On display at UMDNJ

WAE Center facilitator Esther Tanahashi, left, and Amber Norris of Little Falls, NJ, admire “The Reflecting Pool” by Arts Access artist Cheryl Chapin.

The toughest part of facilitating, says Esther Tanahashi, is “learning how to communicate with the artist.” Tanahashi is a facilitator in the arts program at the Wellness, Art & Enrichment (WAE) Center of Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest in West Orange, NJ. She was trained by the staff at Matheny’s Arts Access Program, which enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.

The WAE Center and Arts Access were part of the New Jersey Medical School – ARTS exhibit, which opened with a special reception on Sunday, May 20, in the Medical Science Building of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. In addition to works by artists from Arts Access and WAE, two other Arts Access satellite programs were represented — the Arc of Mercer County in Trenton; and Hattie Larlham Creative Arts in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Arts Access artist Shaleena Tomassini in front of her untitled painting. At left is her niece Neveaeh Washington; at right, her mother, Ivelisse Arce.