Full Circle 2016 Conversations Highlights Artists’ Accomplishments
Peapack – Lovers of fine and performing art are invited to enjoy inspired paintings; dances that redefine the rules of movement; and dramatic and written works that evoke the human experience. These offerings and more will be on display at Full Circle 2016: Conversations. The annual celebration of Matheny Medical & Educational Center’s Arts Access Program will be held on Saturday, November 5, from 3-6pm, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.
Created more than 20 years ago, the Arts Access Program enables individuals with developmental disabilities to express themselves through the creative and performing arts. While the artists’ minds are full of imaginative ideas, they have limited use of their bodies and voices to share those ideas with the world. The Arts Access Program tosses out that equation and uses professional artists as facilitators who assist the clients in creating original works of art in every discipline.
‘Conversations’ is the theme of this year’s event. “Every reaction to a painting, poem, dance or play is a response to a conversation started by the creator,” says Eileen Murray, Director of the Arts Access Program. “The Arts Access artists share their thoughts, ideas and unique views on the world. Many of the artists have never spoken a word, but through their art, they speak volumes.”
The clients’ artistry will be featured in an innovative stage showcase that includes dance, theatre, and creative writing pieces. In addition to the performance, patrons can view a multi-media gallery exhibit that highlights acrylic paintings, digital art, and sculpture. Arts Access Performing Arts Coordinator, Heather Williams, will be producing the stage performance for a second year. The artwork will be curated once again by Haeree Park, who in addition to being the Arts Access Project and Events Coordinator is also an accomplished artist and photographer.
The honorary chair for Full Circle 2016: Conversations is Shannon DeVido.
DeVido is a talented actress, comedian, and singer who will lend her support and speak at the event. Local vendors and sponsors will provide fine food tastings and beverages. Full Circle tickets are $50 and can be ordered online at events.matheny.org/FullCircle2016 or by calling (908) 234-0011 ext. 260. All proceeds will benefit the Arts Access Program.
Kevin White: Born to Dance
Talented artist’s first choreographed piece will be featured in Full Circle: Conversations.
“My dance will be exciting,” expressed Kevin White, as he revealed a wide smile. “People will love it.” A choreographer, artist, and writer with Matheny’s Arts Access Program, Kevin’s first fully-choreographed dance will be included in Full Circle: Conversations, the Program’s annual fine art and performance showcase.
Held November 5, 2016 at the Robert Schonhorn Center in Peapack, the event will take place from 3:00pm-6:00pm. Kevin’s dance is a solo piece in which he will be the featured dancer. Choreographed to Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” the dance was created over the course of a little more than two years.
“For a first-time choreographer, Kevin demonstrated an innate, sophisticated musicality and a desire to expand his boundaries as a solo dancer,” said Corey Bliss, an Arts Access Dance Facilitator who has worked with Kevin for three years. “It is not always easy for a choreographer to dance in his own work, but Kevin was unfazed by the challenge.”
Warm eye gazes and smiles, attention-grabbing utterances, and a communication board are just some of the ways Kevin invites interaction with friends and viewers of his work. As attendees will see, Kevin also has a knack for musicality and choreography. According to Bliss, Kevin exhibits a unique sensitivity to the dynamic shifts in music. He connects with specific notes and phrases as he crafts the timing for each section of movement.
“Kevin created original movements for his arms, legs, and head,” said Bliss. “He also chose specific points in the melody for changes in speed and direction, adding dramatic effect to this otherwise abstract work.” Kevin’s dance will include a “ghost dancer who maneuvers his wheelchair but does no other independent movements.
“I listened to a few things before deciding on the music,” shared Kevin, who was born in Cherry Hill. “I just started to really like classical music. Creating the dance was a challenge.”
Kevin has participated in Arts Access Program, a fine arts program for individuals with developmental disabilities, almost since its inception over twenty years ago. He loves having the support of his mom, twin sisters, and niece Molly, who is the apple of his eye. His family currently resides in Palmyra.
In addition to a choreographed dance, Kevin will have three acrylic paintings included in Full Circle’s gallery exhibit. His paintings and digital work have been featured in multiple venues. Locations include the Johnson & Johnson IT Building in Raritan, NJ, The Atrium Gallery in Morristown, NJ, NESC Gala in NYC, Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, Monmouth Museum in NJ, Bernardsville Library, NJ, and UMDNJ Medical School in Newark, NJ.
For additional information about Full Circle: Conversations or to purchase tickets, which are $50, log onto events.matheny.org/FullCircle2016.