Special Art from Special Artists
Zenaviv and it's artists Attend a Special Art Show at the Richmond VA General Assembly Building.
On February 16th, Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church, VA, organized and hosted an exhibit called “Special Art from Special Artists” in the General Assembly Building in Richmond, VA. The event was a culmination of a 6-week art exhibition by artists with special needs, including works from artists in the Zenaviv program: Lee Jaworek, Andrew Earl, Sneha Athreya and Himal Bikmal.
The reception was well-attended, with over 150 art lovers, including several state delegates and senators, coming to admire the artwork. Each artist was individually recognized by Del. Kory and introduced to the dignitaries. The artists felt honored to be greeted by such distinguished guests.
Parents, family and friends also felt proud at the achievements and recognition of the young artists. George Grubbs, a close family friend of artist Himal Bikmal, said, “ seeing Himal dressed in suit and tie, and receiving Delegates and other adults who came to see the art and meet the artists, I reflect back to the days when the family discovered Himal's diagnosis of profound autism. You can imagine how devastating that was. Seeing his family at the reception and seeing how far Himal has come inspires me to understand that through family love, dedication and long-term commitment of working together, something that could be devastating can be turned around to be something very special in life.”
During the 90-minute reception, artists mingled with their guests, who expressed awe at the talents of the young people. Many view autism as a deficiency or disability, but Del. Kory and her team’s efforts along with the artists themselves proved the talent and ability of those with autism, making the exhibit a complete success. A few of the art pieces were even sold during the event!
After the show, Del. Kory invited the artists and their families to an ongoing session in the House of the General Assembly. In another proud moment for the artists, she recognized them on the floor of the House. Lee Jaworek’s mother, Debi Jaworek commented “It was wonderful for me as a parent on many levels… I was so impressed by the legislators and the beautiful part they played in the honoring of these talented young artists.”
Del. Kory’s staff, including Christine, Cindy and Anne were instrumental in the set up and execution of this event. “Christine in particular went out of her way to make it easy for us!” said Harish Bikmal, father to one of the artists, who also expressed the sincere gratitude of all of the families to Del. Kory’s staff as well as ARC of Northern Virginia who informed Zenaviv of the opportunity and assisted with the logistics of transporting the art safely to the exhibit. Del. Kory’s introductions and the show may lead to future exhibits from the artists as well. Del. Kory plans to make this an annual event.
Zenaviv is a social enterprise that encourages artists with special needs to express themselves through art. By promoting the artist’s works, Zenaviv allows them to earn income and realize independence as well as improved quality of life. Originals and reprints, as well as other gift items featuring the artwork are available to purchase via zenaviv.com.