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Young Artists With Disabilities

The following information comes from Brain Injury Association of America, Board Member, Marilyn Hern concerning an art exhibit for young artists with a cognitive. physical or mental disability.  I urge you to pass this along to members of the brain injury community who may benefit. In the past I have viewed art exhibits produced by persons who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.  In conversations with the artists, they have all informed me that the experience in creating the piece of art was extremely beneficial to their recovery.  Art rehabilitation therapy has long been used as a successful modality in assisting individuals who have sustained a TBI to live a fulfilled and productive life.

VSA arts, an international non profit organization dedicated to the participation of people with disabilities in the arts, has announced "Shifting Gears", an annual call for art and juried exhibit made possible with the support of Volkswagen of America, Inc.  Now in its fourth year, the program will distribute $60,000 in cash awards (including a grand prize of $20,000) to a total of fifteen finalists with disabilities.  Finalists will be selected on aesthetic merit alone.

"Shifting Gears" challenges young artists with disabilities to reflect on a pivotal moment or event in their life that led them to a greater understanding of themselves in relation to their art and/or disability. Artwork may illustrate actual aspects of the moment or event, such as the environment, physical manifestations, or personal discoveries.  Abstract work that relates to the artist's feelings or emotions is also encouraged. The finalists will receive their awards at a reception on Capital Hill, and their artwork will be displayed in a nation-wide touring exhibit that debuts at the Smithsonian in the fall.   

The program is open to young artists between the ages of 16 and 25 living in the United States who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability.

See the VSA arts Web site for further information and to download guidelines and an application form: http://fconline.fdncenter.org/pnd/1032/vsa

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