MCLA Students Collaborate with Pure Vision Arts for Upcoming MCLA Gallery 51 Exhibit


NORTH ADAMS, MA - In collaboration with Pure Vision Arts of Manhattan, N.Y., arts management students at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present an exhibit, "Visions from the Edge: The Artists of Pure Vision," in MCLA Gallery 51, beginning Jan. 26.

 Curated by eight students from MCLA's "Advanced Museum Studies" class, under the direction of Dr. Anthony Gengarelly, of MCLA's fine and performing arts department, the exhibit will showcase the work of 11 artists with disabilities who have extraordinary abilities.

 The public is invited to attend an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 "Visions from the Edge: The Artists of Pure Vision," will be presented in alliance with MCLA's Jessica Park Project ( JessicaPark); a multiyear study of the social challenges and singular accomplishments of Outsider artists. Most of the work included in the show is culled from Pure Vision Arts (PVA) (, New York's first specialized art studio and exhibition space for artists with autism and other disabilities. Located in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, PVA was founded in 2002 as a division of the The Shield Institute.  

According to Gengarelly, the title of the exhibit refers not only to the name of the collaborating organization, but to the visionary quality of the art and the artists included.  The contributing artists come from non-traditional, self-taught, art-making backgrounds; their creations come from a life experience outside mainstream art world or art institutions. 

"The works included in this exhibition are unique as the artists that created them.  They tell a story that pulls you far past their arresting images and bright colors," Gengarelly said.

Featured artists will include: Alba Somoza, Barry Kahn, Belo Green, Chase Ferguson, Evan Gozali, Jessica Park, Leon McCutcheon, Simone Johnson, Susan Brown, Walter Mika and William Britt.

During the run of the exhibit, the Gallery will host a series of programs and guest speakers.  Each lecture will explore self-taught art, outsider art and neuro-diverse art to introduce and comment about an often misunderstood community of artists.

For a full listing of related events, go to Gallery51. All events are free and open to the public.

"Visions from the Edge: The Artists of Pure Vision" runs through February 19, 2012.

MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. It is at 51 Main St., and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (413) 664-8718, or go to Gallery51.