(photo credit: Chimes)
The NGO Chimes Israel – which assists people with special needs – launched an
art exhibition this month featuring dozens of works of art produced by special
needs individuals, open through next month in Tel Aviv.
The exhibition at
the Zionist Organization of America House displays the drawings and paintings of
people who participate in the organization’s art workshop, as part of Chimes’s
activities in advancing employment opportunities and occupations for those with
disabilities alongside works by famous Israeli painters.
“Like any of us,
they have abilities,” executive director of Chimes Israel Jorge Zimmermann told
The Jerusalem Post. “We help them express these abilities, such as art for
“We believe that it is very important to give them – people
with disabilities – an opportunity,” he added.
“They are diamonds in the
rough, we polish them.” Zimmermann explained that the art workshop, which
started some three years ago, was initiated by an NGO volunteer who was also a
“He volunteered with what he knew, which was art,
and he actually found that people here had developed really impressive drawing
skills,” he said. “It takes a long time, though, until they can find their
inspiration and develop their own style.”
The workshop, which takes place
between once and twice a week, includes around 11 participants and has turned
into a workshop involving other forms of art such as drama, puppet shows and
“You can see in the exhibit that they each have
their own style and subjects that touch the heart and have to do with the issue
of their personal distress, or their dreams,” Zimmermann continued, “It’s part
of the expression of the artist.”
He also pointed out that for some of
the artists, drawing and painting are the only ways to express
“We have an artist who is both mute and deaf, but the
drawings are the whole essence of the communication between his internal world
and the outside world,” Zimmermann said.
“His drawings are so strong,
interesting and beautiful, all at the same time.”
Zimmermann said he
believes the exhibit will give people with disabilities “a chance to also touch
the heart of another and make a difference.”
“They have an opinion in an
artistic way, a very special perspective on the world that we live in,” he said.
“Sometimes I think that maybe they see it in the right way, maybe we are the
ones distorting it.
I hope the public in Israel will pay attention to
“There is no difference between a ‘normal’ artist and an artist with
a cognitive disability,” the curator of the exhibit, Doron Polak said in a
He added that the display, which will close on May 18,
“creates an interesting and exciting dialogue between the talents of artists
with disabilities and professional Israeli artists who sell their pieces.”