I am Alankar Gupta, a 26-year-old adult from the northernmost state of India, Jammu & Kashmir. I live with my parents. My sister lives away from home for work. I meet my family and friends over weekends for movies and picnics. I am a fun and nature-loving person. I enjoy life and love everyone around me. I love sports. I have been a Special Olympics Bharat athlete over the past 6 years and was selected as a National Athlete Input Council member in 2020. I also love to dance and workout in the gym.
I developed an interest in making acrylic flow art paintings during the COVID lockdown, which I learned from YouTube and attended some online workshops. I have successfully sold over 150 of them, including customized products such as coffee mugs and a new year calendar. I take commissions on personalized orders as well. I dream of someday opening my own art studio, leading an independent life, and supporting myself financially. I want to travel with my family and dream of going to Mount Kailash in Nepal.
To conclude, I’d like to share my message to all. I want people to not see us differently or as any less. But at the same time, try to create an inclusive society where all abilities are considered at par.
I look forward to more acceptance from people around me and access to education, medical, and social support for all people with learning disabilities
Art at DANI started as a small program with a big vision—to harness the transformative power of art to foster self-expression, personal growth, and community engagement. Over the years, this modest endeavor has blossomed into a thriving initiative that not only empowers our participants, but also resonates profoundly with the community at large.
At its core, the DANI art program seeks to tap into the therapeutic and developmental benefits of art-making. Participants are given the tools and guidance to express their unique perspectives, cultivating both their artistic talents and their self-confidence. This creative journey often results in profound personal growth, as participants discover new ways of expressing themselves and interpreting the world around them.
Our Annual Art Show has become a much-anticipated event that exemplifies the transformative power of art education. It’s an opportunity for the DANI participants to proudly showcase their work, and for the community to celebrate and support their accomplishments. Over the years, the event has grown in scope and impact, evolving into a vibrant celebration of creativity, resilience, and the human spirit.
This year, 2023, marks the 10th Annual Art Show—a testament to the enduring impact of the DANI art program. With the theme “Dreams of Africa”, the event invites us all on a vibrant journey of imagination and exploration, revealing the depth of our participants’ talents. Beyond an exhibition, the show encapsulates the transformative journey each artist has taken—making it a celebration of not just art, but the artists themselves, their dreams, their growth, and their incredible resilience.
Talia and Gayla, daughter and mom, love to make art together. Sometimes they work collaboratively on a single piece, other times they work side-by-side on their own pieces.
For Talia, making art is soothing. For Gayla, it carries her to a place unrestricted by time and untethered from responsibility. Both enjoy the feeling of being completely absorbed in the exploration of materials and discovery of what’s possible.
When not making art, Talia likes to trike, hike, climb, swim, play board games, do puzzles, and listen to music. Gayla enjoys baking, mountain biking, gravel riding, and winter hiking.
Talia and Gayla follow Rita on IG. They love when her artwork pops up in their feed and are delighted to be part of her art friends circle.
Joel has developed his own unique artistic perspective, which was encouraged by his Mom from a young age. His art has always brought joy to all who see it. In addition to his artistic endeavours, Joel also loves to cook and is proud to have achieved his Kitchen Steward Certificate from Algonquin College.
The two years of COVID were difficult for Joel, as his long-time kitchen job and all his other in-person programs were discontinued. However, he took that opportunity to spend more time on his art and was encouraged to launch his Art By J Positive store in February 2022. This has given Joel a newfound sense of pride.
Although Joel and Rita live in different cities, it is exciting to be connected with Rita via Instagram and to encourage one another’s artistic exploration. Joel is so very grateful to be considered one of Rita’s friends.
L’Arche London is a community of inclusion. We build relationships through everyday life moments. We sing together, we eat together, we ‘Art’ together.
L’Arche London runs both online and in-person Art classes, allowing people of all abilities to express themselves through personal-preferred art mediums.
These pieces of varied art are typically created together to make one. It is a concept we have chosen to call ‘Art Around Table,’ where all participants contribute their creativity to a larger masterpiece. These become our community-engaged art for everyone to enjoy.
The Arts Hub is project of the Kenora Association for Community Living. We host gatherings in Kenora, ON to help citizens in community connect around the activities that bring them joy and delight. Our mission is to welcome each person’s gifts and individuality through meaningful relationships in resilient, connected communities where we all belong. Watch our video to find out more!
Miriam and Rita became friends in a shared art class. They discovered not only do they have a passion for art but are the same age. Miriam’s love of art has spanned a number of years and she pays careful attention to creating masterpieces for others. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, even Groundhog Day are all good reasons to celebrate and get busy making a creation or two.
She is a young woman of many talents. She is a pianist, hiker, music lover, fitness buff, equestrian. Art is, however, top of the list. Life is one big canvas and we should throw as much paint as possible on it.
Carolyn and Rita have been friends for many years, attending DANI together, dancing together in an adaptive dance program and hanging out on Zoom making art over the past year or two.
Carolyn loves to do laundry and in fact uses “The Laundry Expert” in her signature line. When she is not doing laundry or busy at a program, Carolyn loves to make art independently. She is talented at sketching, designing, painting, collaging and really enjoys working with all types of media. She is a very outgoing young lady who is a whiz with computers and apps.