YAI supports people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the fullest life possible by creating new opportunities for living, loving, working and learning through programs that empower and enhance the lives of thousands of people and their families.
My youngest sister Jennifer has always had an interest in the arts. Much like myself she grew up with a love for animated films and comics. When Disney kicked off their new brand of animated films starting with The LITTLE MERMAID and BEAUTY And The BEAST we watched them together in awe of the animation style. I passed down my early collected volumes of Eastman and Laird TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES graphic novels to her and she still has a love for the turtles in their latest TMNT live action films,cartoons and comics. (Me not so much!)
Jennifer is a part of the YAI ARTS program and her participation in the program has seen her talent flourish dramatically and given her the opportunity to exhibit her art in prominent galleries which has been a great confidence builder for her. On February 2nd I had the pleasure to attend a YAI Arts Show Jennifer was participating in along with several other talented young adults at the Sotheby's Art House in Uptown Manhattan! The name of the show was AMERICAN CHEESE:A Celebration of Pop Culture Icons and Celebrity.
Jennifer was pretty excited for the show, as was I and my wife Kim, but what we did not expect was to see how much of Jennifer's work was prominently on display. Above the escalator in the lobby was a huge computer screen displaying rotating images from various shows currently on display at Sotheby's and Jennifer's work was used to advertise the AMERICAN CHEESE show!
When we went up the escalator for the show the first thing you face is a wall displaying 4 portraits (Frida Kahlo, Lucille Ball, Steve Urkel and Bruce Lee) all illustrated by Jennifer! The postcard used to promote the show used Jennifer's Steve Urkel art! And to top it all off she SOLD 3 PIECES! She made more money in one 2-hour gallery event than I've ever made at any one day comic convention! Needless to say me, my wife Kim, my Mom and Aunt, the YAI program teachers and event organizers were all very proud of Jennifer.
The AMERICAN CHEESE show is currently still on display at Sotheby's but only until Wednesday, February 8th. If you are in the New York area and interested in seeing artwork that is as good if not BETTER than any modernist or abstract art on display in most modern art museums please check out the show.
If you are interested in discovering more information about YAI/National Institute For People With Disabilities Network or wish to volunteer your time or services please contact or visit the following websites:
If you've read all this...Thank You Very Much for doing so. I hope you found this enlightening,educational or inspirational.