to Garden Gallery & Studio in down town Tinley Park.  I was taken back by the cute building and the gorgeous interior.  Beautiful things are created here and I saw that happen first hand.  The reason I am so intrigued by this gallery is the Art Director behind the program.  When I spoke to her on the phone she said to me that her vision for this gallery is to promote both local artists as well as the artists she mentors who happen to have a developmental disability side by side.  I fell in love with that statement.  It is integration at its best.  I love nothing more then seeing a program support all types of people.  A program that does not segregate and attach labels to individuals.  Instead the gallery is a perfect display of art in all its glory and as you walk around enjoying what it has to offer you will have a difficult time  picking the pieces that were made on site or in the community.


Behind the scenes Garden Gallery & Studio service almost 25 adults with disabilities.  The Art Director Beth Kopf has run a day program for the past 3 years.  She started off going to the Garden Center Residential location in Burbank IL and working out of an office.  One year ago the agency opened the art gallery now in Tinley Park to share the amazing work of their residents and to get the community involved by exposing them to all types of uncensored art.

The Garden Gallery is a non for profit  organization and their hope is to continue to reach out to the community and service all ages of children and adults.  They are open to Moms and Kids on Mondays and Thursdays from 9am – 11:30 and 2-4.  They have a Wi-FI connection as well as freshly brewed coffee that is their own blend!  Yep, the Gallery has their own coffee and it is purchased through an agency that employs individuals with disabilities to package their coffee beans!  While you are enjoying your coffee you can pay $5.00 and encourage your children to participate in an art project set up to create a beautiful piece of art.  It is a perfect opportunity for Moms groups and home schoolers!   Garden Gallery & Studio is passionate about sharing art with everyone!  I love that!

(You can purchase a bag of coffee to take home for 15.00 as well as a calendar that profiles onsite art pieces as well as community artists pieces for 15.00 as well)

They are also open to the public on the first Friday of every month from 7pm – 9pm.  You can stop in and view the latest exhibits as well as enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and light snacks while listening to LIVE music!  It is beautiful and lots of fun!  It is a perfect time to meet fellow artists from the studio as well as locally.  They hold an Art meet up there for networking.

While shopping the gallery or stopping in for coffee and Wi-Fi (M-F 9-4pm) you will find furniture pieces painted in the studio along with jewelry, ceramics, as well as paintings.  I promise you will not be disappointed in the selection of pieces!  I love that Beth has this vision.  I love that she is invested in her artists.  She has a way of making them feel special and comfortable.  Some of these artists are 50 years old and no one ever knew they were artists until Beth took the time to introduce paint to them.  You can view some of the pieces for sale at Garden Gallery & Studio website as well as on Facebook.

Please help support them.  Check out what they have going on and visit them virtually. This studio is so needed and so wanted by both the disability community as well as the art community because integrating them both together is just Beautiful!  I am proud to be donating time to helping them communicate their events and every day happenings on Facebook so please get over there and like that page.  I promise to give you up to date and behind the scenes info all the time!  So help me support them!

You can check out the Gallery and Studio at 17459 South Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477.  They are always accepting donations of paintable furniture as well as art supplies.  Additionally if you are looking to log community service hours this would be the perfect place!  Oh and one more thing!  Are you looking for the perfect place for a birthday party?  Yep you can have an “Art Party” with a cake and pizza!  Give them a call and check it out!

What more could I ask for… was a beautiful day.  My son got to create with some amazing artists and I was able to meet with a beautiful and amazing Mom trying to make this world a better place.  As we talked about what was important she explained that as a high school art teacher she made a point to partner her students with a local school for children with disabilities.  The students shared their projects with their pin pals and at the end of the year they met.  She knows that acceptance can be nurtured at an early age and her hope for this studio is to continue to foster that acceptance of all people.  As a mother with children who have disabilities it makes my heart sing.  This is good stuff and so very needed, every where!

I have an amazing new sponsor Megan E Sass Hand-knits.  Check her out on Etsy! I am in LOVE with these new Mason Jars with knitted covers.  I mean I really really love them!  They are a perfect addition to a table or a wedding.  I have never seen anything like them and so happy to share them with you today!  Stop by her shop and check out all her beautiful creations.

Happy Valentines Day everyone!