I am in a reflective mood with a respectful tone and a grateful gesture, thinking about all of the artists whose work has come to define Arts Unbound. We are no longer an organization of a few but rather one of many gifted talents whose work line the walls of our gallery each and every month. From our veteran stars such as the prolific Tracy Reinhardt, Nicolenanina, Christian Markovic, Tom Yezza, Colleen Creedon, Laura Kaufman, Beverly Kohn, Justin Canha, Stanley Winarsky, Debbie Davidson, Tom Wade, Sara Sanders, Robert Otterbine and Mary Drylewicz to the many newer artistic voices – Amy Charmatz, Chris Miller, Renaldo Byrd, Ellen Angelastro, Jon Gabry, Elizabeth Crelin, Brad Friedman, Lisa Dornfeld, Dashir Johnson, Anie Knipping and Cheryl Wulfers.
Works of art emanating from our classroom are equally strong and appealing and include beautiful creations from the students in our many classes (Jespy, Groovers and more) and a strong and capable team from the Fiddle Foundation classes whose work will be exhibited this month of February, as well as young artists from local schools including the city of Orange, Bloomfield and West Orange. And then there is the volume of work created by those on the other end of the age spectrum, our senior citizens who participate in the Generations program to produce lovely pieces of jewelry, fine art and craft that continue to sell strongly during the course of the year. We are grateful to a group of foundations who continue to support us during strong and lean times – The Kessler Foundation, Grotta Fund, Wallerstein Foundation, Bass Foundation, Newark Diocese, Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, The NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Sklaw and Chancy Foundations as well as several prominent banks – PNC, Wachovia and Columbia. We are proud to have a group of art teachers with uncommon abilities in instruction – Program Coordinators Kathleen Heron and Stefanie Garwin as well as Barbara Folts, Billie Aber, Sherri Zuckerman, Susan Lisbin, Richard Toglia and Jason Robinson – also Jody Blatman, Teri Furr and TerryAnn Bligen . In addition to a wise and generous Board of Directors and Board of Governors and a dedicated staff (Tashea Patterson keeps the organization ticking and together), we continue to gain strength from a group of volunteers who bind us with their wisdom and skill – Joe Ruggiero, our IT Coordinator, Russell Klein and Kai Cole, Marketing and Sales, Karen Miller and Cheryl Mayo, Bernie Searle, Diane Klein, Fabienne Daniel, Hanie Warshaw and Katherine Decotiis to name but a few.
Coming to work each Monday morning and seeing new works of art drying on the studio tables or newly hung in the gallery by our gallery director, Robert Ramos, makes me smile. I bow to all those who are gifted with a brush or a lump of clay, a camera or objects combined uniquely and colorfully on a canvas. I am equally grateful to those who have joined our family because of their commitment to the arts and to the disability community. You are Arts Unbound.
Gail Levinson, Director