2 Shoppers at the Venfen Store

For 22 years I have been coming to work at Gateway Arts. I am still impressed by the successful and tight-knit community that I am privileged to be part of, including over 100 talented artists with disabilities and a dedicated staff of professional artists and administrators who together, help make this premier Art Center shine.

Studio provides outlet and income

Since 1973, talented adults with disabilities from diverse backgrounds have been working at the unique Gateway Arts Studio program located in Brookline, Massachusetts. The studio includes people from 18 to 92 years old, with various disabilities; developmental, psychiatric, head injury, visual and hearing impaired and the full autism spectrum disorders. They live in group homes, with their families, or on their own.

As a service for 35 years of the renowned non-profit human service provider Vinfen, Gateway helps these artists earn profits from everything they create. Pieces are sold in a number of venues including the professionally appointed Gateway Gallery, the freestanding Gateway Craft Store, outside venues, online, and through commissioned installations.

The artist first

Coming from a background of art myself, with an MA in Art History from Columbia University and co-founder of a successful art collective, I feel privileged to be able to witness the remarkable creations that emerge daily from the Gateway studios. Here, we see the art and the artist first. Their disability may be part of who they are, but at Gateway it never defines them.

Many adults with disabilities deal with three limiting issues that Gateway’s unique art-centered program helps to eliminate: Stigmatization, Underemployment, and Isolation. Art as a vocation shepherds people into the mainstream with increased self esteem, by providing them with earnings and offering a nurturing community of other artists with disabilities as both colleagues and friends. To paraphrase, sometimes ‘It takes a studio’!

At Gateway, we make art work.

Join us for our blog next week and an intimate look at the amazing stories of some of the inspirational people who make up Gateway Arts.

About the AuthorMona Thaler

Mona Thaler is the Development, Marketing, and PR Director for Gateway Arts.