An accomplished artist

“Woman” by Cheryl Chapin.

What’s the difference between art created and performed by artists with developmental disabilities and those who are able-bodied? Sonya Kimble-Ellis, the writing facilitator in Matheny’s Arts Access Program, has noticed that, “aside from infusing personal and life experiences into the work, the beauty, intensity and integrity remains the same. Artists with developmental disabilities, however, also aren’t afraid to take risks that often lead to unexpected results.”

For example, take the art of Cheryl Chapin, a resident of Matheny’s group home in Basking Ridge and a participant in the Arts Access Program, which enables people with disabilities to create fine art assisted by professional-artist facilitators. Chapin’s work includes paintings, digital art, dance and dramatic and poetic writings. She has been creating art for more than 18 years, and according to Kimble-Ellis, “Her passion for reading and conversation is infectious. She also gets joy from creating acrylic paintings and digital art.”

Her visual art pieces have been on display at the Atrium Gallery in Morristown, NJ; the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton; the Wallace Art Gallery at Overlook Hospital in Summit; and Johnson & Johnson in Raritan. One of her pieces, titled “Lights in a Far Off Galaxy,” can be seen on a traffic box in Warren Township, NJ, at the intersection of Mountain Avenue and Stirling Road.

Chapin will have her written pieces showcased in the stage presentation at the rescheduled Full Circle 2012: Unexpected Art, a celebration of the Arts Access Program now being held from 3p.m.-6 p.m. on December 1in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center at Matheny. She will also have two pieces of visual art on display: “Woman” (pictured) and “Falling Leaves.” The visual arts exhibit has been curated by Dan Fenelon, a Madison, NJ-based, award-winning artist who continually gives back to the local community.

All reservations originally purchased for November 3 will be honored December 1. To purchase tickets for the first time, email or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260. If you purchased a ticket but are unable to attend on the new date, refund requests will be honored by contacting Patricia Cats at email address/phone number above.