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Spotlight on children’s artistry

More than 50 youngsters from The Jewish Guild for the Blind’s Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn School, showcased their artistic talents at The Children Art Foundation’s 2009 International Children’s Art Exhibition held at the Asian Cultural Center Art Gallery in mid-town Manhattan.

The exhibition featured paintings and sculptures made from clay, wood, paper and fabric by The Guild’s legally-blind students, along with drawings by children from The Subsomboonpittayacom School in rural Thailand. During a field trip, the young artists from The Guild, ages five to 21, had the opportunity to visit the exhibition where the exhibits were labeled in Braille, so that each student could identify their own work.

For the past year, The Children Art Foundation collaborated with The Guild School’s art therapy program, recruiting artists to volunteer their time in the classroom to assist Sarah Valeri, The Guild’s art therapist. CAF promotes children’s emotional and cognitive development through “hands-on” education in the arts.

“Last summer, I had the good fortune to be introduced to the Children Art Foundation, and their vision, which was to have professional artists come to The Guild School to work with our students, on a regular basis, during the school year,” said Pat Finocchiaro, principal of the Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn School at The Jewish Guild for the Blind.

“This art show was a chance to share the journey we’ve been on this past year, and in every piece you see the love, the patience, the joy of discovery and accomplishment that went into it. At The Guild School, we take pride in our mission to give each child the tools they need so that they may have a voice in this world, that they may contribute to it and partake of it in the fullest way. Our experience with this wonderful Foundation has moved all of our students many more steps towards that goal.”

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