Local artist Selena Waters honored at Celebration of Abilities


Selena Waters, of Newton Twp., displays her artwork, titled ‘My Favorite Things’ during the Celebration of Abilities event at the Dietrich Theater Thursday, June 11.

Selena Waters, a Verve Vertu artist, presents an original piece to Dean Search, of Keystone Community Resources.

Verve Vertu participants in this year’s Celebration of Abilities event at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock, from left, Selena Waters, April Cross, Gwen Harleman, Monique Dennis and Joe Pascoe.

TUNKHANNOCK — Selena Waters, an artist at Verve Vertu in Dallas, loves horses — she even has five of her own.

That passion shows through in the Newton Township resident’s original piece of art, titled “My Favorite Things,” which she donated for the Luzerne and Wyoming counties’ Mental Health and Developmental Services’ (MH&DS) Second Annual Celebration of Abilities, held Thursday, June 11 at the Dietrich Theater.

Waters created the piece using acrylic paints, real horse hair and a horseshoe.

She said the best part of being involved at Verve Vertu is seeing her friends there.

“I love going,” she said. “And doing something by hand all day.”

Waters mostly works on fiber art, creating items such as silk scarves and T-shirts.

Verve Vertu is an art studio of the Deutsch Institute, which, according to its website, is “dedicated to developing and expanding leisure and recreation interests for persons with disabilities and special needs.”

The studio will also soon have a satellite location at The Gathering Place in Clarks Summit.

The purpose of Celebration of Abilities was to recognize individuals with intellectual disabilities, employers and citizens. Refreshments were available for attendees in the lobby and the Tunkhannock Area High School Jazz Band opened the program with musical entertainment.

Honorees included BJ Reidenbach, Kathleen Pohlman, Dean Search, Karen Frey, Office of Rehabilitation and Keystone Community Resources.

Other artists who donated original pieces are Monique Dennis, of Verve Vertu and Miranda Kropa, Mary Helen Kolessar, Diane Mariette, Kenneth Lorah and Desiree Reed, all of Arts Thru Abilities, Kingston.

MH&DS Advisory Board Chairman David Wilson served as master of ceremonies and remarks were given by Wyoming County Commissioner Thomas Henry; Thomas Koniski, field representative from State Senator Lisa Baker’s Office; and State Representative Karen Boback.

The event’s title, “Celebration of Abilities,” according to Boback, “could not be more accurate.” Looking out into the audience, she acknowledged former students of hers and expressed her pride in their accomplishments.

“Nothing holds them back from achieving their goals,” she said. “They are such an inspiration.”

Another person bursting with pride was audience member Dori Waters, Selena’s mother.

“As always, I’m very proud of Selena,” she said after the ceremony. “And it’s inspiring to see her use her talents to make other people happy.”

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