For the three years that Morgan Gattermeyer has worked at InsideOut Studio on High Street in Hamilton, she has been asked to work toward a goal. This year, her goal is to be a public speaker for the studio.
Gattermeyer has already proven she's making good on that goal - and making a statewide impact.
She was selected to serve on the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, an advocacy group creating change that improves independence, productivity, and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life.
She recently traveled to the Ohio Statehouse for Easterseals Ohio Advocacy Day, meeting with key legislators and policy makers to share the impact Easterseals in the 100 years since its founding in Elyria, Ohio, back in 1919.
She was even one of the featured artists who created Easterseals Ray of Hope Awards that were presented to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof, and Ohio House Speaker Rep. Larry Householder for their support of people living with disabilities.
“Working at InsideOut has changed me,” Gattermeyer shared. “It’s made me realize that if I take the time and focus, I can accomplish anything.”
Morgan, a Hamilton native and graduate of Butler Tech, had “zero” art background. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Every artist was first an amateur.’
“Working here makes you creative in all aspects of your life. Everything is inspired through here.” As a commissioned studio artist, she shared, “Getting paid to do something I love is absolute joy!”
She hasn’t always felt that way. “I personally think the word disability is shallow. The environment (at InsideOut) is so amazing because you don’t have to worry about trying to fit in.”
“Working here is an outlet, a way of working through things. I just lost my grandma. I used to make art because I thought it was fun, but now I do it in honor of my grandma who loved art. It’s therapeutic.”
Undoubtedly, Gattermeyer has the skills and enthusiasm to be a great spokesperson for InsideOut Studio. What would she like the public to know about this special studio?
With expert salesmanship, she stated that people should know that they can request custom work and something will be made by a studio artist. With the expertise of a publicist, she wants it to be known that the fabulous fire hydrants in downtown Hamilton were painted courtesy of InsideOut artists.
And with the heart and passion of an advocate, her message is simple and profound on why art programs like this matter to people living with disabilities.
“We are people, too.”