Art Program

art-groupOur Artist in Residence Program builds community through creative opportunities that help individuals move from isolation to greater engagement. Community building is supported through experiential learning – with traditional art forms (drawing, painting and sculpture) and the use of emerging technologies (iPad tablets, interactive video and apps).

Clients and staff collaborate on creating art. Together we foster moments of exploration.

On any given day, people may gather around paper with paint and brushes. In another space, people may bond while working together with an iPad and apps for drawing. Access to a range of creative instruments is important for supporting experimentation and discovery, and meeting the needs of diverse individuals.

Art created through client and staff collaborations has appeared on LBSA’s annual holiday cards, in Northfield Arts Guild shows, and at special exhibits hosted by organizations throughout Northfield.


Started in 2006, the artist in residence program is rooted in Laura Baker’s mission to respect life choices and dreams of people with developmental disabilities. Inspired by the disciplines of creative placemaking and social practice art, the program supports resilience-building, and encourages humor, relaxation and growth for everyone involved.
Through our artist in residence program we provide ample opportunities for our residential clients and staff to engage in new ways. Even if a person does not usually participate by using her hands or his voice, they may still enjoy an experience by seeing and making eye contact, sharing company or being included in conversations.

7-limbs of the Artist in Residence Program:

  • Artistic expression and person-centered interactions.
  • Helping individuals move from isolation to engagement.
  • Building teamwork and enriching professional development.
  • Fostering creative community spaces.
  • Demonstration of new approaches through multi-modal learning.
  • Exploring new ways for creative communication.
  • Community-building across residences, settings and departments.

Some of the regular services we offer include:

Art Workshops

Social and collaborative gatherings for all clients and staff. Activities may include making something to keep or collaborating with other clients and staff to make community paintings or large sculptures. Art Workshops are open to anyone served by Laura Baker and as needed, required support staff must arrive with and accompany individuals.

Art Groups

Groups are comprised of residential clients and staff who work together to form a casual and accepting space for community building, self-expression and low impact visual/sensory stimulation.

Individualized Art Sessions

One-to-one art sessions with goal areas that may be developed to support personal growth in communication, choice making, self-expression, problem solving, cooperation, self-regulation and other identified areas.

Learn more about the artist in residence program:

For more information, please contact Martin Thorsheim.