The fine art of Edward Bloom is coming to a wall near you.
The 56-year-old from Maynard will soon be featured on the cover of the 2017 Legislative Calendar for the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers thanks to his victory in the organization’s annual Calendar Contest.
Bloom, who attends NuPath’s New Boston Street program in Woburn, MA beat out a talented field of men and women from several other organizations with his painting of the Massachusetts State House. Participants of the contest had the option of painting the State House, Plymouth Rock, Old North Church or Bunker Hill Monument – four of Massachusetts’ most famous landmarks.
When the opportunity first presented itself, Employment Training Specialist at NuPath, Heather Gramstorff, said Bloom was eager to give it a try. “He really wanted to enter the contest,” she said. “Ed took it upon himself to try it out.”
“He is definitely willing to try anything once,” said Elder Soares, Manager of Day Services. “He was the most excited of anyone we asked to participate in this contest and a very talented artist.”
It took Bloom two days to paint his rendition of the State House. The eclectic mix of colors he used gave the painting a vibrant feel – a technique that surprised both Soares and Gramstorff.
“He has a lot of hidden talents….and that painting really impressed me,” Soares said.
Gramstorff added, “His style of painting always surprises us. It was a great showcase of how talented he is.”
However, the painting itself paled in comparison to the pride that NuPath’s staff had in and around their various programs when they heard the news that Bloom’s portrait was chosen.
“I was pleasantly surprised when I found out (Edward) won the contest,” said Jen Brophy, Coordinator of Day Services at NuPath’s New Boston Street program. “We weren’t quite sure what his competition was and then we were shocked to hear the news, but not really surprised he had won.”
Gramstorff added, “I think it’s a true underdog story. He’s a silent talent…but we were thrilled to find out he won.”
Her enthusiasm spilled over to Bloom, who found out about his victory when Gramstorff used an iPad to communicate the victory in the contest to him.
“I typed it out that he won…and his eyes grew bigger and bigger the more he read,” she said. “He gave me a thumbs up and smiled – it was a great moment!”
Bloom’s victory in the ADDP Calendar Contest is the latest chapter of what has been a year of celebration for so many attendees of NuPath’s programs. Soares believes success stories like Edward’s further the new mission of the organization – To make life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling for people living with disabilities.
“The men and women we support have so much potential to share with our communities,” he said. “Since our new mission is anchored by community-based engagement, it’s important to share our successes with the community…it furthers our great mission and gives the men and women we support more opportunities to succeed.”
In addition to being featured on the cover of ADDP’s 2017 calendar, Bloom’s winning work of art will also be on display at the 2017 ADDP Legislative Luncheon and Annual Conference this coming February.
As for the prize money, Bloom, a self-professed coffee lover, has some big plans with the money.
“I’m sure it will help buy me a few good cups of coffee.”