When Rome resident Amanda Chamberlain paints, it’s part art and part sport.

“You won’t believe what I can do,” she said, getting ready to work on her canvas on Wednesday morning.

After that statement, Chamberlain practically attacked the canvas with the adapted paintbrush that lets her maintain a good grip, striking it against the top of the canvas and stroking downward. Chamberlain paints in Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s Pieces of HeArt art program, part of the nonprofit’s day habilitation program in Barneveld for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

And she’ll be among the many program artists exhibiting and selling paintings, ceramic pieces and painted silk scarves at the nonprofit’s Gallery of Expression on Friday at the Parish on Broadway in Utica. The event includes a free art exhibit and sale from 4 to 6 p.m. and a $75-a-ticket cocktail party from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. to raise money for Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s mental health services.

At work on her painting, Chamberlain exclaimed, “Look at that! Wow!” as she slapped on more orange paint. Her many canvases are covered with vivid colors — orange, maroon, yellow, turquoise, hot pink, apple green —in so many layers that she wears gardening gloves to keep the dried paint from cutting her fingers.

Recreation specialist Victor Lenuzza pointed to one of her canvases, drawing attention to the way the painting transitions from large splotches of color at the top to more muted tones lower down as the colors blend.

“As she hits the canvas, her energy dissipates,” he said.

The program hired Lenuzza to stretch and frame the hundreds of paintings produced by participants. Each artist receives a portion of the proceeds from any sale and the rest goes back into funding the art program.

The art program allows anyone to participate, no matter the artist’s physical disabilities. Adaptive paintbrushes, for example, help artists with weak grips or limited ranges of motion. Artists who can’t use paintbrushes use lasers, held in their hand or on a headband, to “draw” lines that helpers trace with paintbrushes. A chalkboard compass helps to create circles.

Art can help participants build their creativity, social skills, motor skills, strength and confidence, Lenuzza and recreation specialist Susan Macrina said.

“It helps them to grow a bit from their comfort zone that they keep themselves in,” Macrina said.

And it gives them something intangible, Lenuzza said. “A sense of accomplishment,” he said. “I want to say just feeling normal like everybody else.”

He noted that Chamberlain had presented a one-woman show at Smith Market in Utica on Sept. 27. “Her doing a show and going in there,” he said, “she felt like a movie star.”

Contact reporter Amy Neff Roth at 315-792-5166 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Roth).