Community News

Art Exhibition Celebrating Artists With Special Needs

A visual art exhibition featuring 40 individuals with special needs on view in the heart of the Chelsea Arts District in NYC.
The Spirit of Huntington Art Center is pleased to present ArtABILITY: an Inclusive Exhibition Celebrating Artists with Special Needs at the world-famous Agora Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery located in the heart of Chelsea’s Arts District in New York City. The exhibition will feature the work of forty individuals from Long Island living with various physical and cognitive impairments. The exhibition will be on view from January 11 – 22, with an opening reception on Thursday, January 13 from 7:00-9:00pm that is free and open to the public.
The exhibition celebrates the power of creative expression and serves as a testament to the ability of the arts to encourage accessibility and inclusion. The artwork, curated and selected from over 250 pieces, features the work of forty individuals of varying abilities who have participated in classes at the Art Center. These art classes provide a unique opportunity for students to enjoy a stress free, therapeutic environment that fosters creativity and self-esteem. Not only does ArtABILITY celebrate the accomplishments of the artists themselves, but it also celebrates the many nonprofit partner organizations that support their day-to-day lives and who believe in the impact the arts can have on the special needs community.
These partner organizations include: AIM Network, Blue Umbrella Experience, Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau, East End Disability Associates, FREE- Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, HALO Network, IGHL Associates, ISS- Independent Support Services, Life’s WORC, Pal-o-Mine Equestrian, Rise Life Services, South Huntington School District, SYJCC-Butler Center, and the Mid-Island YJCC-Adler Center for Special Needs.
ArtABILITY aims to educate the community about the remarkable talents of people with disabilities and inspire people to reach beyond their limitations and explore their own creativity. “The opportunity to exhibit this collection of work in an esteemed and respected contemporary art gallery like Agora Gallery is a full circle moment for the Art Center” says Michael Kitakis, Executive Director of the Spirit of Huntington Art Center. He continues “Seeing the work of our program participants exhibited like this is proof that the arts have a unique way of bringing us all together to appreciate beauty in all of its diverse forms”. The Art Center’s founder, Erich Preis, had a vision to open an art school for students who struggle with self-expression. Erich, who is on the autism spectrum, utilized art as a way to overcome challenges and as a method to communicate and relate to others. Erich is now an accomplished fine artist who has exhibited in many galleries in the New York region.
Accompanying this exhibition is a selection of work from the Art Center’s private collection. Proceeds from the sales of both ArtABILITY and the private collection will go directly back to the Art Center and its partner organizations in an effort to support the enrollment of more participants and to create similar opportunities for members of the special needs community.

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