Many thanks to Mr. G and Kim Pestalozzi for featuring LAND on Pix 11:
“Everytime I come here I wonder where my imagination will take me," Myasia Dowdell. "I just like to surprise everyone.”
Myasia Dowdell is an artist through and through.
“I like to find the natural elements in a contemporary theme,” she explained.
She expresses her creativity at a Brooklyn art studio called L.A.N.D., a program part of League Education & Treatment Center.
Amidsts cutesy boutiques, and tree-lined streets, a small gallery gets ready for an intimate opening night. The artists and their families slowly fill up the space to celebrate an exciting night of collaboration. Located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, LAND Gallery provides a place for artists normally designated as "outsiders" to develop their craft, integrating them into the community as working artists.
Priscilla Frank introduces our new exhibition, Blackboard, for The Huffington Post:
The ethos of LAND Gallery is not a mawkish, put-your-feelings-on-the-paper, everything-is-art vibe. Everyone making work under LAND’s guidance is a serious artist who devotes his or her days to creating serious work. Yet LAND’s ungrudging openness toward the artists they foster embodies a constructive spirit that more places ― schools, galleries, or just individuals hovering over their laptops ― should embrace. LAND is a space for outsiders and insiders, which is to say, such distinctions do not hold within its doors.
We're inviting artists in the New York City area to collaborate with LAND!
This new program — LANDLovers — is a chance for artists to visit our studio and introduce our artists to a new creative activity based on a specific material or theme. Projects could include:
- A painter leading a painting workshop
- A ceramicist demonstrating how to glaze simple pots
- A video artist guiding our artists through the process of creating a collaborative video
Some projects may take just a few hours, and others might happen over the course of several days. Our staff will work with you to set goals and a time frame for your project.
We are currently accepting proposals! We'll document #LANDLovers projects on our Instagram account, and we aim to have these workshops culminate in a future group exhibition at our gallery.
Stay tuned, as we'll update our website with news of participating artists and their projects in the weeks ahead.
Cartoonish yet elegant drawings of delicious cakes in neat piles and meticulously organized bowls of fruit: this is the work of artist Kenya Hanley. For the past 10 years, Hanley has been a resident at LAND (League Artists Natural Design) Gallery, a studio that has dedicated itself to providing a space for artists, such as Hanley, with developmental disabilities. Hanley has been independently making work since he was a child, exploring notions of unhealthy vs. healthy foods, lists, music, and TV.
One of the fantastic surprises at the Outsider Art Fair this year was our experience with the work of Michael Pellew. Pellew’s work is unassuming, and in the context of the fair particularly blends in - a style defined by repetition, drawing within a simple system, and the use of unconventional materials (markers). We were more familiar with his series of small original drawings marketed as greeting cards, which typically feature a grouping of four or five figures (available at Opening Ceremony in Manhattan and LA). In a larger scale, the voice only available in snippets in smaller works unfolds to become an astonishing comedic performance.
There’s a wonderful Michael Pellew work at Brooklyn-based LAND Gallery that features stick figures of ’80s rock stars and, hilariously, the boy band One Direction, who are saying in a thought bubble, “Hey, New York, we’re One Direction!” It went for $700 not an hour into the VIP preview.
Even in the sea of galleries that populate New York City, it's hard to find rosters that feature artists with disabilities. The entire roster of the Dumbo based LAND—League, Artists Natural Design—Gallery, however, consists of artists with developmental delays. The 15 adult artists who are currently a part of LAND's program use the gallery’s studio space to produce drawings, paintings, and sculptures that explore through both abstraction and figuration a myriad of cultural concerns.
Gary Pini includes LAND's 10th anniversary exhibition in Paper Mag's must-see shows:
Works by [LAND Gallery] artists -- including the incredible Michael Pellew Jr. -- have been exhibited around the world and are part of the private collections of Sufjan Stevens, Mos Def. NY Mag art critic Jerry Saltz and many more.
When visiting LAND Gallery in DUMBO Brooklyn, you will invariably be greeted at the door by artist Michael Pellew who will say, “Hello, we are LAND. We are artists with developmental disabilities. I am Michael Jackson’s best friend. What is your favorite heavy metal band?”
Now in its tenth year of operation supporting artists with autism and other disabilities, the studio and gallery celebrates its anniversary, 10 Years in 1 Day, at Christian Berst Art Brut, exhibiting over 25 pieces made by LAND’s core artists who attend the studio daily. The expansive show sheds light on the extraordinary lens through which the artists see the world, a rare and intimate opportunity for the general public.
Diagnosed on the autism spectrum at an early age, Myasia Dowdell sees the world through a Technicolor, dreamlike lens. Soft spoken and extremely timid, she rarely offers a glimpse of this world, except through her art. Born in 1989 in New York City, Dowdell had difficulty communicating and socializing with other children, a common symptom of her disability. Early on, however, Dowdell began drawing and eventually learned to express her complicated thoughts through her art, exposing her fantastical universe.
Sophia Cosmadopoulos reflects on Garrol Gayden's visual explorations of Coney Island:
Coney Island, often considered one of the lasting remnants of 'Old New York,' is a seaside amusement park celebrated for its playful, homespun, dilapidated, and almost spooky charm. After World War II, the park’s popularity declined and it suffered from years of neglect. Over time 'outsiders' flocked to the park to celebrate otherness and differences in traditions such as Side Show by the Seashore Freak Show, Shoot the Freak, and the Mermaid Parade, one of the country’s largest art parades.
This iconic summer destination left a lasting impression on Garrol Gayden, an artist at LAND Gallery, a studio for adults with developmental disabilities in Brooklyn, New York.
Kenya Hanley's works on paper have the feeling of both aspiration and interpretation. Bold, decisive drawings describe a world of abundance, encoded in color and imagined connections between realms of fiction and reality.
MoMA's Associate Educator Carrie McGee introduces Masters of Puppets:
LAND (League Artists Natural Design) is a unique studio and gallery program of the League Education & Treatment Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn. At LAND, adult artists living with disabilities develop their skills in a nurturing environment, while their work is marketed to the community in a vibrant and inclusive manner. The work of LAND artists has been shown at the Outsider Art Fair, featured in The New York Times, and entered many private collections. Since 2009, Access Programs at MoMA and LAND have engaged in a creative collaboration that aims to connect LAND artists with MoMA’s collection and exhibitions, and also to challenge them to create work in new media.