Scott Deters is a painter from Teutopolis, Illinois. He mainly uses acrylic paint on pre-stretched canvases. Scott also has Cerebral Palsy, and he uses his work to show that people with disabilities can achieve success.

April AOM Head ShotHow long have you been an artist or when did you start? Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and, if so, can you tell us about it?

I have enjoyed painting since I was small. I have two sisters who are very artistic. They have always included me in their artwork. I also have Cerebral Palsy, and we are continuously looking for new and innovative ways for me to paint and, more importantly, to express myself. After high school, I started working at the Day Training program at Community Support Services. They have a wonderful art program, and their paintings are auctioned off to support the program. My sister was the first teacher of that art program. After having some success there, we found a new technique that helped me better express myself. I use a laser strapped to the side of my head to direct an assistant to help me. I decide everything about the painting. It has helped me to show my feeling through my April AOM Image 5artwork.

I have given speeches and demonstrations throughout Illinois to promote my paintings. Doing this also demonstrates that people with disabilities are capable of great things. One of the first speeches I gave was in front of about 400 kids. That's when I realized that I was a voice for people with disabilities while also showcasing my paintings. It was a very powerful moment.

Illinois has been factored into your work in the past. What does being able to live and work in Illinois mean to you?

There is a great art community in our area that promotes all kinds of creativity. I've had the opportunity to travel throughout Illinois, show my paintings and demonstrate my abilities. I have a large group of supporters in Illinois.

What opportunities does Illinois present for local artists?

April AOM Image 1There is a yearly artisan fair and art auction, numerous places to display my art and many craft shows that promote artists in our area. We've made many connections across the state and received a lot of positive feedback. It is our goal to help people see that disabilities do not need to stand in the way of success. I have a great set of family and friends who continue to support my artwork.

What do you like about Illinois?

I like the fact that our state supports artists of all abilities. Many of the schools have art teachers in every grade from kindergarten to high school. All of the schools we've spoken to have been very supportive of all types of art.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

I work on pre-stretched canvases and use acrylics for my artwork. Acrylics dry faster, and I get the best results from them. I have also painted on wood.

Where can people view or purchase your work?April AOM Image 3

I can be reached with any questions or interest in my paintings on my Facebook page at or at

What artist inspires you and why?

My sister is an art teacher and is a huge support to me. She is a wonderful artist and has given me so many opportunities. She encourages me to try new techniques and is a great supporter.

Tim Lefens is an artist based in New Jersey who got us started with the technique that I use now. He was a great help with suggestions and encouragement when we were starting out. He is a fantastic artist, and his art has been shown in galleries in New York and New Jersey.

kiteIt is National Kite Flying month and what better way to celebrate the nice weather than taking the entire family out to fly some kites?

Flying a kite can be a fun activity for the entire family and people of all ages. Below are some special kite events that are happening in the suburbs.

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In honor of International Children's Book Day, here are some notable children’s books authors and illustrators from Illinois:

Duck Rabbit

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Chicago author Amy Krouse Rosenthal was an author of adult and children's books, a short film maker and a radio show host. She published more than 30 children's books and is the only author to have three children’s books to make the Best Children's Books for Family Literacy list in the same year. She had several children’s books on the New York Times bestseller list including "I Wish You More," "Uni the Unicorn," "Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons" and "Duck! Rabbit!," which was read during the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

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Park of the month: Cache River State Natural Area

This month, we are featuring a unique conservation area in Illinois’ “Little Egypt” region called Cache River State Natural Area. The park exists to preserve unique wetlands that are home to a wide variety of protected flora and fauna.

The Cache River wetlands sit within a floodplain carved thousands of years ago by glacial floodwater from the Ohio River. Growing throughout the wetlands of the Cache River State Natural Area are large cypress trees, many of which are over 1,000 years old and more than 40 feet in diameter. The Cache River wetlands are home to Illinois’ state champion bald cypress tree, which is noted for its height, trunk girth and thick canopy of branches and leaves.

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Farmers' Market

Now that spring is officially here and flowers are in full bloom, it is time to start thinking about where you can find and purchase local produce and goods. Illinois is known across the country for our agriculture, mainly corn, soybeans and wheat, but this state is also full of oats, fruits, vegetables and meats.

Luckily for Illinoisans, farmers’ markets can be found all across the state. Illinois is home to over 300 registered farmers’ markets and is a national leader in community-supported agriculture. Illinois ranked 3rd in the country for its number of farmers’ markets. In the past 20 years, the number of farmers’ markets jumped from 1,775 to over 8,000.

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