Rolling Without Limits

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NJ Studio Guides Artists With Disabilities
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NJ Studio Guides Artists With Disabilities

ArtsUnbound Helps Provide Equal Access For Artists With Disabilities

ArtsUnbound, a nonprofit organization established in 2000, is an art gallery and educational art studio for seniors and artists with disabilities. The organization also serves youth and adults with mental illness, physical or developmental disabilities, and seniors, with or without disabilities. The visual arts education program is also available to the general population.

ArtsUnbound supports artists with disabilities to explore the possibilities of a career in visual arts. The nonprofit group is especially attuned to the fact that many individuals with disabilities are not guided towards artistic careers, and instead, are simply relegated to minimum-wage jobs and a vicious cycle of poverty. With proper mentorship and training, emerging artists become cultivated artists with a gallery presence and a portfolio. The artists participate in ArtsUnbound two core classes: visual arts education and artist development.

Career coaching is provided as part of the artist development. Under the expertise of the ArtsUndbound staff, artists receive feedback and critiques on their work. The staff helps prepare the artist for a career in art by discussing business strategy, social media presence, portfolio, and self-advocacy. 60-minute coaching sessions are available to everyone, however, a sliding fee scale and some free services are available for seniors and artists with disabilities. Please email Celene Ryan, ArtsUnbound. The ArtsUnbound website features an online shop with gifts, scarves, t-shirts, as well as other novelties produced by artists such as Tom Wade, who became a paraplegic after an automobile accident in 1995.

ArtsUnbound serves Essex, Union, Passaic, Hudson, Monmouth, Bergen and Morris counties in New Jersey. The organization is funded by New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency with the National Endowment of the Arts.

ArtsUnbound will host the 3rd annual Arts Accessible Festival on October 12, 2018, from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM in Fairfield, NJ. Some of the workshops on the roster include printmaking, jewelry-making, sculpture, drawing, painting, as well as games, food, and music! Check out the festival on New Jersey Stage.

Image credit: Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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