Skip to main content
Stone Belt Divisions :  Milestones Clinical & Health Resources 
Stone Belt Artists

Carolyn Abbitt

Carolyn has been associated with Stone Belt for a long time. In fact, as a child, she was one of the original students who started at the Stone Belt School in 1959. But more recently, Carolyn’s artistic talent has exploded at the Stone Belt Art & Craft studio. She has been known to create up to three pieces of her whimsical animal-themed pieces in a single day. Her exploration of various settings seems unending and the resulting art pieces are sure to make you smile. Her glorious eight foot tall pig is part of the Stone Belt sculptural installation on Bloomington’s B-Line trail.

Kimmi Bignell

Kimmi accomplished some of life’s big milestones in 2008 when she completed high school and then moved away from home in Terre Haute, Indiana and into one of Stone Belt’s group homes in Bloomington. Since moving there, Kimmi was been very determined to create a fulfilled and more independent lifestyle for herself. She takes a very active role in the daily responsibilities of home life by cooking, decorating and assisting her housemates wherever she can. Her life-long interest in art has flourished in the Stone Belt Art & Craft studio where she works in a variety of media to create impressive self-portraits, animal illustrations and other images of meaningful self expression. Her budding talents are sure to more completely develop in ensuing years as a Stone Belt artist. 

Nikki Coffey

After graduating from Bloomington High School South in 2003, Nikki has been living in the community and sharing an apartment with a roommate. Because of Nikki’s physical challenges she uses a wheelchair and needs adaptive equipment, but that doesn’t slow down her creative spirit. Nikki’s Art Instructor, Karen Holtzclaw, has made a Velcro glove that allows Nikki to hold a paintbrush or pen. Because of this adaptation, Nikki can regularly be found in Stone Belt’s Art & Craft studio working on vibrant creations full of movement and design.  Nikki will spend the time it takes to get a piece just right and admits that her favorite part of the process is selling a piece and getting paid. When she is not producing her amazing art, Nikki enjoys an active social life.  

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an accomplished weaver. Her sense of design and color are evident in the many scarves and table mats she has produced over the past 10 years. Now she is using her artistic talents in the Stone Belt art studio as well, where she produces various paintings and drawings. Sarah has participated in Stone Belt’s programs since she graduated from high school in 2001 and has work at Red Lobster since 2004. Sarah lives in Bloomington with her mother.

Shirley Freeman

Shirley has lived in Bloomington all her life, but has only recently moved into her own place. Having lived only a short time ago in a nursing home with much older people, Shirley has really spread her wings and is enjoying her current lifestyle. She is always quick to accept party invitations from her friends, enjoys shopping and frequently has her long hair styled. Art experiences through the Stone Belt Art and Craft studio have given Shirley a meaningful form of expression and a great sense of pride.

Sandy Gaskins

At age 66, Sandy Gaskins discovered her artistic talent. Prior to this, the most artistic thing she had done was paint by number pictures. Sandy enjoys drawing animals and still-life scenes. Her art is distinctive in its level of detail. Sandy feels that making art is a very productive way of using her time in her retirement years, but she still completes jobs in the manufacturing facilities at Stone Belt. She was a long-term employee of Goody’s clothing store until it closed in 2008. Sandy grew up in Monroe County and describes herself as a country girl. Sandy has also discovered that she is an engaging story teller. She recounted her emotionally gripping story of taking care of her family and losing her mother as one of nine monologue performances at a sold-out production of I Am You – The Stone Belt Monologues in 2008. 

Denise Hillenburg

Denise has been exploring her artistic abilities through art classes, including those offered at the John Waldron Art Center, for several years.  Now, through Stone Belt’s Art and Craft production, Denise’s work is being featured in large and small-scale works for sale.  Marked by their fanciful and sometimes humorous details, Denise’s pieces can certainly put a smile on the viewer’s face and will enliven any room. Denise maintains an active lifestyle filled with Special Olympics activities, trips to the YMCA and visits with family and friends.

Carla Mann

As a child, Carla moved around a lot, but wherever she lived, she enjoyed drawing. Carla is a self-taught artist, who particularly enjoys drawing Christmas tree scenes. She enjoys drawing because she can create things the way she wants. Carla’s other hobbies include listening to music and reading, particularly biographies of her favorite recording artists.

Tom Marshall

Tom Marshall, a man of high energy and many interests, is a prolific artist whose creations are quite popular. His drawings, usually accompanied by a written description, are lively, imaginative and provide an effective form of expression for Tom. His favorite subjects include landscapes, animals and unique self-portraits depicting him taking part in his favorite activities. Tom sometimes has difficulty finding time for his art due to his busy schedule of working at a local bookstore, swimming at the YMCA, and riding horses at the PALS program.  

Congji Mu

Congji is a likeable guy who being with friends and family. His artwork varies from intricate line drawings to paintings with bold splashes of color. He gets his inspiration from his home life, which includes helping with gardening, raising chickens and playing with his dog. He especially enjoys stories his mother tells him. Congji and his parents are from Hangzhou, China, but they came to Indiana for his father to work at Indiana University. Chinese is Congji's first language, but he learned English while attending school. He continues to live with his parents in Ellettsville and enjoys seeing his brother on weekends.

Pat Pedigo

Pat Pedigo has an artistic style that is charming and folksy. He joined the Stone Belt art studio, applying his creative talent in a variety of media, including painting, drawing and mosaics. Pat contributed some of the most popular pieces at the Love Spring Things 2011 exhibit at Bloomington City Hall. His current artwork graces the cover of the 2014 Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Membership Guide. Pat is a native of Seymour, Ind. but currently lives in a group home in Bloomington. He is active in the community, participating in therapeutic horseback riding and hanging with friends at the skating rink. 

Polly Scroggin

“I like to do art,” said Polly Scroggins, one of the artists in the Stone Belt Art and Craft studio. She isn’t sure where her inspiration comes from for the various pictures of trucks, computers and other ideas, as she is the first person in her family to create art. Having grown up in Madison, Indiana, Polly now calls Bloomington home. She worked part time at Jo Ann Fabrics, where she surely was inspired by all the colors and designs she sees around her. She says she is making her own self a believer because of what she has been able to achieve at the Studio. 

Claudia Snyder

Claudia Snyder has participated in Stone Belt’s programs since 1990, but has debuted as at artist at the 2011 Love Spring Things show.  She has a great sense of color and demonstrates great diligence in all that she does. That diligence and dedication is also evident in her work at Meadowwood Retirement Center and in Life Science production area at Stone Belt. Claudia enjoys spending time and traveling with her family. She lives in Martinsville, Ind.

Kelly Tate

Kelly completed high school at Bloomington High School North in 2001. Since then a large part of her time has been spent in Stone Belt’s Art & Craft studio where she has discovered her artistic side. Kelly took a lead role in presenting Gov. Mitch Daniels with a hand-created Indiana State Seal, which she and fellow artisans at Stone Belt created. Kelly’s art is also displayed throughout Stone Belt’s facilities, in a dedication plaque and a large canvas community-created mural.  Kelly currently lives in Bloomington with her mother.    

Jason Truelock

Active and engaged are two words that perfectly describe Jason. He has a part-time job at his family business in Harrodsburg, stays involved with his church, and participates in many community activities as part of the Lifelong Learning program at Stone Belt. Jason has several quieter interests as well including watching movies, keeping up with sports, playing video games and listening to music. He still finds time each week to create beautiful art in the studio and first exhibited his work at The Stone Belt Art Gallery in April 2012.  Jason lives at home with his mother and step-father.

Alice Rotino

Alice has participated in the Stone Belt art studio for only a short time, but already her artistic abilities are evident.  Her work debuts at the 2011 Love Spring Things show at Bloomington City Hall.  Alice lives in Bloomington in her own apartment. At home she enjoys completing a variety of art projects including drawing, painting and making jewelry. She has used her creative talents for many years including making various exhibits for 4-H when she was growing up.