I Am A Part of Art
July 24 through August 24, 2014
Community Access to the Arts (CATA) presents “I Am a Part of Art,” a celebration of CATA’s visual artists and writers. The month-long exhibit at Berkshire Museum features over 100 works of art created by artists with disabilities from Berkshire County. A poetry reading on opening night includes selected works from CATA’s Writers Workshop, read by guest reader Joe Cacaci, Founding Co- Artistic Director of Berkshire Playwrights Lab and a writer himself as well as producer, director and teacher. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, is Thursday, July 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in The Crane Room at Berkshire Museum.
“This art show is the culmination of the program year for CATA’s many visual artists, who have been developing their artistry in workshops in painting, drawing, and sculpture all year long. CATA’s exhibit at the Berkshire Museum is a tremendous opportunity for us to share this vibrant work with the public, and to realize CATA’s mission of shining a light on the capabilities of people with disabilities. Adding the poetry reading on opening night deepens the experience by allowing us to share yet more of the incredible work our CATA artists have created this year,” reflects CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller.
CATA offers nearly 1,000 workshops in a wide range of arts genres including theatre, dance, music, juggling, visual arts and creative writing. The organization serves 600 people with disabilities in residences, day programs, and schools, as well as in CATA’s studio space in Great Barrington.
Faculty member Pat Hogan reflects, “It is a privilege to be a CATA teacher. Our artists astonish us every day with their rare insight and innate ability to communicate through movement, words or painting.” Work featured in the show includes a variety of media such as graphite and charcoal, acrylic paint, chalk and oil pastel, and paper mache, and features abstract and representational paintings and drawings as well as some sculpture. All work will be for sale, with proceeds supporting both the artists and CATA programs in the visual arts. CATA’s visual arts faculty members are artists in their own right: Jeff Gagnon, Pat Hogan, Leslie Klein, Marlene Marshall, Janice Shields, Stefanie Weber, and Michael Wolski.
Four writing faculty rotate throughout the year to offer CATA’s writers a rich and varied experience in creative writing and poetry. Faculty member Anamyn Allen describes how the collaborative process in her workshop spurs each artist’s creativity: “By listening to each other, stories were formed, one thought from one person inspiring another from someone else.”
Celebrity reader Joe Cacaci teaches television writing in the graduate program at Columbia University School of the Arts. He produced the award winning Boston premiere of David Mamet’s American Buffalo and was Producing Director of New York’s Provincetown Playhouse, where he co-produced Mr. Mamet’s OBIE winning play Edmond. He has directed plays for The New York Shakespeare Festival at The Public Theater (for Joseph Papp), The Westport Playhouse, Coconut Grove Theatre and commercially in New York and Los Angeles.
“I Am a Part of Art” runs through August 24 and is made possible through the generosity of The Coolidge Hill Foundation, Beth Maher, Frames on Wheels, and Canyon Ranch, as well as individual CATA supporters. An award winning non-profit organization, CATA was founded in 1993 by Sandra Newman. Berkshire Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit www.communityaccesstotheARTS.org.