Justin Foster, MRC ArtWorks

Blackbeard’s Ship


This mixed media art is done on a 6-panel slat board. The dark, moody blue night sky is accompanied by thunder clouds and lightning. The brown-striped ship is balancing itself on the stormy sea. The ship has canvas sails on wood posts that stand out from the scene, making it 3-D. A purple octopus on the bottom left is trying to tip the ship over and a pink whale on the bottom right watches.

Artist Bio

Justin is a prolific artist and has been with ArtWorks for several years. He likes to paint and try new things like loom weaving. This multimedia piece was inspired by a friend.

Program Description

MRC artWorks – a program of MRC Industries, Inc. – is a professional working art studio and retail gallery located on the historic Kalamazoo Mall in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. MRC artWorks offers unique and affordable art created by individuals with disabilities, providing an outlet to achieve creative self-expression in a way that promotes personal growth, dignity, and self-confidence. We strive to enrich the community with the diversity of art by promoting our artists’ work through a variety of venues and partnerships. All artists receive a 75% commission from the sale of their work, which not only serves as their source of income, but also enhances and reinforces their self-esteem and self-worth. MRC artWorks provides a safe, positive, and creative environment that focuses on the individual’s abilities rather than their disabilities.

MRC Industries serves individuals in Kalamazoo County with developmental or intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, emotional impairments, and mental illness to achieve their fullest potential through employment, skill building, and active community involvement.

Program Link