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Artists With Disabilities to Celebrate 11th Anniversary of Showing Their Work at NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS

By Sanford Josephson


originally published: 08/03/2021

Artists With Disabilities to Celebrate 11th Anniversary of Showing Their Work at NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

Several artists with developmental disabilities will gather on August 16 at a virtual reception to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the New Jersey Medical School Collaborative ARTS Exhibit. The artists are part of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center’s Arts Access Program in Peapack, NJ, and the Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled’s WAE Center in West Orange, programs dedicated to enabling individuals with disabilities to create fine art. The work of 25 artists from both programs is featured in the exhibit, which began on July 12 and continues through August 31. 

“We are thrilled to once again partner with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and JSDD’s WAE Center on this artistic venture,” said Eileen Murray, Director of the Arts Access Program. “The work on the virtual exhibition,” she added, “is of the highest quality and a reflection of the artists’ talent and perseverance. Nothing has stopped them in this unprecedented time. They have continued to create with the passion they always have, and I’m so grateful to Rutgers NJMS for giving them this platform to shine.”

The opportunity “to hang artwork alongside Matheny Arts Access,” said Monica Schneider-Brewer, WAE Center Director of Arts, Marketing, and Communications, “has become a joyful summertime ritual. These two organizations bring the work of adults with developmental disabilities to the students, staff, and faculty of NJMS and watch the work fill the space. Even in this virtual format, art can inspire and propel ideas, crush assumptions and open hearts and minds.”

Artists With Disabilities to Celebrate 11th Anniversary of Showing Their Work at NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

Matheny’s Arts Access Program was created in 1993 as a pilot program with a $35,000 grant from the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Its unique art development and communications system employs professional artists serving as facilitators for artists with disabilities who might not have use of their arms or may communicate only via a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ sign.  In its early stages, Arts Access focused on the visual arts. Since that time, the program has grown to include other disciplines such as dance, drama, and writing.

Founded in 2004, JSDD’s WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center is a holistic arts learning program for adults with developmental disabilities. WAE’s adaptive arts program began with the practice of three disciplines: fine arts, speaking circles, and yoga and meditation. Subsequently, the program expanded to include pre-vocational offerings, cooking, music, creative writing, Judaic studies, and civics classes.



 
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The NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit is part of the medical school’s exhibition series, which showcases hundreds of amateur and professional artworks created by the community at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, as well as members of the Greater Newark community it serves. NJMS’ Spokesperson Kathy Wioland shared “NJMS continues to be excited to take part in this creative experience every year.”

The virtual reception, to be held from 6-7 p.m. on August 16, will provide an opportunity to hear directly from several of the artists from Arts Access and JSDD’s WAE Center as they share their thoughts on art, the creative process, and the ability to show their work in the annual exhibit. To RSVP for a free ticket and a Zoom link to the reception, click here.

Arts Access is grateful to Novartis for its generous support of this event and other Arts Access projects.

Artists With Disabilities to Celebrate 11th Anniversary of Showing Their Work at NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

IMAGES: (TOP to BOTTOM) Paul Santo "A Red Circle"; Andy Lash "Untitled"; Karen Frascella "Untitled"



Sanford writes for the New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) - a non-profit organization of business and professional people, musicians, teachers, students and listeners working together for the purpose of advancing jazz music.





EVENT CALENDAR

ART | COMEDY | DANCE | MUSIC | THEATRE | COMMUNITY

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PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON AND PUDDLES PITY PARTY: MISERY LOVES COMPANY TOUR

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Thursday, May 19, 2022 @ 6:30pm
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For more event listings, click here



 

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