New York City, NY
For 60 years, YAI has supported people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the fullest life possible by creating opportunities for living, loving, working, and learning. One such opportunity is YAI ARTS, an open-studio program that encourages adults to promote their artistic voices and become working artists. Over the past three years, MoMA’s Access Programs and YAI ARTS have collaborated on an extended partnership. Through this unique collaboration, YAI artists and their mentors worked with MoMA teaching artist Rebecca Goyette, exploring new ideas and approaches to art making by engaging with the Museum’s collection.
This year, the inspiration for the artists’ work was the 2016 presidential election. The artists discussed their thoughts about the future of our country and created portraits of political figures past and present. After the election, many of the artists wrote letters to politicians to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are respected during this time of change. Visitors are encouraged to follow this example and advocate for their political beliefs by sharing their feelings on a collaborative wall, featuring open letters to the president that will be mailed to the White House when the exhibition closes.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.