Fine Arts & Practical Arts

Fine Arts

The process of creating art provides an incredible means for self-expression and interpretation of the world in which we live – and the Fine Arts program provides a uniquely creative approach for teaching painting skills to adults with developmental disabilities.

Our goal is to open pathways of awareness, self-expression and accomplishment that come with learning and applying painting techniques. Professional artists provide instructional classes through Rainbow Academy every week, featuring one-on-one guidance for Ranchers to create works of art that are entirely their own. Through this program, our Rancher artists are taught to observe, sketch, select colors and subjects from photos, and create a finished work of art.

Sometimes the Ranchers paint “still life” or are challenged to paint self-portraits, landscapes, animals, or other favorite subjects. The results are incredible, in terms of skills learned, artwork produced and goals accomplished. The creative experience brings the Ranchers immeasurable pride and self-confidence to realize the power of their own abilities. For many Rancher families, they are amazed to discover their loved one’s previously-untapped artistic potential.

Ranchers create paintings for their rooms, as gifts for family and friends, or to sell in the gift shop. Many paintings created by our Rancher artists are made into notecards, coasters and other items that are sold to friends and families. Unique among facilities like Rainbow Acres, the Fine Arts Program was recognized by the EAGLE Commission with its “Best Practice Award” in 2015.

About the Instructors

“As we watched our students work and blossom, we began to understand the blessings of our mission.”
Marlys Mallét and Michael Redhawk

Practical Arts

Ranchers can enroll through Rainbow Academy and engage in courses that include weaving, decorative painting, and creating hand-made crafts. Ranchers learn how to make a variety of beautiful items that they can keep, give as gifts, or sell in the gift shop. These courses help our Ranchers improve their eye-hand coordination, color utilization and creative design skills.

Weaving Studio: Ranchers use professional-quality, manually-operated looms to turn fabric, yarn and trim into beautiful woven rugs, placemats, wall hangings, scarves, shawls and more. Rainbow Acres has 12 looms, including a floor loom that can be operated while standing and hand looms for those unable to use foot pedals. The Verde Valley Weaving Guild serves as volunteers to help the Ranchers learn new designs.

Stepping Stones: Ranchers work to create finely-detailed designs, carefully placing mosaics of colored glass onto contact paper. These glass mosaics then are embedded into poured-concrete stepping stones that can be placed in outdoor settings. Among the most popular designs are images from Arizona life, sports team insignias and spiritual symbols.

Decorative Arts: Ranchers can create a variety of arts and crafts such as hooked rugs, beaded hangings and seasonal items that become treasured gifts or household décor. Fresh ideas and new projects are regularly introduced to expand their options.