The MENTOR Network

Press Coverage

REM West Virginia Displaying Creative Talents with Open Hands Project

REM West Virginia’s Open Hands Gallery and Learning Center has given participants an avenue for showing off their craftsmanship.  REM West Virginia is a partner of The MENTOR Network and has long used its pre-vocational training services to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities opportunities to learn skills and find employment.  The Open Hands Gallery was featured in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel for being REM West Virginia’s latest outlet for development and employment.

The learning center and gallery celebrated its grand opening on August 26, after the program originally opened for participants in 2011.  It currently provides work for over 50 adults, who take items such as used doors, windows and furniture and refurbish them in their own creative styles.  Community members attended the gallery in support of the participants and were able to purchase some of the hand-crafted items.

“All classes will be integrated, so anyone who wants to learn how to do these things is more than welcome and we want to make it affordable so everyone can join us,” REM West Virginia regional director Jason Lynch told the News and Sentinel.  “It is our hope that disabilities will disappear when the classrooms at the learning center are filled.”

McCullough said that the learning center will also include classes on such crafts as painting, knitting and glass-staining.  Read the full story in the News and Sentinel for more information.  You can also visit the REM West Virginia website for further info on its Employment Services.