Text and Photos by Natalie Van Hoozer for Our Town Reno
Amid the sculptures and other creations under construction in the art co-working space known as The Generator in Sparks, there is an area dedicated to Creative Potential, a company where adults with special needs can work on a commission basis to design and create non-toxic toys for children with disabilities.
Proving People Wrong
“I like to prove people wrong about what they think about people with disabilities,” he says. He pursues his passion for painting by using a paintbrush attached to a headset to create his work, some of which is on display in restaurants and offices around Reno.
Striving for Financial Independence
One of Connor’s main goals is to find a job with a competitive wage which will allow him to financially support himself. As a person with disabilities, generating this income is an uphill battle.
The Reasons Behind Creative Potential
Observing this type of treatment is part of what drove artist and educator Spencer Allen to start Creative Potential. In order to promote competitive wages, Allen designed the company so the artists keep 80 percent of the earnings made from their products.
An Inclusive Art Space
Creative Potential is also designed to be an inclusive work space, which means people with and without disabilities work in the same workplace. Since that workplace is in The Generator, Fogal and Allen have been taught to use the facility’s equipment, like lasers, to further develop their artwork.
Never Give Up
In the future, Fogal and Allen would like to see Creative Potential grow, with more artists contributing and more people assisting with production.
All in the Family
Another artist who works with Creative Potential is Fogal's niece 16-year-old Ashleigh Fogal. She likes to play the piano and created this “monster” while her uncle painted.
Fogal’s own passion for art started with an interest in mixing different colors of paints. He is currently working on a painting series about his family members.
Follow His Journey
Fogal has his own website Mylow, short for 'My Life on Wheels', where you can look at more of his art and also purchase it. Also to find out more about Allen and Fogal's Generator project to make safe toys for children with disabilities start by clicking on http://creativepotential.guru/
Text, Reporting and Photos by Natalie Van Hoozer for Our Town Reno