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Special Creative Arts Program Allowing Artists With Intellectual Challenges To Develop Their Talents

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's a unique, creative day program for people with intellectual challenges. Many of them are artists with work featured in museums and galleries and this weekend, some will be showing their work at a very prestigious art show in New York City.

Vibrant and original pieces of art are being brought to life at the Center for Creative Works in Wynnewood.

Center for Creative Works
credit: CBS3

The progressive art studio features the work of as many as 80 artists who are busy honing their craft.

"All of our artists here have intellectual disabilities," the center's director, Lori Bartol, said. "We're really creating an opportunity for people to build themselves as artists not despite their intellectual disabilities but within that."

Bartol sees the creations from beginning to end, and like the other professional artists on staff, she watches the evolution of many of these artists, some of whom are non-verbal but their work speaks much louder than words.

"Some of our artists have been extremely successful, they show their work in galleries, in museums, they sell their work," Bartol said.

This weekend, at least four artists from Creative Works will be showing their work at the Outsider Art Fair in New York.

"It's an international art show where galleries from all over the world come," Bartol said.

Samantha Mitchell tells Eyewitness News about one of the artists who will be featured this year.

"Cindy Gosselin is one of our artists that will be showing at the Art Fair. She's blind and she works by wrapping found materials with string and twine," Mitchell said. "This is really the most inspiring environment I have ever been a part of."

Paige Donovan's work has been on display before at the exhibit in New York. She focuses on famous cartoon characters.

Center for Creative Works
credit: CBS3

"What do you want people to see or say about your artwork?" CBS3's Natasha Brown asked.

"I want them to say like 'oh my god,' I'm so happy for them,' to follow my lead and step in my shoes," Donovan said.

All of the artwork by artists with the Center for Creative Works is for sale.

For more information on the Center for Creative Works, click here.

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