Unexpected art

Dancer/choreographer Dion Alston, performing “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” with dance facilitator Elizabeth Zelesny.

When Robert Schonhorn was president of Matheny in 1993, he posed the question: “Can people with disabilities create fine art?” Nineteen years later, it is clear that the answer is an unqualified “Yes!”

Full Circle 2012: Unexpected Art, the annual celebration of Matheny’s Arts Access Program, was held on Saturday, December 1, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center and was dedicated to the man who, along with then medical director Gabor Barabas MD, conceived of and created this unique program, which enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.

Schonhorn, who died earlier this year, recognized the creative possibilities that were trapped inside the bodies of people with disabilities. “My father would have been so proud,” said Erica Schonhorn Gorman, Schonhorn’s daughter, as she and his grandson Max Gorman, accepted a special plaque from Steve Proctor, Matheny president and CEO.

Guests at Full Circle attended a visual arts exhibit and reception in the gallery before viewing a stage presentation that included a video tribute to Schonhorn as well as several examples of prose, poetry, drama and dance created by Arts Access artists. A dessert reception followed.

Corporate sponsors were: The Provident Bank Foundation, Day Pitney, LLP, Affinity Federal Credit Union and The Angeletti Group. Food and beverage donors were: Café Azzurro and cocoLuxe fine pastries, Peapack; Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone; 3West, Basking Ridge; and Village Office Supply, Somerset.

Matheny president Steve Proctor presents a special plaque to Erica Schonhorn Gorman and Max Gorman.