Celebrate your creative nature…reveal the unrealized potential in all of us…and help Arts Unbound raise $50,000 to support artists with disabilities.
ArtBender is a series of creative events that raise funds for Arts Unbound programs and promote art in our daily lives. Join the 12-hour art-making marathon, attend an ArtBender party, help raise funds, or attend the silent auction. There will be events all weekend, May 5-6 and a silent art auction, May 11, 2018.
Individual supporters and local businesses host their own ArtBender events. Last year had over a dozen events, including portrait sessions by a professional photographer, upcycling t-shirts with a fashion designer, a poet providing poetry on demand, painting rocks for installation at a public celebration garden, and a figure drawing session. Events can be private or public. Arts Unbound provides a toolkit with tips and ideas for hosts.
Calling all barbers and hairstylists! A new twist has been added this year: a style competition. Participants complete their entries during the weekend of May 5-6 and submit on Instagram with hashtag #artbenderstyle. We’ll announce winners May 9. Full details are at www.tinyurl.com/artbenderstyle
The capstone for ArtBender is a silent auction and cocktail party on Friday, May 11th. Thirty pieces of art created during ArtBender weekend will be auctioned off in the Arts Unbound gallery during the event, with cocktails, cupcakes, and dancing sponsored by Natalie Farrell of Weichert Realtors. $20 admission. Tickets available at artbender.org.
About Arts Unbound
Arts Unbound is motivated by the principle that art is for all, and that’s true for ArtBender too. “You do not need to be an artist to take part,” explains Executive Director Margaret Mikkelsen. “The point is to dedicate a period of time to being creative and thinking about the role the arts play in all our lives.”
Arts Unbound’s coaching program helps artists develop portfolios, promote their work, and develop their business skills. Program participants are adults with mental illness, chronic illness, or developmental or physical disabilities, including cognitive impairment, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and brain trauma.
Arts Unbound is also trying to change assumptions about the kind of work that is suitable for people with disabilities. People with developmental disabilities are often directed to sheltered workshops, steering them away from pursuing meaningful careers in the arts. Arts Unbound believes that everyone should be able to pursue their chosen vocation and seeks to eliminate the barriers that stand in their way. Exhibiting high-quality fine art by artists with disabilities in their Montclair store (The Showcase on Bellevue Ave) and their gallery in Orange, Art Unbound is countering some of the stigma associated with disability.