Bringing Creative Vision to Life through A.R.T

David Chergi knew that he wanted to be an artist. Even though cerebral palsy has limited the use of his arms, the 37-year-old is still able to bring his artistic vision to life with techniques developed by Artistic Realization Technologies, or A.R.T., and a with the help of a dedicated tracker.

David Chergi, who has cerebral palsy, paints by using a tracker.

Through A.R.T., individuals with severe physical challenges direct a trained “tracker” in every aspect of the artwork’s creation—from the subject matter to the selection of paint colors and the technique for producing the images.

David’s tracker, Patricia Czulewicz, was one of several staff trained by the creator of the A.R.T. approach when the Barber National Institute became one of the first sites in the nation to adopt the program in 2009. David has been working with Patty as part of the “Wheels In Motion” program for the past two years.

While many of the artists wear a laser beam on their head or arm to guide their tracker, David verbally directs Patty through a multi-dimensional process involving many choices.

David often finds a photo of an image that he would like to paint, and Patty breaks down the image into shapes that are easy to work with. The pair then begins a long process of determining color and paint brush choices, size and placement on the canvas.

David understands that communicating some of his choices can be a challenge. “I’m very articulate, but when I’m tired, the words don’t come out as well as I want,” he explained. 

But the give-and-take is a labor of love for both artist and tracker. “David is very precise and definite about what he wants,” said Patty. “There were many times that I had to step back when I was tempted to inject my own opinions or style."

This ability to let the artist’s vision shine through is the mark of Patty and other good trackers, who say they get more than they give through the process. “I always wanted to be an artist but never really had any formal training,” said Patty. “But they pull things out of me, and I pull things from them; we’re a good match.”very precise and definite about what he wants,” said Patty. “There were many times that I had to step back when I was tempted to inject my own opinions or style."