By Megan DiFranco, Visual Arts Program Coordinator
During April, Art Has No Boundaries and the Ewing Arts Commission are hosting “Art Unites Us,” a combined art show at the Ewing Municipal Building featuring the artwork of The Arc Mercer’s Visual Arts Program and HomeFront’s ArtSpace. This show has been curated to highlight the artistry and creativity of disadvantaged, self-taught, underprivileged or “outsider” artists from a variety of backgrounds whose artistry otherwise may not have been recognized publicly.
The Arc Mercer is a grassroots, family-focused organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to achieve their goals. The Arc Mercer believes that everyone is a valued, contributing member of our community at large. The Arc Mercer founded its art program in 2011 as another avenue for providing individuals with developmental disabilities exposure to the arts as well as a variety of social, recreational and vocational opportunities within the community. The Art Mercer’s Visual Art Program focuses on art creation while also building the independent living skills of observation, concentration, decision-making, cooperation and exploration.
HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community. HomeFront offers a holistic array of impactful services for clients who are either homeless or at high risk of becoming so. ArtSpace is a HomeFront program housed in its Family Campus in Ewing, an emergency home for up to 38 families with on-site access to childcare, educational support and job training, mental and physical health resources and other services designed to break the cycle of poverty. ArtSpace uses art as a tool to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our clients. By encouraging creativity and self-expression in a safe and nurturing environment, our goal is to rebuild the souls of individuals suffering from poverty, homelessness and family abuse.
The Arc Mercer and HomeFront both constantly seek meaningful partnerships for community support and integration for the individuals that each serves. In the summer of 2016, The Arc Mercer began holding weekly art sessions at HomeFront’s ArtSpace studio classroom. From April 1 – 30, The Arc Mercer and HomeFront are proud to show their artists’ work together at ‘Art Unites Us,’ an exhibit at the Ewing Township Municipal Building, 2 Jake Garzio Drive, Ewing, NJ. A reception for the exhibit will be held on Thursday, April 13 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Proceeds from sold artwork will directly benefit the artists and the art programs that support them.