UnchARTed Waters exhibit showcases unique artists

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:51 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - You can experience a one-of-a-kind art exhibit in the Biggest Little City that promotes creativity and inclusion for those with developmental disabilities.

“When you look at these pieces, it’s beautiful and bright and happy.”

Mary Lauder, Executive Director, Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada

Right now, the Sierra Arts Foundation Gallery in downtown Reno is filled with artwork.

“You look at some of these pieces and they look like real professional art that could be in any art museum,” Mary Lauder, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada (DSNNN) said.

But the creators behind these prints and paintings may not be who you’d initially think.

Lauder added, “Every single piece is created by someone with a developmental disability. This year, all of them were done by people with down syndrome.”

DSNNN put together its third annual UnchARTed Waters art exhibit to showcase a dozen incredible artists ages three to 35.

“We brought in experts in the art field who helped all of our individuals make some really amazing art,” Lauder said.

Last year’s display was forced to go virtual, so getting in-person support from the community this summer makes all the difference.

Lauder added, “Our artists light up. Some of them are nonverbal, and yet you can still see in their faces that this was so amazing and it’s wonderful.”

With the Biggest Little City being a very art-forward and friendly place, she says this exhibit and its artists fit right in.

“They contribute to this society just like everyone else, just like me and you. They can make and fulfill the gaps in society that we need.”

Mary Lauder, Executive Director, Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada

The goal is to continue empowering individuals with developmental disabilities through art.

You can view the display at the Sierra Arts Foundation Gallery downtown until June 30, 2021. It’s open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. The art will then move to the Wild River Grille as part of Artown for the entire month of July.

Some of the pieces are still up for sale.

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