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June 20th, 2014

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It was all about the hammer.

First thing Henry grabbed when he entered the gallery.

But his mom brought in a folder of Henry’s drawings.

We spread them out on the floor and I marveled at his mark making.

Henry showed his embarrassment by grabbing the ones he thought I shouldn’t see.

The subject matter was that of any typical 12 year old……sci-fi, comic, warrior, fighting, robot beings.

But there was an intensity about the way he attacked the lines.

Also these were a few of many hundreds of drawings.  Henry draws ALL THE TIME.

But only with pencil.

I pulled out some charcoal sticks and large paper.

Asked Henry if he would like to try drawing with these materials.

Curious as always he jumped at the chance.

I showed him how an eraser and brush….and even the hammer…. could also be used as drawing tools.


He chose to draw ETRIGAN.  I don’t usually dig this boy stuff at all.

But watching this Demon (who actually does good deeds) come to life at the hands of Henry was like watching a live animation come to life.

Henry was ecstatic when I took the drawing and hung it on the wall.

Then some healthy destruction was needed.

He wandered the gallery with hammer in hand just wanting to rip it up.

I got a plywood sheet, a big piece of grey cardboard, and some sticks of chalk.

I love watching the process of experimenting with materials.

Is a magical, chaotic symphony.

In the end it was just about ways to dissect the chalky sticks.

I let him use scissors and a tool with a razor blade. He was so excited to use these ‘dangerous’ tools.

I let him continue using them as he listened to my safety and how-to-use-properly instructions very carefully.

Through the 2 hours Henry kept saying “quotes, quotes”

I kept asking him what he meant.  Eventually he pointed to the ETRIGAN drawing and said “quotes quotes”.

We went online and sure enough there are a bunch of quotes as said by this demon creature.

“It is the Demon who dominates, now! It is the Demon who will deal with our ruthless enemies! Instead of fading into limbo, so an imposter can take my place — I now have another chance to fight for my existence!”


Play, Fall, Rest, Dance is an exhibition project by Valerie Salez. The artist works with children with disabilities to help them explore the creative process of installation making. The exhibition runs from June 3 to July 5, 2014. The public is welcome to visit grunt gallery to see the installations that will continuously change and evolve over the course of the project.

Read more here

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