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About NIAD

About NIAD

NIAD’s visual art program promotes meaningful independent living by artists with disabilities—while its artists create remarkable contemporary art. In a unique open studio environment, and with the guidance of qualified staff, NIAD artists acquire new skills in artistic practice and in independent living. As artists paint, build sculpture, mold clay, or work with textiles, their skills of observation and project management improve. As they explore and express their creativity, exhibit artwork in professional-quality galleries, participate in the community, and occasionally earn money from selling art, their feelings of independence and self-esteem increase.

Each NIAD artwork is an original piece of contemporary art that tells an individual story from the perspective of an artist with disabilities. Frequently remarkable, surprising, and engaging, NIAD artwork has become a highlight of the Richmond art scene and has received recognition from the national artistic community.

While not all of NIAD’s artists receive wide-spread recognition for their art, all gain a sense of pride from learning a craft and profession of their own. Artists at NIAD earn a 50% commission from the sale of their work and a nearly all have sold at least one piece of art by participating in the program. Equally important to the artists is the community and sense of purpose their participation allows. Mentored by skilled professionals (all of the staff hold a Masters of Fine Arts degree and are themselves accomplished artists), NIAD’s artists see and study contemporary art by visiting local galleries, studios and museums. Inspired, they return to the NIAD open studio to create their own work. The NIAD studio environment has been described by visitors and participants alike as inclusive, nurturing, and welcoming.

Come see for yourself. Visitors, and volunteers, are welcome. NIAD holds bi-monthly exhibits, conveniently located close to BART and the Richmond Art Center. Its gallery and gift shop demonstrate how easy and affordable owning remarkable contemporary art can be.

Most importantly, NIAD art is art everyone can feel great about. When you purchase a piece of NIAD art (or make a donation) you connect with the unique story of an artist with disabilities, honor an original voice in contemporary art, and allow an uncommon artist to earn income from their work. Your participation and support makes possible NIAD’s best work, which is found in the lives it has touched.

We are supported from many generous individual donors, corporations and foundations. We cannot do amazing work without their support. So a big thanks goes out to:

Our funders