The Help Group and Bear Givers Celebrate Young Artists with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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“Through Our Eyes” Exhibit Featuring Art by the Students of The Help Group’s Village Glen School Opens March 20th at the James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station

"Through Our Eyes" Exhibition

“At The Help Group we believe that the arts play an integral role in fostering our students self expression & creativity. We are immensely grateful to Bear Givers for its generous support and to James Gray Gallery for hosting this exhibition."

In recognition of National Autism Awareness Month in April, The Help Group is proud to present Through Our Eyes: A Celebration of Young Artists. This premiere exhibit sponsored by the New York based nonprofit Bear Givers features over 50 wonderfully imaginative canvases created by the students of The Help Group's Village Glen School. The opening night reception will take place at the prestigious James Gray Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Art Center, on Saturday, March 20th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Through Our Eyes, which is free and open to the public, will run from March 20th through April 18th.

With campuses in Sherman Oaks and Culver City, California, The Help Group’s Village Glen School serves children and adolescents with social and communicative challenges, including Asperger’s Disorder, high-functioning autism, and nonverbal learning disabilities. According to Dr. Barbara Firestone, “At The Help Group we believe that the arts play an integral role in fostering our students self expression, self discovery, creativity and talent. We are immensely grateful to Bear Givers for its generous support and to James Gray Gallery for hosting this exhibition.”

Chairman of Bear Givers, Joseph Sprung emphasizes that “This exhibit will give so many people a chance to see what these students can do and how The Help Group nurtures their talents. Bear Givers is pleased to support this special event that will give these outstanding young people an opportunity to showcase their creativity.”

Pamela Clark, Director, The Help Group Autism Spectrum Disorders Schools describes this exhibition as “A glimpse into the very unique and often brilliant lenses through which our students view themselves and the world around them.” The work of more than more than 70 students will be displayed that evening and will be available for sale. 100% of the funds raised from the sale of the student’s art will benefit The Help Group’s Village Glen School Arts program.

When Heidi Gray, Gallery Director and James Gray were approached to host this exhibition they gave a resounding, “Yes”. According to Heidi Gray, “Our gallery is proud to collaborate with The Help Group and Bear Givers to exhibit the work of these wonderful young artists.”

The James Gray Gallery is located at the Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave, Building D4, Santa Monica, California 90404. RSVP via email to artgallery(at)thehelpgroup(dot)org or for more information call 818.779.5212.

About The Help Group
Founded in 1975, The Help Group serves children, adolescents, and young adults with autism and other special needs and is the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States. Recognized as a leader in the field, The Help Group offers innovative autism spectrum disorders programs. Its four specialized day schools serve more than 900 students on a daily basis, preschool through 22 years of age. Other programs include assessment, early identification & intervention, multi-disciplinary therapies, life skills training for transitioning youth, residential programs, parent support groups, day camps, after school enrichment and social skills programs.

About Bear Givers
Bear Givers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing joy to the lives of children and adults with the symbolic gift of a loveable Teddy Bear. Bear Givers believes that the altruism of some can exponentially affect the lives of many. Its programs facilitate an environment where "givers" are "empowered" by bringing joy to others and by enabling young people with special needs, like the students of The Help Group, to feel the satisfaction of being able to give back to others.


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Sara Cardine
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