As the artists paint, build sculpture, mold clay, or work with textiles, their skills of observation and project management improve. As they explore and express their creativity, exhibit work in contemporary galleries, participate in the community, and earn money from selling art, their feelings of independence and self-esteem increase.
Each piece of NIAD art is an original work of contemporary art that tells an individual story from the perspective of an artist with disabilities.
While not all of NIAD’s artists receive wide-spread recognition for their art, all gain a sense of pride from learning a craft and profession of their own. Artists at NIAD earn a 50% commission from the sale of their work and all have sold at least one piece of art per year by participating in their studio program.
Equally important to the artists is the community and sense of purpose their participation allows. Mentored by skilled professionals (all of the staff hold a Master of Fine Arts degree and are themselves accomplished artists), NIAD’s artists see and study contemporary art by visiting local galleries, studios and museums. Inspired, they return to the Art Center to create their own work.
The NIAD studio environment has been described by visitors and participants alike as inclusive, nurturing, and welcoming.