The Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) celebrates Out to Art, a twelve-year collaboration with the Chapel Haven Schleifer Center (CHSC), with a display of paintings from the collection selected by students in the residential program for neurodiverse individuals.
CHSC has been in New Haven for close to fifty years and is a pioneer in helping individuals with cognitive and social disabilities live independent and self-determined lives. It serves individuals with intellectual and social challenges including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and executive functioning and nonverbal learning challenges.
The works chosen by the students range from landscapes to portraits created from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. A video about the history of the Out to Art program will accompany the installation.
Over the course of the program, CHSC students have become frequent visitors to the museum and are familiar with many objects in the collections. Out to Art classes offer an opportunity for the group to engage with art and give sustained attention to reading works of art in the galleries. In addition, many students have developed ongoing friendships with YCBA staff. Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education at the YCBA, and Tina Menchetti, Art Director at CHSC, work together with museum docents, led by Berclee Cameron, to provide this valuable program.
This educational outreach to the neurodiverse community is one example of the YCBA’s longstanding commitment to making the museum a more accessible and inclusive environment for all. “Art is a universal tool, able to speak about, for, to and with the complexities of our experiences. Art museums have the unique role of being able to leverage art for its greatest possibilities for all of our visitors,” said Courtney J. Martin, Paul Mellon Director of the YCBA. “We hope this presentation reveals the significant impact of the Out to Art program and the role of art in all of our lives.”