A working family: the NIAD Art Center in Richmond

The NIAD Art Center is half studio, half exhibition/gallery space where artists from all over the Bay Area work in a variety of mediums and styles. The work they produce has appeared in exhibits all over the country, and 98 percent sold at least one piece last year. This video offers a quick glimpse into how the studio operates and why it's so important to the people there and the people of Richmond.

The studio smells like wet clay and paint. Some of the artists work quietly, threading needle through a quilt or contemplating their next brushstroke. Others chirp and laugh and offer input to one another—always positive.

Converted from a mechanic shop into a massive loft-style studio and galleries, Richmond’s 32-year-old NIAD (National Institute of Arts and Disabilities) Art Center on 23rd Street provides more than just a workspace and exhibit. For five hours every day, it becomes home for more than 60 artists with disabilities and their instructors.

“When you have a disability, you’re separated out as an other,” executive director Deb Dyer says. “We try to level that.”

Three exhibitions, I Have Always Been a StormEssay, and Hometown Heroes, will be on display from Sept. 12 through Oct. 24 at NIAD. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The opening reception for the show will be this Saturday, Sept. 13, from 12:30 to 3 p.m.




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