Fifteen Fantastic Friends gathered at The Severn School on February 9 to paint a 3 foot x 3 foot Black-eyed Susan, the Maryland State flower. Lisa Custer, Valerie’s mom, who teaches at The Severn School, coordinated with the school’s art teacher, Jonnie (pronounced Joannie) Friedman, to design an art project that will be auctioned at the GiGi’s “Seas” the Day Gala, held at The Annapolis Waterfront Hotel on March 21, 2020.

The design was divided into squares so that each participant could paint that portion of the overall painting according to his or her own taste.  The artists signed the back, and Ms. Friedman will add some “bling” to finish the piece of art.

In addition, a photographer from Severn School will photograph the finished art so that it can be reproduced in a smaller version, and the reproductions will be on sale at the gala, so if you aren’t the “big” winner, you can still have the Fantastic Friends art in your home or office.

Because only a limited number of artists could work on the piece at any given time, those who were waiting or who had finished their square, made thank you cards for GiGi’s sponsors.  Two dozen cards were individually designed by the artists.

The Art Project created the opportunity for the Fantastic Friends to be an integral part of the preparation for the gala.  Last year, adults with Down syndrome created masks to help decorate the gala venue, and these masks were part of the live auction. The afternoon also provided the opportunity for Fantastic Friends to continue to grow their friendships while they consulted with one another on paint colors and card embellishments.  Several participants were overheard saying they can’t wait to do this again next year!

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