Care Design NY Care Manager, Sandra, recalls the day she met, Jose, a CDNY Member, “he was intently focused and captivated on forming letters in an illustration in a notebook. As an artist myself, I connected immediately to his passion for expressing himself visually.” As she does for all individuals, she supports at Care Design NY to help them achieve their best life ever, she did some research and then introduced Jose to Pure Vision Arts (PVA).
PVA was established in the Chelsea district of Manhattan in 2002. It’s an initiative of The Shield Institute, a nonprofit human service agency that supports New Yorkers with autism and other developmental disabilities. The art studio and exhibition space is staffed by trained professionals with backgrounds in art education, fine arts, and art therapy who provide mentoring and support to artists.
Jose communicates visually through Graffiti. His interest began at 15 years old when a cousin and high school friends introduced him to the lettering technique in their Bronx neighborhood. He watched and learned, then created his own style which he showed us in his sketch book-- very bold lettering with interesting characters--each illustrating a different story.
We visited PVA virtually and met Jose and Bryant Yarborough, PVA Program Coordinator in the PVA art studio. Bryant described Jose’s technique of drawing, “he uses pencil on paper, first making a black outline then following with a series of markers to achieve a beautiful blended and colored piece of art.”
Bryant remarked Jose’s untraditional talent commenting how the text and words that Jose creates are unique. Jose starts his sketches in a “black book” that contains thin, white paper which is typical of Graffiti artists before they transfer their work to a larger space.
When Jose first visited PVA with Sandra, Bryant recalls that he brought several of these black books. The PVA staff marveled at the authenticity of his work. He showed us two drawings that had been illustrated with, “don’t make fun of him” and another story’s character stated, “Being So Kind.” Jose also created renditions of the Care Design NY logo that we are honored to display on our website (see below).
Self-expression, creative development, and a focus on “ability” are the cornerstones of the PVA method. The PVA artists contribute to the public’s awareness of cultural diversity and also are dispelling myths of people with disabilities.
Sandra stated, “Pure Vision has transformed Jose into the artist of his dreams. He is now drawing in a much larger environment and inspired by other talented artists. I am living my inner artist dream thru Jose’s, and it brings tears to my eyes. I am so proud of Jose, I feel like his mother. He has a great support system. His family is behind him 100 percent and Alexandra, a member of his wonderful staff is outstanding. What makes this a perfect circle is the care and support that he receives from Bryant and Pamela at Pure Vision.”
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Albany, NY 12211