Launch exhibition of Artbox London - a new charity which runs workshops for adults with disabilities
Unique artwork created by students of Artbox London will be exhibited at the charity’s inaugural fundraising evening.
The new charity runs art workshops at the Islington Arts Factory for adults with physical and learning disabilities, and so far some 20 students from Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Camden and Barnet have been attending the weekly sessions.
As well as being a place to socialise, meet friends, and develop artistic flair, Artbox aims to encourage ambition and achieve equality for its students.
Recognising the artwork can be on a par with that shown in galleries and art fairs across the country, Artbox is working towards providing opportunities for students to engage with the wider community by developing and promoting their artwork to businesses, organisations and individual art buyers.
Its founder Madeline Alterman has worked with people with physical and learning disabilities for more than five years and has a brother with Down’s Syndrome and she realised the limited options available for people with disabilities, and the disproportionate amount of time that can be spent at home as they struggle to gain employment, voluntary or paid, and access other services.
She says: “After running a few art workshops for people with disabilities I began to notice that the quality of artwork being created was on a level with art being shown in art fairs, galleries and corporate spaces and so I began to think that if we are to take equality seriously then we should be giving people with disabilities opportunities to display and sell their art in these same places and to create an income from their skill.”
Artbox London aims to show students work in five different office spaces within a year and Madeline believes many companies will be able to create stimulating environments for their employees, by buying or loaning artwork from Artbox London.
“Personally I am very aware of what I buy and where it comes from,” she says.
“If I can, I try to support something at the same time as getting something that I already wanted, whether it’s a charity Christmas card or a fair-trade coffee. In a way the art created at Artbox London follows this formula – it is something that people want but by buying it the consumer leaves knowing that they are helping a group of people who find it very difficult to get into employment.”
Students who choose to sell their work will receive 60 per cent of the sale with 40 per cent being reinvested into the charity to fund more art workshops, for more students..
Madeline says: “Most importantly for us is that students have fun in our weekly art workshops and gallery trips, while getting out of the house, making new friends, learning to be independent and being able to access the many galleries and museums that London has to offer.
“Students, regardless of ability, have the opportunity to sell their work and create extra income from their skill – Artbox London helps them in this process by providing a professional platform to do this in the same way that any other artist would.”
ArtBox London launch exhibition and silent auction is on September 8 from 6-9pm at the Prince’s Foundation, 19-22 Charlotte Road, EC2A 3GS.
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