Parents Spearhead ‘Beyond Limitations,’ Showcasing AHRC NYC Day Services Art

Artist Betty-Ann Hogan describes the time she exhibited her work at a solo show at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan, while her son, Adam Felderman, who has a developmental disability, displayed his work in Albany.

I didn’t sell anything, and he sold both of his pieces,” she recalls.

Now Betty-Ann and Howard Brickman, two parents whose adult children attend AHRC New York City’s Joseph T. Weingold Day Services in Queens, are spearheading an art show, on Sunday, Nov. 6 at Young Israel of Sunnyside, 43-01 46th St., in Sunnyside. The show, titled, Beyond Limitations, has been three years in the making (thanks to the COVID pandemic) and will run from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The show is being held in conjunction with AHRC NYC’s ArTech Collective arts program.

Expression Through Art

It’s no different in my mind than giving any other community artists exposure,” Betty-Ann says. “They may have deficits in other areas, but in this area, they don’t.

Beyond Limitations is a group exhibition of mixed media works created by artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose art practice is based in Queens. This exhibit focuses on bringing the Queens community together by sharing creativity, joy and passion for art. Its main mission is to promote interactions and projects focused on care and connection. Featured are works by eight Queens artists, Sydney Buford, Kevin Caamano, Adam Felderman, Rudy Hurtarte, Sharon Jackson, Gilbert “Junior” Laury, Shi Shuo Wang and Jose Zambrano. The works will be for sale.

We’ve created spaces (now in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx) that allow them to express themselves freely,” said Pola-Ana Mora, ArTech Collective Director. “This isn’t a crafts activity to pass time. This space is dedicated to people who want to create and develop art.”

Adam will display three pieces, which tell stories. One of them “Elephants Belong in the Jungle” is based on a show he watched about poachers killing elephants for their tusks. “I want to see people looking at my art and I want to see my artwork sold,” he says, of the upcoming exhibit.

Evolving as Artist, Person

Claudia Danies, of Forest Hills, could not be prouder of her daughter, Sydney Buford, who began creating art during the pandemic with virtual support from ArTech. Art has also brought the two closer. They can discuss it, watch documentaries on artists and visit museums, which once bored Buford.

Art makes me feel happy and calm,” says Sydney, whose work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She paints, sketches, embroiders, and recently started weaving. Sydney is also evolving as a person. She has taken an interest in philanthropy, supporting a Queens women’s shelter. As she describes why it’s important to help people in need, her mother asks jokingly in the background, “Who are you?

Artist’s Debut

Beyond Limitations will mark Woodside resident Rudy Hurtarte’s debut. “He’s very excited,” says his mother, Theresa. “I’m really counting the days to see the art show and see wonderful things the guys are doing.”

Rudy is proud to identify as an artist. “Art makes me feel happy. I’m an artist and that’s why I draw,” he says, adding he hopes to sell his art at the show.

Theresa never imagined her son would exhibit his work in an art show. But thanks to Betty-Ann Hogan’s and Howard Brickman’s efforts, he and his peers will have that chance.

It’s great to see our dream turn into a reality,” Howard says. “I’m excited for the artists, the agency, the parents getting behind this and we’re hoping to get the neighborhood to come out and support our artists.”

About AHRC New York City:

AHRC New York City is the largest organization supporting children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in New York State. Its mission is to advocate for people who are neurodiverse to lead full and equitable lives. Its vision is to help create a socially just world where the power of difference is embraced, valued, and celebrated. AHRC NYC was founded by parents of children with disabilities more than 70 years ago, when supports and services were unavailable to meet their children’s needs.