CocoLuxe fine pastries opened on Main Street in Peapack in May 2004. Six months later, the bakery-café became a food sponsor for Full Circle, the annual celebration of Matheny’s Arts Access Program, providing an array of delicious desserts for the event in the gallery of the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.
The 20th anniversary of Arts Access, Full Circle 2013 Reflections, will be held Saturday, November 2, from 3–6 p.m., and, of course, cocoLuxe will be there. “We really enjoy being involved in this event,” said Paula Canari, cocoLuxe’s current owner, noting that it will be the shop’s 10th year at Full Circle. “We’re very selective about what we participate in, and I love the fact that Matheny is so local.” The most popular pastry item among the Full Circle audience, according to Canari, is a lemon meringue tartlet, but “anything pumpkin does well too.”
Other food/beverage sponsors at Full Circle are: Café Azzurro, Peapack; Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone; 3 West and Urban Table, Basking Ridge; and Village Office Supply, Somerset. For more information about Full Circle or to order tickets, call 908.234.0011, ext. 260, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1993, Matheny’s president Robert Schonhorn and medical director Dr. Gabor Barabas launched a program called Arts Access. The idea was to see if people with disabilities, assisted by professional-artist facilitators, could create fine art. What started as a small pilot program has blossomed into a thriving arts program that encompasses painting, digital art, sculpture, dance, choreography, poetry, prose and drama.
The 20th anniversary of Arts Access, Full Circle 2013 Reflections, will be celebrated from 3-6 p.m., on Saturday, November 2, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center on the Matheny campus in Peapack, NJ. A visual arts exhibit will be held in the Arts Center gallery, followed by a multi-media fine arts stage presentation.
Arts Access received a $10,000 Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support Full Circle. And U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ 07), who is co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, will serve as honorary chair. Gold sponsors of Full Circle are Provident Bank and James and Judith Finn. Bronze sponsors are the Angeletti Group, Angelina and Steven Brown and Shoprite of Hunterdon County. Food and beverage sponsors are: Café Azzurro and cocoLuxe fine pastries, Peapack; Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone; 3 West and Urban Table, Basking Ridge; and Village Office Supply, Somerset.
For more information or to order tickets, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260; or email email@example.com.
In preparation for the visual arts exhibit at Full Circle 2013 Reflections, the 20th anniversary of Matheny’s Arts Access Program, curator Scott Beil plans to “highlight as many of our artists as possible, focusing on the voices of both our current artists and many who have passed on and left their powerful artistic footprints behind. It is my deepest intention to fully highlight the strong caliber of work that our artists have quietly been creating up on this little hill in Peapack over the past 20 years.”
Many of the Arts Access artists do not have use of their hands and arms, and many of them cannot speak. However, professional artist-facilitators act as an instrument for the artists with disabilities, using an elaborate menu system of shapes, colors, brush strokes, textures, paint-application options and other techniques that can be applied, if necessary, using only yes and no signals from the artist.
Displayed on this page are but two examples of the paintings and works of visual art that will be on display during the gallery reception that will be part of Full Circle 2013 Reflections. The entire program also includes a multi-media fine arts showcase featuring dance, choreography, drama and creative writing. For more information or to order tickets, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the summer between his junior and senior year at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, NJ, Mike Christie spotted an online ad about volunteering in the drama segment of Matheny’s Arts Access Program. “I was doing acting in high school,” he recalls, “and I thought this would be a new opportunity.” Looking back on the experience, he says, “It gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of how art can affect people.” Arts Access gives people with disabilities the freedom to create in the visual, leterary and performing arts.
Christie, who lives in Tewksbury, NJ, appeared in a GSB production of The Secret Garden that won the Paper Mill Playhouse’s “Rising Star” award for best New Jersey high school musical production in 2008. He went on to earn his BFA in dramaturgy and MA in arts management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was looking for employment opportunities at theatrical organizations and other nonprofits when he received a phone call from Eileen Murray, director of Arts Access, and Burt Brooks, performing arts coordinator. After volunteering in Arts Access, Christie was hooked. So, when Murray and Brooks asked if he would be interested in facilitating drama, it was a natural fit.
“Mike was a dedicated volunteer,” says Brooks, “and now he’s a dedicated employee. He has developed strong one-on-one relationships with our clients, and they are all glad to see him and happy to work with him.”
Many of the adults for whom Christie facilitates are nonverbal. Some use augmentative communications devices, but many only have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ method of answering questions. In working with them to create either a play or a story that can be turned into a play, Christie has to offer as many options as possible. “I ask a lot of questions,” he says, “to eliminate possibilities in order to get exactly what they want. As they’re telling me what they want, I’m typing it into script format.”
On November 2, Arts Access will celebrate its 20th anniversary at Full Circle 2013: Reflections, an event that will include a visual arts exhibit and a multi-media fine arts showcase featuring dance, drama, poetry and prose. Two plays, “Princess Amanda 2” by Luis Rodriguez and “Brother Play” by Missy Cutler, were facilitated by Christie who says he just wants to “make sure people here have the right to express themselves. Art shouldn’t exist just for able-bodied artists.”
For more information about Full Circle, or to order tickets, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260, or email email@example.com.
While studying arts education at The College of New Jersey, Scott Beil, who grew up in Chester, NJ, volunteered in Matheny’s Arts Access Program during the summer. He was so taken by the Arts Access concept that he trained to become a facilitator, eventually becoming studio manager. Arts Access enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.
Beil left Matheny in 2007 to join the Willow School in Gladstone, NJ, where he is art teacher, co-director of the middle school and an advisor. However, when Arts Access celebrates its 20th anniversary at Full Circle 2013: Reflections on Saturday, November 2, Beil will be returning as curator of the visual arts exhibit.
A working artist whose paintings and drawings have been shown at galleries in New Jersey and New York City, Beil received the Somerset Cultural and Heritage Commission’s “Excellence in the Arts” award in 2007. He was recently accepted into the “Connecting Collections Program,” a prestigious summer institute for teachers from around the world, hosted by New York City’s top museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the Whitney.
As he prepares for Full Circle, Beil says he is “deeply honored for the opportunity to put this show together, and it is my deepest intention to respectfully highlight the strong caliber of work that our artists have quietly been creating upon this little hill in Peapack over the past 20 years.”
Full Circle 2013: Reflections will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center at Matheny. For more information or to order tickets ($30), call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the 18th consecutive year, Matheny’s Arts Access Program has received a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The grant, in the amount of $34,267, is for the first year of a three-year grant cycle beginning in fiscal year 2014.
Along with the grant, Arts Access received a Citation of Excellence, honoring “New Jersey arts organizations, programs and projects that receive the highest possible assessment of their Council grant applications by esteemed, independent panels of their peers.” The program once again was also named a Designation of Major Impact.
According to the NJSCA, “Arts organizations are designated by the Council as Majors in recognition of their long history of artistic excellence, substantial programming, broad public benefit and a superior review through the panel process.”
Arts Access empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Through the use of innovative systems and techniques, participants can take part in the visual, performing and literary arts. Regardless of their disability, the artists are provided with the tools and materials needed to produce complete pieces of work.
Earlier this year, Arts Access received a $10,000 Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Full Circle 2013: Reflections, the program’s annual event, which will celebrate Arts Access’ 20th anniversary on November 2. Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) will be honorary chair of Full Circle.
You would never expect to see a painting by someone who cannot hold a brush, hear a poem written by someone who has never spoken a word or see a dance choreographed by a person who has never walked. Yet, that is precisely what occurs at Matheny’s Arts Access Program, where the unexpected happens every day.
The artists with disabilities at Arts Access use unique methods employed by the Arts Access Program to overcome their disabilities and express themselves in multiple artistic disciplines. Full Circle 2012: Unexpected Art, being held from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, November 3, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center at Matheny, will celebrate the unlimited artistic abilities of these unexpected artists.
To order tickets, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260, or email email@example.com.
For the past few years, 3West and Ciao, two Basking Ridge, NJ, restaurants owned by Morris Plains, NJ-based Harvest Restaurants, have donated food-tasting stations at Full Circle, the annual celebration of Matheny’s Arts Access Program. Recently, Janice Kriegman, Matheny development officer, presented both restaurants with special plaques expressing our appreciation for their generosity.
Harvest Restaurants began in 1996 with the opening of Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery in Berkeley Heights, NJ. Other restaurants in the group include Urban Table in Morristown, NJ, and Roots Steakhouse in Summit and Morristown, NJ. Matheny’s Arts Access Program enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.