National Institute of Art & Disabilities
At NIAD Art Center we believe that every individual is able to contribute a unique viewpoint on life and should have the opportunity to express that vision through art. Providing an inclusive space, art materials, and the mentorship by professional artists allows for creative expression, independence, dignity, and community integration.
Founded in 1982 by Florence Ludins-Katz and Dr. Elias Katz, the National Institute of Art & Disabilities (now called NIAD Art Center) provides an adult day program for people with developmental and other disabilities. The organization has been housed at its present location in Richmond for nearly 30years.
The Art Center functions as an open studio with artists focusing on their own artistic career and art production. Up to 40 adults per day work with five professional artists creating pieces in ceramics, fiber art, printmaking, painting, sculpture, mixed media, and drawing. The teachers/mentorsoffer exploring art techniques and practices while encouraging the development of skills, but leave the artistic decisions to the individual. We do not work on or complete our artist's pieces.
The studio environment focuses on art creation while building the independent living skills of observation, concentration, decision-making, project management, co-operation, and promotes the value of practice. While strengthening our artists' confidence in interacting with the public, our frequent trips
to galleries, museums, and artists' studios supplement material presented at our center and its galleries.
All art materials are supplied by NIAD Art Center. All completed unsold works are housed at the Center. NIAD also houses a gallery space, curates exhibitions and collaborates with other galleries to exhibit the work of NIAD artists. The proceeds are split evenly with the artists.