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The Dish

The Art Connection: Expanding Access to Art

CONGRATULATIONS Art Connection FOR RECEIVING THE MAJORITY VOTE, September 2013. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED ON OUR HOMEPAGE!

The Art Connection connects artists and collectors to community service organizations through the placement of donated original artwork. They facilitate the selection of art, from artists and other donors, by those who may not have the opportunity to experience the transformative possibilities of art in their lives. Their unique gifting program identifies and catalogues original works of art donated by generous individuals and supports local social service agencies in the selection of pieces that are meaningful to them.

The nonprofit was established in 1995 by Boston area painter and sculptor, Fay Chandler, who became interested in enriching and empowering underserved communities by expanding their access to works of visual art.

As Fay considered what to do with some of her inventory of work, she became convinced that the best result would be transferring it to interested nonprofit organizations in the community that have no funds for purchasing art. As she made plans for a retrospective exhibition of her work at the Boston Center for the Arts, Fay decided to invite a number of diverse local public service organizations to attend the exhibition and to select pieces that would be donated to them if they were not purchased by the end of the exhibition.

Encouraged by the level of community interest in the distribution of her work after the retrospective exhibit, Fay continued to consult with other artists and with community organizations promoting the arts about possible ways to expand the program. The program grew as founding directors recognized a demand for expanding public access to the visual arts and from their ability to build a unique program to meet that need.

Their success has been tremendous. Within healing environments, original works of art can provide welcome opportunities for reflection, inspiration, comfort, and hope. Organizations find that artwork enlivens spaces and connects them to their constituents in profound ways. The art donors are delighted to simultaneously exhibit their work and give back to their community; artists feel good knowing their work has an impact in places where people go to access critical services.

"The Art Connection makes use of waiting rooms and places where people are forced to take time away from their busy lives, for these spaces allow the artwork to be given the consideration and thought it deserves" says artist Maria Termini.

This simple but powerful idea has resulted in thousands of installations in scores of organizations. To date, The Art Connection has placed over 6,200 works of art in 344 organizations, donated by 381 artists.

Reaching out to a diverse audience, the program has even become a model in other cities including New York City and Washington, DC.

"I love the fact that people are enjoying my work, that they are talking to the paintings and the paintings are talking back to them! It's certainly a project where everybody wins." - Suzanne Hodes, Artist.

Zakiim Bridge in the Sky by Henry Olds
Zakiim Bridge in the Sky by Henry Olds
Watermelon Sunset: Maria Termini
Watermelon Sunset: Maria Termini
Untitled by Reba Stewart
Untitled by Reba Stewart
Inspiration: Fay Chandler
Inspiration: Fay Chandler