For 30 years, NIAD Art Center (National Institute of Art & Disabilities) has been offering a studio arts program to adults with developmental and other physical disabilities in Richmond, California.
The Center operates an open studio with each client focusing on their own art production and career. Up to 40 adults per day work with five professional artists creating visual art in ceramics, fiber art, printmaking, painging, sculpture, mixed media, and drawing. The teachers/mentors facilitate learning skills, but leave the artistic decisions to each individual client. The studio environment focuses on art creation while also building the independent living skills of observation, concentration, decision-making, project management, cooperation, and exploration.
NIAD Art Center operates three gallery spaces within its building, showcasing the work of NIAD artisst as well as contemporary mainstream artists. NIAD's artists also exhibit nationally and internationally in contemporary art galleries and museums.