I arrived to the center and went downstairs to work with *Sam* since he was now back working at the center. There were five artists at his station; four were painting long wooden strips and one was working on a personal project: a plaster sculpture of a Venus fly trap from a movie. There wasn’t much for me to do, so I mostly just observed the artists as they worked. I also spoke to some of the artists. It was interesting to see *Sam*’s relationship with the artists. He appeared to know them very well. *Sam* would often describe to me someone’s personality. For example, he would point to someone working in another table and say, “Oh, that’s *Carl* over there. He is just a character. Lots of talent, but he is always picking on the others. He’s a real character.”
I started talking to one of the artists, *Sally*, working in *Sam’s* station. *Sally* was telling me a story about something that happened last year. I couldn’t understand what she was saying though. I could pick up pieces of the story, but she spoke quite fast and couldn’t understand the entire story. I wanted to ask her to repeat herself, but I didn’t. I regret now not asking her to repeat the story and I hope to work on this in the future. Later on in the day, a family came in to check out the facilities. It was a mother and her son and daughter. It appeared that the son was planning to start frequenting the facility. *Sam* saw this and told me, “Oh god, this center just keeps growing. We have too many people and not enough workers.”
I asked him more about this and he began talking about how there were several people in the center that shouldn’t be in the center. He mentioned that there were not enough “high functioning” people. He mentioned that people who are very “low functioning” should not be in the center because the center does not cater to their needs. He then proceeded to point out people that shouldn’t be at the center. He pointed to a man who was mute with low mobility and then he pointed to another man who apparently steals from the other center-goers. He finished the conversation by stating that the center needs to start taking in more high functioning artists and getting rid of those who do not work well in the center. It was uncomfortable to hear this.
I then began to help *Lenny,* the artist working of the sculpture of the Venus fly trap. It didn’t seem like he wanted help, but *Sam* really wanted me to work with him. *Sam* said it would motivate *Lenny* because *Lenny* was a very good artist, but often lazy. I tried to work with *Lenny* in a way that wasn’t intrusive. I mostly just held the sculpture in place as the worked on it. We worked in silence. Then it was time for snack and I packed my things and left for the train station.