For 65 years, YAI has supported people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the fullest life possible by creating opportunities for living, loving, working, and learning. The YAI Arts program offers full-time studio access to a passionate group of adult visual artists. Through drawing, painting, costuming, sculpture, puppetry, and more, the artists externalize their interior worlds and communicate lived perspectives that are often silenced or ignored. Unique fantasies are woven into a communal language that unites the artists’ vibrant imaginations and shares their brilliance with the outside world.
This spring, Access Programs at MoMA and YAI Arts collaborated in a partnership with teaching artist Lexy Ho-Tai. Monsters and flowers, mirrors and beasts, creatures and creations—these are some of the themes YAI Artists explored throughout their program sessions. The artists engaged with new ideas and approaches to art making during visits to MoMA, focusing on topics including identity, the grotesque, Surrealism, and disguise. They incorporated these influences into their studio practice through weekly workshops with Ho-Tai, joining in her multidisciplinary practice and embarking on a creative journey that shape-shifted along with the works they brought to life.
The YAI artists’ monstrous creations tackle inner demons, conjure alternative worlds, laugh at fear, and foster an environment where difference is exalted as beauty.
The Museum of Modern Art strives to create a space for New Yorkers with disabilities to express themselves and feel seen, heard, and valued. We are committed to creating programs and resources that support participants’ unique goals, learning styles, and abilities.
For more on MoMA’s commitment to accessibility and information about upcoming programs, please visit moma.org/visit/accessibility/.
Organized by Theresa Rodewald, Assistant Educator, Community and Access Programs, The Museum of Modern Art, with Priscilla Frank, Supervisor, Mallory Perry, Artist Mentor, and Lexy Ho-Tai, Teaching Artist, YAI Arts.