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A heart for the arts 

New exhibit highlights Peckham’s artists 


FRIDAY, June 21 — MSU Federal Credit Union on West Road was revitalized Thursday for the opening reception of a new art exhibition. The bank’s entrance was filled with 215 pieces of work by 60 local artists from Peckham, Inc.’s Art from the Heart program — instructional classes for adults with disabilities and other barriers.   

The exhibit will run till July 18, showcasing a diverse selection of talent and perspectives from Peckham’s employees. During the reception, Kayla LaFerriere, 33, a cashier and stock clerk at Peckham, was recognized as the 2019 Art from the Heart Artist for her demonstrated enthusiasm in class.  

“Attending art class is more than drawing and painting, it is a relaxing place to spend time with friends,” she said in her speech. “I’m a better person because of art.” 

LaFerriere added that learning different artistic techniques allowed her to “find new ways to speak.” Listening to her speak to a room full of co-workers and bank employees, it was hard to believe her when she said two years ago she struggled to relax around other people.  

Displayed in the gallery are two of LaFerriere’s paintings called “O Bros” and “Ice Cream Boy.” The latter she said is a light-hearted contrast to the idea that eating ice cream is only associated with “females and their problems.” Other artists like James Whittier and Chris Bappert painted still lifes of flowers, cats and buildings.  

Emily Chase, the manager of creative experiences at Peckham said the credit union has hosted the annual gallery show for over 10 years. Chase leads the art classes at Peckham and was gifted a bouquet of flowers by her students at the end of the ceremony.  

“Emily shows us that we are all capable of being an artist,” LaFerriere said.  

A majority of the art in the exhibit is available for purchase. All proceeds go directly to the artists.  


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