Going Digital: our first-ever Virtual Art Show

I remember when… It was January, 2006, and Mary Cuneo, Bridget Barber and I began talking about an art show. We have so many talented students and adults. How could we showcase their skills?

That conversation became the impetus for our art show, which included professional and amateur artists, as well as students from our local schools in its first year.

Fourteen years later… We continue to celebrate the creative talent of our region, provide a way for our own artists with disabilities to share their work and assist as a fund raiser to support the mission of the Barber National Institute. Today, these efforts are now more important than ever.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, our organization has experienced a loss of revenue while at the same time encountering unexpected costs that we could never have anticipated.

  • Our 95 group homes serving more than 320 adults in Pennsylvania are operating 24 hours a day. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is essential to keep our residents safe.
  • Laptops, phones and tablets have been purchased so that our teachers and therapists can continue to provide education and behavioral health services for our children, adults and families.

This year, we are trying a new approach, a Virtual Art Show. We have 286 pieces of artwork by adult artists, including 32 pieces of artwork by adults in our programs; and 120 pieces of work by youth artists.

While all of the art is available for sale, we are also holding an auction on three pieces.  Each week, we will have a different work available for auction, including two pieces done by adults in our program and an outstanding piece by our fine arts supervisor, Frank Fecko.  Sale of artwork benefits the artists, as well as the Barber National Institute.

The show will be open online from June 1 – 21, but donors and sponsors will get a preview in a “Donor Debut” sponsored by Phil and Chris English from May 29-31.  We will be sending donors a link to get a first look at the art, so that they can make a purchase before the show opens to the public.

2020 is the third year that Jay and Mona Kang have sponsored the show. We are very grateful to them for the support they show to the arts in our community and to the mission of the Barber National Institute.

Join us for our Virtual Art Show. I guarantee you that you will be pleased that you did!


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