Honorary chair

Congressman Leonard Lance, visiting with Arts Access artist Luis Rodriguez.

U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance, whose district includes Peapack-Gladstone, will be the Honorary Chair for Full Circle 2013: Reflections, the 20th anniversary celebration of Matheny’s Arts Access Program, to be held November 2 in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center. Lance, who visited Matheny this past January, is co-chairman of the Congressional Arts Caucus. He has been a member of the New Jersey Council on the Humanities and a trustee of the Newark Museum and McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

Arts Access enables people with disabilities to create fine art assisted by professional artist-facilitators. Many of the Arts Access artists cannot speak and do not have control of their hands and arms. But their minds are intact, and they use unique methods that allow them to overcome their disabilities and express themselves in multiple artistic disciplines. The program was created in 1993 by the late Robert Schonhorn, former president of Matheny, and Dr. Gabor Barabas, former medical director.

Recently, Arts Access received a $10,000 Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the 20th anniversary Full Circle celebratory event. It will include an exhibition displaying original artwork created by artists with disabilities and will feature guest artists who will help participants with disabilities create a culminating multimedia performance piece.