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Artist Don Ryker Presents "Everyone Can Create" Workshop

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Professional Artist Demonstrates Painting Technique Using His Head

From the seat of his power wheelchair Don Ryker turns blank canvases into works of art by applying acrylic paint with his uniquely adapted hardhat that accommodates both his charcoal and paintbrush. Cerebral Palsy hasn't deterred Ryker from many things in life, including learning how to fish and play baseball and video games when he was young, and now pursuing his dream as a professional artist. Ryker will be at Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose on February 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Art Loft, demonstrating his technique and inspiring children and adults with his talent, determination, and passion.

VISITORS CAN EXPERIMENT WITH RYKER'S TECHNIQUE: The museum will have 10-15 adapted hardhats of various sizes for visitors to experiment using Ryker's tools and methods. In advance of the workshop, Ryker will create a number of charcoal sketches that will be covered in plastic for visitors to paint. The templates and hardhats will allow visitors to experience the creative process using Ryker's methodology and technique.

"Having Don conduct a workshop at the museum will be incredibly inspiring for our visitors," said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children's Discovery Museum. "There's no better way to teach children about inclusiveness, determination, and overcoming adversity than to introduce them to someone as remarkable as Don. He may have physical limitations, but Don chooses not to be defined by them, and instead sees and creates beauty in the world every day. He's truly an inspiration and example for us all."

"I want people to see my art and feel positive," said Don Ryker. "I want them to connect with animals and be inspired by nature. I also want people to know that a person in a wheelchair can be creative, expressive, and successful and that everyone can create."

Ryker's exhibition, "Everyone Can Create," will be on display in the museum's gallery featuring colorful wild birds from January 30 through April 15. During the exhibition, visitors will be encouraged to create bird artwork that will be temporarily displayed on the Art Loft windows. 

Ryker's work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in local galleries such as The Triton Museum, Carmen Castellano Art Gallery, and Gallery 85.

The "Everyone Can Create" workshop is included in the price of admission.

Cost of admission: adults: $15; children: $15; seniors: $13; infants and members are free

About Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
With over 150 interactive exhibits and programs, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose is one of the largest museums of its kind in the nation. Since opening its doors in 1990, the museum has welcomed over 8.6 million visitors and has offered new exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, hands-on exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations.  For more information about the Museum, visit

For more information about Don Ryker, visit


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