BUFFALO, N.Y. – Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, a division of Beyond Support Network, will be celebrated on Tuesday when it receives the “Service Provider” award at Developmental Disabilities Day. This award, is presented by the organizers of the event and recognizes an employee, volunteer, or other professional service provider who has actively and successfully worked to develop or access programs or services that help individuals move forward with their lives.

Starlight Studio and Art Gallery is a cooperative environment that supports adults with disabilities in their artistic development. Through technical assistance by professional artists, on-site and off-site exhibitions and other opportunities for representation and sales, the Starlight artists hone their artistic interests, become stronger advocates and better integrated citizens.

In Starlight’s 18 years of operation the Director Carrie Marotte, teaching artists, studio support staff, curators and Starlight artists have been supporting and promoting inclusion in the Arts.

“Being the director of Starlight Studio has been a beautiful ride,” Carrie Marcotte, Director of Starlight Studio and Art Gallery said. “Our program brings good news to folks every day they attend. They can come here and freely express themselves and explore satisfying pursuits. Never could I have anticipated the level of connection and commitment the Starlight artists feel for their art practice and each other. Seeing the creations, confidence and advocacy that springs from this is amazing to behold!”

Since 2005 are just some of their accomplishments;

  • Supported and developed 94 artists and counting.
  • Created over 160,00 artworks.
  • Sold over 4,600 works of art.
  • Conducted 879 art demonstrations.
  • Had 275 Art exhibits
  • Hosted 140 visiting community artists
  • Partnered with 15 community based art organizations
  • Gone on 520 art related field trips
  • Received over $150,000 in grants and donations
  • Published 5 books of poetry and spoken word
  • Created or painted 8 community murals or sculptures

“I had no expectations for Starlight walking in,” added Andy Calderon, an individual who participates in Starlight’s services and has gone one to represent individuals we service on the Beyond Support Network board of directions. “Starlight has been an amazing place for me. “Andy” has become an amazing person because of Starlight. Like how Clark Kent became Superman”

“We are an arts organization,” Marcotte concluded, “and are viewed as an essential part of the cultural landscape here in Western New York.”

Starlight’s gallery is open to the public every week day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will often host shows featuring Starlight artists and community members alike.