Pitt-Bradford to host arts exhibit for Disabilities Awareness Month

One of the paintings that will be on display at the exhibition of work by Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

BRADFORD, Pa. – Starlight Studio and Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., will hold an arts exhibit at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as part of Disabilities Awareness Month in October.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be from 6:30-7:30p.m. Oct. 13 in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall and is free and open to the public. The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. The exhibit will be up through Oct. 31.
Starlight Studio and Art Gallery is an art studio habilitation program created by the Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York in 2008, according to Carrie Marcotte, director of the Starlight Studio Art Gallery.

“Participants in the program work with professional artists to cultivate their skills and interests in a myriad of art and media techniques,” she said.

There is also a street-level gallery on site, which affords participant artists the opportunity to display and sell their work.

Carma Horner, disability resources and services coordinator at Pitt-Bradford, said she has brought a disabilities awareness program to campus each October since beginning her current position several years ago. Previous programs included a visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Chaz Kellem, manager of diversity initiatives, and documentary films about people with various disabilities.

This year, Horner said, she wanted to bring in artists after being inspired by a mural in Ohio created for the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by Kong Ho, muralist and former professor at Pitt-Bradford. While searching for artists, she found Starlight Studio.

“I’m hoping that we can reduce some stigma and break down some barriers with this exhibit,” Horner said, noting that many of the artists, just like much of the population have “hidden” disabilities – ones that cannot be seen by looking at someone.

The show is made possible, in part, by a $1,000 grant from the Walmart Community Giving program.

For more information on Starlight Studio and Art Gallery, visit starlightstudio.org. For disability needs, contact Horner at (814) 362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

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