History of art at Alpha:
Since 1980, Alpha recognized the artistic potential of people with developmental disabilities and launched a pilot program to further explore their capabilities. At a time when macaroni, paste, paper plates and dime-store paintbrushes were the predominant art mediums in many programs, we introduced artists to canvas, acrylics and sable brushes. The intent was to allow the artists to produce work from their own imagination with minimal influence by instructional staff. With no formal art education and without the influence or familiarity with other artists or their work, Alpha artists produced imaginative, truthful and compelling work. Through Alpha’s initiative, artists began showing their work and competing in juried shows, demonstrating that artists with developmental disabilities have a place in the contemporary art world. The opening of SlingShot represents our confidence in the potential for artistic growth, recognition and financial gain for these unique artists.