Maria Jacobson loves art, and her ability to paint has allowed her to create a number of fun projects.
"I like doing those things, so exciting," said Jacobson.
She is one of several artists part of the Day Habilitation Program at The Resource Center, or TRC, a long-time advocate and comprehensive service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities.
"I like my art teacher," said Jacobson.
That art teacher is Susan Gutierrez, who has worked alongside artists like Jacobson for about seven years.
"They're amazing,” Gutierrez said. “They're so talented -- so talented.”
One of Gutierrez's greatest projects was to help secure a new, larger location to create and showcase more art, as the group outgrew its current space at TRC's Michael J. Raymond Center.
Gutierrez, Jacobson and others recently cut the ribbon, following the completion of that project three years in the making, on the new KeyBank Art House At Edgewater.
"Thank you to all of you," Gutierrez said.
In addition to KeyBank, local foundations, and the city of Jamestown, the 1,700-square-foot facility also had the financial backing from Empire State Development.
"With wonder and amazement, I still enjoy seeing the beauty that artists produce and the way they can communicate through their work,” said Empire State Development Western New York regional director Karen Utz. “To the artists that are here and those of you who support them, thank you for what you do, for sharing your art with all of us.”
Gutierrez says she's equally appreciative for the new space.
"I think it just shows how much art really means to the community,” she said. “That they can support the arts in this way and believe in it. And now everyone's going to be able to see how much art can really benefit everybody.”
Like Jacobson, who also says she's grateful for the move.
"I like the big space to do everything," she said.
New York state says the total cost of the project was a little more than $677,000. In addition to KeyBank and Empire State Development, First Niagara Foundation was also a major funder.