Spectrum of Artists: Painting the Disability Picture

Spectrum of Artists: Painting the Disability Picture

Spectrum for Living is diving head first into the summer with a three-month-long art exhibition in public libraries across Middlesex, Passaic, and Bergen County.

Partnering with the Arts Institute of Middlesex County, Spectrum for Living has been awarded a visual arts grant to facilitate an arts education course and exhibition throughout 2023. The art exhibition is an exercise in self-empowerment and self-expression, where clients had the opportunity to identify their subject matter and mirror the image through their individual lens. From self-portraits to landscapes and objects of importance, clients had the autonomy to identify their subjects and reinvent them in an authentic way that highlighted their own individual stories and interpretations. Pieces were created through a mixed-media approach of photography, drawing, and painting.

“As we enter the summer, we are thrilled to have developed partnerships with libraries across Middlesex, Passaic, and Bergen County, where Spectrum for Living has a presence in. These libraries have generously agreed to host our micro-exhibits in one-week increments from July 2023 through September 2023” shared Christopher Perry, President and CEO of Spectrum for Living. “At the closing of 2023, we plan to circulate a digital and print magazine of our artists accompanying their artwork with testimonials through which they will share what their art means to them.”

Spectrum of Artists: Painting the Disability Picture will bridge the gap between neuro-typical older adults and clients living with developmental disabilities by having both groups join for a common goal: artistic interpretation, culture, and self-expression. Clients will integrate themselves into the community through artistic expression and exhibitions at local libraries frequented by older adults.

“Our clients utilize the arts as a way to escape diagnoses, biases, and societal constraints. Art allows our clients the opportunity to have new life experiences and connections to others and the community at large,” added Perry. “In addition to creating a space for artistic expression and community integration for our clients, our project will focus on adults in our community that are looking for ways to repurpose their skills and redefine their retirement. Our intention is to repeat this project each year and expand its scope. Eventually, we would like to implement an Artistic Advisory Board of adults over 50 that can choose the theme of the year’s exhibit and assist our clients in choosing their subject matter and developing their art pieces.”

View Spectrum of Artists: Painting the Disability Picture Summer 2023 exhibition calendar by visiting www.spectrumforliving.org/spectrumofartists or contact Elizabeth Boyajian, Director of Development at eboyajian@spectrumforliving.org with any exhibit or publication-related questions.

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