William Berger Gallery
Community ACCESS to the Arts
Art Abilities Collection – University of Miami
Artists: Vanessa Montiel, Michael Moreno, Jose Vazque, Marqueasha Griffin, Nakinya S. Munnings, Lauren Schuster, Kevin Lopez, Kianna Gherardi
The Mailman Center for Child Development’s art collection, ArtsAbilities was initiated in 1995 when the Center decided to use a child’s drawing on the front cover of the new brochure. Kelly Lynch, an eight-year old girl with autism, executed the chosen artwork. The Mailman Center continues to exhibit new artwork created by individuals with disabilities.
Each year, the Mailman Center selects new artworks created by children in Miami-Dade County Public School’s exceptional student education program. Teachers throughout the county select the best student’s work after which it is juried by the ArtAbilities Committee. The jury selects 25 art pieces from an average of 70 submissions to become part of the ArtAbilities Collection. All the winners, who range from 5 to 21 years of age, are invited to an awards ceremony held in May of each year. At the ceremony the winners receive an art medal, monetary awards, and accolades from their family and friends.
The ArtAbilities Collection serves as a mechanism to reveal and to highlight the artistic abilities of children who are so often singled out for their limitations. By promoting their artistry, ArtAbilities helps to overturn negative stereotypes of disability and to create a new vision of independence and full access to community life.
Since the program’s inception, the Green Family Foundation has sponsored this award ceremony. We are very grateful to the Foundation and Ms. Kimberly Green for their continued patronage and support of the ArtAbilities Collection.
For more information on this project please contact Wanda Castro, ArtAbilities Director, at 305-243-4466 or email@example.com
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About William Berger Gallery
When I saw the arts and crafts produced by the clients of CATA, Community Access to the Arts, I immediately envisioned an exhibit of the work here in the ACCESS-MEED Gallery; their mission of honoring each individual’s artistry, creativity and unique talents dovetails the mission of the ACCESS Department here at Miami Dade College. Part of CATA’s mission is to take this creativity and find a way to bring it out into the world. It seemed a natural fit to exhibit this artwork here.
These artists are not college bound. Teresa, Mike, Natasha, Shawn and the others will not have that particular opportunity in their futures. Nevertheless, they are showing us an unbound creativity that lies beneath their various obstacles. The William Berger Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting just such expression without the usual restrictions that deny exhibit opportunity.
By presenting their extraordinary talent in RHYTHM AND HUES, we at MDC are opening their art to the wider world of Miami and beyond. This purity of expression has appreciation potential in homes, galleries and even museums.
Curator of the William Berger Gallery