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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just because you can’t hold a paint brush doesn’t mean you can’t create a painting. A New Jersey art access program is helping people with disabilities work some magic on canvas.
This unique program allows disabled people to reveal their artistry and make some money.
With a keen eye for color and the help of a steady hand, 50-year-old artist Ellen Kane makes the images in her mind come alive.
Ellen has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination.
She only speaks with hand signals.
But, at the Matheny’s Arts Access Program in New Jersey, a studio for people with special needs, Ellen has complete control.
“What we really had to do was develop a way for it to get from their heads to our hands,” said Eileen Murray, Arts Access director.
Trained facilitators who are also artists help make Ellen’s art come to life.
“The work is outstanding and I’ve always felt that it deserves to be on a big stage,” said Murray.
Sotheby’s thought it deserved to be on a big stage too.
The famous auction house gave Ellen and four of her fellow artists the chance of a lifetime, an exhibit in New York City.
And, Ellen’s biggest cheerleader was there.
“I am Ellen Kane’s mom, I love her very much,” said Ellen’s mom.
By the end of the day, she sold three of her paintings.
On the walls of one of the world’s greatest auction houses, the art spoke louder than words.