Flying Colors by Tim Lefens
The Story of a Remarkable Group of Artists and the Transcendent Power of Art

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Synopsis

The inspiring story of the awakening of a group of severely challenged students through art Ten years ago, Tim Lefens was introduced to a
group of severely challenged students living at the Matheny School in New Jersey, none of whom could walk, only one of whom could talk, and all lacking the use of their hands. As a painter facing the gradual loss of his own eyesight, Tim had come to fully appreciate the power of art, and he was determined to enable the students to paint despite their physical limitations.
Lefens improvised a number of techniques for the students, including using the wheels of their chairs to paint and having able-bodied "trackers"
take direction from them, guided by a laser beam strapped to the artists' heads. These remarkable artists include Nat, the spirited seventeen-
year-old with the beaded braids and brash wit; the brooding James; the wildly mischievous Chet; Eric, the group philosopher, whose talent seems to know no bounds; and the maverick Latino tracker Angel, bent on breaking every rule in the book. The artists come to express themselves through their
painting in breathtaking style.

Flying Colors is an immensely inspiring story about leaping over obstacles. We learn of the challenges the students faced as well as the extraordinary successes they achieved, culminating with an art show in New York and a CBS News documentary. Reminiscent of Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, Flying Colors reveals the passion and determination of one man, his studentartists, and their emergence together from a virtual silence to luminous expression.

Tim Lefens is the founder of A.R.T. (Artistic Realization Technologies) and lives in Belle Mead, New Jersey.
 

About Tim Lefens

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Published September 16, 2002 by Beacon Press. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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They begin with wheelchair painting: laying canvas on the floor, covering it with a thick coat of paint and then a sheet of plastic so students can drive onto the canvas, using their chairs as a sort of paint brush.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the early '90s, Lefens, a painter, goes to the Metheny School for students with cerebral palsy and other disabilities to show slides of his work.

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