The faces - and artwork - of Rhode Island's artists with disabilities are well represented at VSA arts of Rhode Island's 5th Annual Paul V. Sherlock Memorial Art Show held in collaboration with the RI State Council on the Arts at the Atrium Gallery, One Capitol Hill in Providence.
This exhibit honors Paul Sherlock, a man who has had a significant impact on the community of people with disabilities throughout RI, and celebrates his accomplishments by spotlighting the talents of adult RI artists with a wide range of physical, cognitive and mental health disabilities. During Paul Sherlock's career as teacher, legislator and Director of Special Education his commitment as an advocate for people with disabilities transformed Rhode Island into becoming a place where exhibits such as this - and the unseen work that takes place to assist the artist's creative process - are possible.
Over 80 artists are exhibiting their work in this show and works on display demonstrate a breadth of style and images. In addition to a powerful group of Coptic styled self-portraits, VSA arts is exhibiting art that is as varied in method and expression as the life experiences of the individual artists; artworks demonstrating a rich and diverse backdrop for appreciating that it is not preconceived notions of what "disability" is that defines these artists but their passion for creating art.
The talents emerging in this exhibit are a fitting tribute to celebrate Paul Sherlock's lifelong dedication towards improving the lives of people with disabilities as well as the diversity of RI artists. They also should serve as a reminder to the rest of us to pour passion into our own work and render life in bolder strokes.
This exhibit is produced by VSA arts of Rhode Island, a statewide nonprofit organization creating a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts, with additional support from the RI State Council on the Arts, the RI Department of MHRH, Division of Developmental Disabilities. Annually more than 40,000 Rhode Islanders take part in programs and unique opportunities contributing to the cultural life of our community with VSA arts of RI. For more information call VSA arts of RI at 725-0247 or visit their website at www.vsartsri.org
The gallery is free and open to the public and is on the First Floor of the State Dept. of Administration Building, at One Capitol Hill in Providence RI. The Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. One Capitol Hill is located behind the State House, on the corner of Capitol Hill and Smith Streets. For further directions, please go to: http://www.arts.ri.gov/about/directions.php. For more information on the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, or the Atrium Gallery, please go to: http://www.arts.ri.gov/.