Arts Unbound Gift Shop Grand Opening in Maplewood This November
As part of a yearlong celebration of its tenth anniversary, Arts Unbound, a non-profit organization for artists with disabilities, is opening a Pop Up holiday gift store in Maplewood Village to recognize over 20 talented artists with disabilities whose work with be on display and for sale.
As part of a yearlong celebration of its tenth anniversary, Arts Unbound, a non-profit organization for artists with disabilities, is opening a Pop Up holiday gift store in Maplewood Village to recognize over 20 talented artists with disabilities whose work with be on display and for sale. The store, titled, The Gift of Art, will officially open on Thursday, November 18th from 6 – 9 PM with a ribbon cutting ceremony, live music and refreshments. The public is encouraged to attend. Jewelry, handcrafted journals, greeting cards and gift products for all ages and at affordable prices will be featured in the store. Artists will be on hand throughout the season for demonstrations. The store is located directly across the street from the train station at 147B Maplewood Ave.
The organization is the recipient of a federal SEED grant through the NJ Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services that will provide dollars for store rental as well as instruction and coaching to artists who create craft and gift items. Dollars from a third year grant from the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities will continue to provide funding to support the agency’s greeting card line and efforts to promote the artwork of artists with developmental disabilities.
“We are thrilled to be locating our holiday store in Maplewood Village, a community that supports its downtown commercial district and one that celebrates the arts. We invite the public to shop in the store for holiday gifts while promoting the work of talented artists with mental, physical and developmental disabilities,” said Kai Cole, Store Manager and Marketing Director for the organization.
Located in the Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange, N.J., a cultural arts revitalization zone featuring landmark buildings, green businesses and affordable artists’ housing, studio and retail space, Arts Unbound facilities also include a gallery and two classrooms. The gallery is open to the public for special events and sale of fine art which is also shown in community exhibitions throughout the state. Classes in various visual arts mediums by professional art instructors are conducted daily throughout the region at the Arts Unbound studio or at agencies serving people with disabilities, public and private schools and senior centers.
“Time and time again our artists tell us Arts Unbound has changed their lives by enabling them to express their thoughts, feelings, ideas and visions,” explains Gail Levinson, Executive Director. "With the right support, individuals with disabilities can create moving and memorable works of art, and many generate income. Art is the most expressive form of communication humans have and we want to give a ‘voice’ to a population that is often not visible but has so much to say.”
A nonprofit organization launched in 2000, Arts Unbound provides arts education, vocational training and income-generating opportunities to people of all ages with mental, developmental and physical disabilities. The program is also made possible in part by funds from the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts. www.artsunbound.org
Contact: Gail Levinson or Kai Cole – 973 675 2787.