Illuminate An Evening Of Art To Inspire The Heart 10/8/09

3rd Annual A.R.T. Exhibit at Miami Art Central

On Thursday, October 8th, Miami Art Central (MAC) and Creative Children’s Therapy (CCT) will host the third annual A.R.T. exhibit to capture the hearts of art connoisseurs and mild enthusiasts alike. The artists, some with the most severe physical challenges, are turning the art world upside down with work that does not come from the disabilities world but from the world of Art with a capital A. With special collaboration by local artists MANO, Annie Maxwell and Tony Mendoza, this year’s exhibit promises to be the best yet.

How is it that individuals thought to be unable to communicate, are able to create pieces with such grace and power? The use of Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.), a technique developed by artist, Tim Lefens, bridges the gap to the canvas that in turn, bridges the gap to the outside world for these children and young adults and dismantles the misconceptions that hold them back. For these artists, it is not just a way to paint; it is a way to show their humanity.

Lefens suggests that it is a matter of concentration on the part of the artist. “When you have no means of expressing yourself, the whole world going on around you, without you, and all of a sudden you can place the exact amount of the exact color paint you want, where you want it on the canvas, a lifetime of pent up energy comes out through a very concentrated channel.”

CCT, a non-profit organization founded by three mothers all parenting special needs children, strives to establish programs that encourage children to actively explore new interests and broaden their involvement in the community. Since adopting Lefen’s A.R.T. philosophy in 2005, many Florida artists have donated their time
as “trackers”; allowing for the liberation of the creative beings inside these young artists regardless of their physical limitations. The MAC, another non-profit, funded by the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation, partnered with CCT/A.R.T. three years ago to bring this art to the public.

Former City of Miami Commissioner Rosario Kennedy, cultivated the partnership between the two organizations soon after observing the quality of the work produced by the CCT/A.R.T. artists. “The artwork created is impressive to say the least. By exhibiting alongside the work of other community artists, pieces are admired for their vision and depth – when you actually associate the work with the artist and realize they have shared their inner most feelings that they are unable to express in any other way, you cannot help but be inspired.” The CCT/A.R.T. artists become contributing members of society when they exhibit and sell their work not based on their disability but on the excellence of their product.

The exhibit will incorporate the distinctive works of Miami artists MANO, Annie Maxwell, and Tony Mendoza. MANO’s unique expressionist-style dominated by faces and the female form is widely recognized by the art and cultural community in South Florida. Annie’s contemporary artworks tell a story of the Caribbean with a great deal of emotion and fascinating colors, while Mendoza’s unique and whimsical renderings depict images and vignettes of Little Havana and other Miami iconic homes and buildings.

The event is between 6:30 and 10:00 PM at the MAC, 5960 SW 57th Ave in South Miami, FL. Art, music, food, drink, and free parking are included.