So I go to this resource center where I can paint, and lots of other developmentally disabled people go there too to do various forms of art. Generally, everyone does whatever they want to do. But there’s this one guy whose situation really bothers me. Okay, so this guy is blind. And he likes to sculpt. And every day he goes in there, they make him draw with colored pencils for a certain amount of time before he’s allowed to sculpt. He repeatedly tries to say that he’s done, and they keep telling him that he’s not done until they say he’s done. So he sits there drawing circles over and over, until they tell him to switch colors, and then he grabs another pencil (if he can find one, which often he can’t, because he can’t see the pencils, and probably not the drawings either) and draws the same circles in the same spot over and over, until they tell him to draw them somewhere else on the paper, so he draws the same circles in the same spots over and over. (And I get the sense that maybe this circle thing is a protest against being made to draw at all.) And then eventually in a time that’s determined entirely by his staff, they let him sculpt, and then he’s happy. The rest of us, we can say when we’re done with something and they let us stop. The rest of us can choose what kind of activity we want to do and we aren’t required to do something else first. But this one guy has to sit there drawing circles and getting clearly bored with it, over and over, until someone decides he can sculpt which is usually what he wants to do in the first place. And just… WTF, it makes no sense, and it’s wrong. Art is something you do because you want to do it, it’s not something that someone makes you do when you don’t want to do it, and it’s not something where other people ought to choose what form of art you want to do. And choices like that ought to be a human right, not subject to someone else’s power games. It’s things like this that spoil art for people who would otherwise enjoy it. And they bring the scent and the feel of ‘institution’ into places that are blessedly noninstitutional in other respects, because of who has and doesn’t have the control and power.