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NU teams with Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara to showcase Artisans Unlimited

by jmaloni
Fri, May 6th 2011 03:25 pm
Pictured, from left: Artisans Unlimited participants Beverly Raff, Geoff Holly, Kerry Warner, Tim Conlin, Karen Armstrong, Stephen Dorgan, Peter Agugliaro, Alan Montaneri and Donald Smith pose with their artwork in Niagara University's Bisgrove Hall.
Pictured, from left: Artisans Unlimited participants Beverly Raff, Geoff Holly, Kerry Warner, Tim Conlin, Karen Armstrong, Stephen Dorgan, Peter Agugliaro, Alan Montaneri and Donald Smith pose with their artwork in Niagara University's Bisgrove Hall.

On most days, the Glynn Family Atrium of Bisgrove Hall serves as a beautiful entry point for Niagara University students making their way to business or education classes. However, for one two-hour span Thursday this space was transformed into a very special art exhibit, thanks to a unique partnership between Niagara University and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara.

From 10 a.m. to noon, participants from Artisans Unlimited displayed artworks that they created with the assistance of staff members from the Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara day habilitation programs throughout Niagara County. The show included 41 paintings done in both realistic and abstract styles, using acrylic and watercolor paints; Chinese-style ink paintings, and printmaking. It celebrated ability - not disability - in ways that allow artists' creativity to shine. 

The goal of the arts program, as facilitated by Opportunities Unlimited Fine Arts Coordinator Marcia Ross, is to provide a broad range of artistic experiences and art media to participating artists with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. This breadth of materials allows for each artist to find a medium that suits their abilities and artistic vision. The program also promotes choice-making in allowing the artist to work as independently as possible. Art activities are planned to accommodate the abilities of the participants.

Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, the Niagara County Chapter of NYSARC Inc., has provided innovative, results-oriented and high quality habilitation and supportive services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families since 1955.  People of all ages across Niagara County and neighboring communities are served by a dedicated staff.

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