Able Artists - Unique Art Auction by Young Artists with Disabilities

October 20, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
TORONTO, ON, October 20, 2011 The Sunny View Youth Involvement Association raised $140,000 through a unique fundraiser an art auction at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital that featured the art of kids with disabilities, some unable to speak and with limited mobility.

The funds raised during the Able Artists Auction will support the Expressive Arts Program and the new innovative Infinity Communication Access Lab at Sunny View Public School, in partnership with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Seven pieces were auctioned live, raising an astonishing $70,500. The first piece 'Dripping Rain' created by two 11-year-old boys using the adapted paint squirter went for $25,000. The other highlight of the event was the silent auction sale of 'Big Mess' by a 14-year-old able artist. The piece went for $20,000.

"Our goal is to raise $440,000 so that our children can make themselves understood, to express their need and wants regardless of their inability to speak," said Christopher Hopper, the Chair of the Sunny View Youth Involvement Association. "Before the Able Artist Auction, we were half way to our goal and with the generous and enthusiastic support of the bidders we are now much closer."

The Able Artists Auction, showcased 57 pieces of art created by 42 young artists from Sunny View Public School ranging from five to 15 years old. Former Olympic alpine skier, Karen Stemmle, led the exciting live auction, which also featured sponsoring artist Charles Pachter's piece 'Bay Watch 2010'. The stunning piece by the iconic Canadian artist went for $24,000 through a reserved bid.

The Able Artist Project is an initiative created by Brianne Rutter who is the Expressive Arts teacher at Sunny View Public School. The program fosters the artistic talent of children with disabilities by adapting tools and techniques so children can create art independently or with limited assistance from others. Through these activities, children with disabilities learn to express themselves in different ways while at the same time working towards individual communication and physical goals.

The Infinity Communications Access Lab at Sunny View Public School is a joint venture between the Toronto District School Board and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. This new satellite lab will improve access to communication technologies for children with the most complex disabilities in the school system, increasing their chances for academic success. Technologies developed here will help children nationally and world-wide. The project is being funded solely through philanthropic support.

Dr. Tom Chau, Senior Scientist at Bloorview Research Institute and world renowned biomedical engineer, was on hand to discuss the Infinity Communication Access Lab's cutting-edge communication solutions for kids who cannot verbalize and have limited mobility.

Dr. Chau's research focuses on the investigation and development of communication technologies for children and youth with severe physical disabilities. His focus on the physiological basis of communication promises to revolutionize the way we treat children who are 'locked in'. "My dream for the Infinity Lab is to provide every child and adolescent in Canada with a means of communication," says Dr. Chau.

Proceeds from the Able Artist Auction bring the total raised to $343,000, helping the Sunny View Youth Involvement Association get closer to reaching its goal of $440,000.Support children with disabilities and the Sunny View Youth Involvement Association by donating today.

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation raises funds in the community for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital. It pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, please visit: www.hollandbloorviewfoundation.ca

The Sunny View Youth Involvement Association

Located in North Toronto, Sunny View Public School has served the needs of elementary students with physical disabilities for over 57 years. The Sunny View Youth Involvement Association provides funds to support many co-curricular activities within the school. It is made up of Sunny View staff, parents and community members all with the same goal to enriching the lives of children with disabilities. This can be done with investments in adapted equipment, technology for communication or access, physical care facility upgrades, specialized musical instruments or accessible recreation equipment. All funds raised go directly to making these kids lives better.