About Art Ability
Art Ability is dedicated to creating community awareness of people with disabilities, and encouraging people with disabilities to reach beyond their limitations and find fulfillment and inspiration through art.
Annual exhibition and sale
Art Ability has as a primary focus as an international, twelve-week juried exhibition and sale of art and fine crafts that features work by artists with physical and related cognitive disabilities, and hearing and visual impairments. Participating artists express their creativity through painting, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, stained glass, jewelry and fine crafts. Through these creative modes of expression, artists are able to convey their talent, receive recognition for their work, and often also to further progress in recovering from a life-altering illness or injury.
The event is held every fall. Proceeds of the Art Ability celebration help support Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital patient and community programs.
Permanent collection of work
Pieces from the hospital’s permanent Art Ability collection (500 + pieces) are displayed at wheelchair height throughout the halls of the hospital year-round for our more than 7,000 patients to enjoy. The collection provides continuous inspiration to the hospital’s patients, their families and visitors. The hospital clinical staff members often incorporate utilization of Art Ability work into their daily treatment activities with patients. Staff motivates patients by using the collection as tangible evidence of their potential to return to meaningful, productive lives.
Private tours are available upon request.
Community outreach and education opportunities
Traveling satellite exhibitions of Art Ability artwork are a key component of the program and have been successful in generating enhanced awareness of the talent and skill of our artists; in addition to communicating that disability is as personally limiting as you make it. Over the past 25 years, Art Ability artwork has been on display at numerous high-profile venues including the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Philadelphia City Hall, Chester County Studio Tours, Please Touch Museum, West Chester Gallery Walks, and Highfield Hall in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Interactive demo days
During demo days, participating Art Ability artists share the knowledge of their craft with people of all ages with disabilities. These programs could include interactive tours of the exhibition or permanent collection and involve Art Ability artists who share the practice of their craft and their disabilities. Each artist works in a small group and participants create a piece of work under the artist’s guidance.
Corporate art acquisition program
Art Ability also serves as a resource for corporations to help meet their need for art for their corporate art collections. Original works of art by artists with disabilities are now hanging in the offices and hospital buildings throughout Main Line Health, Comcast Corporation, Deloitte & Touche, Shannondell at Valley Forge, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Kirby Bates Associates. We thank our corporate partners for their visible support of empowering artists with disabilities and supporting Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.