More than 300 Original Works by Students with Disabilities from Region Displayed
Cherry Hill, N.J. – Y.A.L.E. School NJ, serving students with disabilities, recently hosted the Second Annual Tri-State DisAbility Art Show, a chance for students with disabilities ages 3-21 with an IEP or 504 Plan to showcase their original artwork including paintings, sculptures, mixed media displays and more.
The exhibit featured more than 300 works of art created by students from over 30 public and private schools across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, including submissions from as far as Elizabeth and Pittsburgh. Participating artists encompassed those with autism spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioral disabilities, visual and/or hearing impairments and more. More than 200 guests visited the gallery over its two-day engagement at Y.A.L.E. School’s Ellisburg campus in Cherry Hill.
“It was emotional and inspiring to watch students with disabilities from across the region enter the gallery with their parents and loved ones, and see their artwork hanging on the wall,” said Karen Donnelly, art teacher at Y.A.L.E. School, who headed a dedicated team of Art Show organizers. “This was an amazing chance to empower these students to contribute to a growing community that recognizes artistic self-expression as a springboard for awareness, dignity and respect.”
The Art Show also featured optional juried categories judged by representatives from Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ), the Penn Museum, Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) and Perkins Center for the Arts. Student artists were honored at an awards ceremony during the event. Community partner, Perkins Center for the Arts, will even display some of the students’ works in its Collingswood gallery space later this year.
“It was such a pleasure to be a part of such an impactful and inspiring evening,” said Kahra F. Buss, Executive Director, Perkins Center for the Arts. “I really enjoyed meeting the students, hearing what inspires them, learning what they love about art and seeing the support of their families.”
The Art Show was an inclusive event, incorporating printed guides in Braille, sensory-friendly activities and crafts, and ASL interpreting by certified American Sign Language interpreters during the awards ceremony. Prize ribbons for juried works were made by Y.A.L.E. School students in the Y.A.L.E. School Vocational Skills Lab and Co-op.
“I’m so proud of how we built on the success of last year’s Art Show, which was held virtually due to COVID, and offered an even bigger and better event this year,” adds Donnelly. “We hope this inspiring event can be a wonderful creative outlet for students with disabilities for many years to come.”
- IMG_0319: Connor from Y.A.L.E. School accepts an award from Lora Marie Durr, President, Art Educators of New Jersey. Connor was also thanked at the awards ceremony for creating the prize ribbons for the show in the Y.A.L.E. School Vocational Skills Lab and Co-op.
- IMG_0325: Marisol from Collingswood High School accepts an award from Lora Marie Durr, President, Art Educators of New Jersey.
- Photo 2: A look at just a few of the more than 300 pieces of art that were on display at the Tri-State DisaAbility Art Show.
Download more high-res event photos via Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/qip9icct0p2yfkw2x7bmj/h?dl=0&rlkey=9ed06lswsw1olkvmdcfeops01