New exhibition to showcase work of artists with disabilities at Gallery 210

by | Jan 7, 2019

The “This is Us” exhibition from Living Arts Studio/VSA Arts of Missouri will open with a reception on Jan. 26 and run through March 17.
"I Remember the Happiness"

Jennifer Fryman’s “I Remember the Happiness,” 2018, marker drawing on paper, resin casted. (Photos courtesy of Gallery 210)

Gallery 210 at the University of Missouri–St. Louis is set to showcase the “This is Us” exhibition from Living Arts Studio/VSA Arts of Missouri.

"Baby Sun Mantis"

Travis and Jim Pennekamp’s “Baby Sun Mantis,” 2018,
paper mache, wire, acrylic paint, resin coated paper, baby doll head and surface embellishments.

The exhibition will feature sculpture, drawing, assemblage and a variety of other media by the artists participating in the Living Arts workshop.

A reception for the artists will coincide with the exhibition’s opening on Jan. 26. The reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the gallery and is free and open to the public. The exhibits is scheduled to be displayed until March 17.

Incorporated in August 2009, Living Arts Studio/VSA Arts of Missouri is a statewide organization promoting access to the arts for people with disabilities. It is part of a network of affiliates throughout the United States and in 51 countries. The program is also affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

“What excites me about with working with the artists from Living Arts is the opportunity break down preconceived notions regarding persons with disabilities and to share with our community the extraordinary vision and creativity of these artists,” Gallery 210 Director Terry Suhre said.

Living Arts Executive Director Gina Alverez organized the exhibition with assistance from Kelly Larson and Jeremy Rabus, and it’s supported by the Missouri Arts Council as well as UMSL’s School of Fine and Performing Arts and Center for the Humanities.

Alvarez believes her role is to inform the artists about the possibilities and then step back to watch them develop their work.

"Shape Investigate No. 2"

Chip Beers’ “Shape Investigate No. 2,” 2018, media acrylic paint and marker on cardboard.

“When you make it possible for someone to do something they couldn’t or didn’t do at home – because they didn’t have the space or the materials or whatever – it’s a good feeling,” Alvarez said. “We see growth in every aspect in a world that seems devoid of growth right now. And as they develop, the artists often surprise the people they’re closest to and themselves.”

Living Arts envisions a truly inclusive community where people with disabilities participate in the same professional development, educational and leisure opportunities in the arts as people without disabilities. It believes in the strength in shared resources leveraged by partnering with diverse entities in the arts and disability communities.

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