Last week we introduced Gateway Arts, the premier Art Center for talented adults with disabilities on the east coast. Gateway serves over 100 artists through its professional studio program, Craft Store and Art Gallery and provides uniquely arts-based vocational training and rehabilitation where artists receive 50% from their sales.

But Gateway is more than a vocational center; it is a community where people support each other as fellow artists and as friends. The staff of professional artists is adept at guiding both the artistic and emotional development of each individual

Finding Joy in Art

Zakim Bridge Painting by Ruby Pearl
Before coming here, Ruby Pearl was living out of her Ford Escort, painting scenes on discarded trash. Today, she has her own apartment, has sold rights for her work to a textbook publisher, and often has a waiting list for her paintings and commissions.

Ruby says, “I used to paint from negativity and pain, now I’m into the most joyful painting.”

Transformations like this are everyday occurrences at Gateway.

Ruby’s career at Gateway was jump started through funding from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). Funding through MRC is now available to all artistically  talented individuals with disabilities through Gateway’s successful Artist  Training Program (ATP) so that folks with head injury, mental illness, and other disabilities can explore careers in the arts.

Quiet Eloquence

Molly PiperEvidence of self-expression is everywhere at Gateway as some of the most eloquent artists share their thoughts in new and creative ways. Political sculptures created from wood and doll parts by Gateway artist Molly Piper, for example, demonstrate a profound engagement with current events, even though Piper herself might speak haltingly. Imagine the Iraq conflict represented through an arresting red-splattered collection of trinkets with Bush and Hussein figures presiding over it.

“I just needed to get it out”, said Piper.

Molly works in Gateway’s Main Studio and is funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Funding is also available from the Massachusetts Commission on the Blind, the Special Education Division of the Public Schools and private pay.

In two weeks, learn how Gateway is serving youth in transition as new and upcoming artists with disabilities.

For more information on Gateway, go to or call 617-734-1577.