19th Annual ARISE Exhibit Connects with 'UNIQUE' and Talented Artists

Aug 16, 2019

An annual exhibition at the Everson Museum showcases works of art created by artists with disabilities from the Syracuse area and across Central New York.  UNIQUE is assembled after a panel of judges select the works that will be showcased. 


ARISE Chief Development Officer Betty DeFazio says the talent on display ranges from teenagers to seniors.

“When you look around this room and this exhibit, their talent just shouts from the walls.  It’s really an amazing opportunity for people to have a different view of someone who may have a disability.”

When we stopped by, museum staff were making the finishing touches.  A tall giraffe made of paper-mache immediately draws attention along with vibrant paintings.  Everson Curator or Art DJ Hellerman says the exhibition also goes beyond the art, so attendees can make more of a connection through written expression.

“Poems with the visual arts objects.  It’s something that happens in UNIQUE often because it’s a part of their program but, it’s not something that any of our other community exhibition programs do regularly.”

DeFazio with ARISE brought us to a painting of a black woman in a blue dress and a sun hat… by Tanisha Wiggins.  The accompanied poem is titled “My Victory.”

“At times I felt small, though I got up after every fall.  Things seem so adverse but, I made progress, even at my worst.”

The exhibit is receiving support this year from New York Council on the Arts.  UNIQUE runs through September 29th at the Everson Museum.