by Sara Evans
All fourteen of the talented artists of L.A.N.D. Studio and Gallery in the heart of Brooklyn’s hip DUMBO neighborhood are participating in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art. The L.A.N.D. (League Artists Natural Design) Studio and Gallery is one of the creative programs founded by the League Education and Treatment Center, an agency that has been working with mentally disabled individuals in Brooklyn for over fifty years.
L.A.N.D., the first program of its kind in Brooklyn, is a studio/gallery created to give adults a chance to develop their talents in a warm and supportive environment. It provides a showcase for their art, while giving them the opportunity to express their creativity and to garner the artistic recognition they deserve.
The exhibit at MoMA, which is in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education Building at 4 West 54th Street, is a culmination of the museum’s wide-reaching and impressive Access Program. The Access Program generates and showcases the art of adults with disabilities through individualized, hands-on themed workshops. Along with working with people with developmental disabilities, Access reaches out to people with a broad range of other issues, including those with hearing and vision loss, seniors with dementia and individuals who are wheelchair-dependent.
This exhibition, “Masters of Puppets,” is the result of many months of close collaboration between L.A.N.D. and the Museum of Modern Art’s education staff. For five months, MoMA staff artists Rebecca Goyette and Carrie McGee have held weekly workshops with the fourteen artists at the studio/ gallery and L.A.N.D. staff members, creating multimedia works based on the theme of puppetry. The pieces on display include soft sculpture, paper-bag puppets, drawings, cut-outs and other forms of artistic expression. The exhibit at MoMA is on view from July 13 through August 8.
In recent years, the L.A.N.D. studio and Gallery has become a hot ticket with Brooklyn’s hipsters. Gallery events are always filled with eager collectors, including Spike Lee and musician Sufjan Stevens. As participating artist Michael Pellew observes, “I think this show is going to a smash hit. I’d like to thank all my fans at MoMA who made this show possible.”
(To learn more about L.A.N.D., the artists and their work, check out their website: www.landgallery.org).
by Sara Evans