JCC’s Patio Gallery StudioWorks 2014 Exhibit Showcases Work of Intellectually Disabled Artists

The JCC Patio Gallery is proud to present the exhibit StudioWorks 2014, Feb. 23-April 1, with an opening reception Sun., Feb. 23, 2-4 p.m. StudioWorks is an arts program and gallery operated by Zoom Group, the leading provider of enrichment services and employment for adults with developmental disabilities in Louisville.

There are 35 artists working in a variety of media in the StudioWorks program. Trained staff introduces materials and techniques such as painting, drawing, jewelry-making, photography and digital media, ceramics, soft sculpture and collage to help each artist develop his or her strengths.

“The opportunity for personal expression is one of the keystones of the StudioWorks program,” said Al Gorman, StudioWorks administrator. “The visual arts function as a second language, accessible to staff and artists alike. The artists in the program have embraced their creative identities and prize the validation they receive as contributing members of the community.”

StudioWorks began in 2006 with a few adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities meeting in the back room of a coffee house to make art and craft projects. It’s continued to grow into one of the better art programs of its kind in the country. Much of the credit is due to the artists and staff who provide for the program and embody the idea that everyone has a story to tell and is capable of developing expressive potential.

StudioWorks has a studio and gallery at 2008 Eastern Parkway that is open to the public during business hours. Artists regularly exhibit their art locally and the staff is always seeking opportunities far afield. Artists have shown on both coasts and across the country.

Staff and artists frequently see other exhibitions in the community.
StudioWorks has an active visiting artists program, as well, which provides inspiration. Bette Levy, Patio Gallery director, was such a visiting artist and encouraged StudioWorks to exhibit at Patio Gallery.

“The artwork that I saw while I was there was fascinating and engaging,” Levy said. “It was obvious that this program has brought richness to the lives of the participants as well as to those who work with them.”

Patio Gallery hours are Sun. 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs. 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Fri. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.         

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