Tag: Gateway Arts

Gateway Arts Prepares Young Artists with Disabilities for the Future

Gateway Arts LogoAt Gateway Arts, we understand the need for supporting young people with disabilities through transition. It is a tough time for all of us during these years entering adulthood, and for people with disabilities it can be even tougher.

Yet we have found a creative approach through art that makes a difference. As we have seen time and again, when students at Gateway begin to create, their confidence builds and their potential replaces their disability.

The Power to Grow

Neri, a student at Gateway ArtsOne such student is Neri Avraham, who came to Gateway at age 17. Neri attends Newton High School, loves art and has autism. One of his challenges is patience. Waiting for a bus, for example, would annoy anyone, but for him it’s a real ordeal.

Yet when Avraham paints, he can sit and concentrate for hours. He says it’s allowed him to become more comfortable with uncertainty. He’s currently enrolled in classes at Gateway which help him refine the new behaviors and skills he finds through artwork and channel them into his development as a successful artist and adult.

Neri’s mother, a strong advocate for talented young adults with disabilities, says, “…that to be in a regular society is what pushes people to improve” and, “…that it is better to be a tail of a lion than the head of a small animal”. Gateway gives all young people with disabilities the opportunity to be part of the Gateway family and the mainstream art community with the power to grow to their full potential.

Flowering Through Art

A Painting by Neri AvrahamNeri loves flowers. A recent acrylic work of his has been described as ‘…a sea of flowers in many shades of blue and purple, sprouting up from grass so green it looks like it’s been showered with sprinklers every day’. His works are exhibited and sold in the Gateway Gallery, online, and at outside venues. He is also training to arrange flowers for events at and away from Gateway.

Gateway accepts diversified funding including the Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, the Statewide Head Injury Program, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and private payment. Gateway is a CARF certified service of Vinfen Corporation which provides additional administrative and clinical support.

More information  at www.gatewayarts.org or 617-734-1577/x10 to set up a visit or screening.

Gateway Arts : A Welcoming Community for People with Disabilities

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 www.gatewayarts.org or call 617-734-1577.

Gateway Arts Studios offer Artists with Disabilities a Place to Grow

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.