Starlight Spotlight – Co-Artifact Hits Tonight

By Judy Clonan-Smith, Art Studio Case Coordinator, The Learning Disabilities Association of WNY & Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

Over the past couple weeks, Starlight Studio & Art Gallery staff and artists have dropped what we’ve been working on to see the 17 community artists and their completed artworks. When Nancy Parisi brought in hers, she had a chance to talk with her Co-Artifact partner artist, Ricky Hogan, and see how he had finished the work she started. Parisi liked the colorful quilled pomegranate Hogan had added to her pencil drawing of the same and she finished Hogan’s quilled tree with a drawing of the grain elevators in the background and other elements of city life. In both cases, each artist seemed to find a way to perfectly suit the other’s style.

Both community and Starlight artists expressed their appreciation for being included in the project and how it’s helped them as artists. “I found the project challenging and I think it’s good for artists to stretch themselves,” said Parisi.

Steve Borgisi, of Starlight, was delighted with what Kathy Sherin had done to create a dreamscape complete with whimsical animals over and around his colorful drawing. When Kyle Butler brought in his completion of Alison Mantione’s started work, it was clear that they both are very attentive to detail, with his finely-rendered pencil drawing creating a landscape for her large turtle to inhabit and Alison creating a number of meticulously-made turtles to tramp across Butler’s abstract vision.

Alison and Kyle show off their Co-Artifact collaboration

Alison and Kyle show off their Co-Artifact collaboration

As you can see, Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, which serves adults with intellectual disabilities, is humming with excitement over the upcoming Co-Artifact Benefit Auction here tonight, November 14th, from 6-9pm. The artworks, which were completed by 17 Buffalo/WNY area artists and 17 Starlight artists, have been returned and the show was installed last week. Our giant Co-Artifact banner arrived and was hung in front of our building here at 340 Delaware Ave.



Bidding began at the preview party on 1st Friday and will continue until 8pm tonight, when the auction event is in full swing. Until then, the show is open to the public during regular business hours, 9-4pm for viewing and silent bidding. Event tickets are available online or at the door for $25 or 2/$40.  Come join us for the music of The Mustn’ts, food, a cash bar and most of all to celebrate the collaboration of colleagues and an art show as unique as each collaborator.

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Starlight Studio is an open studio day habilitation program serving adults with learning disabilities; the participating artists set their own courses for the kind of artist they want to be. They are offered a variety of art demonstrations by staff and local artists, as well as field trips to area galleries to sketch and see what other artists are doing. We frequently collaborate with such places as CEPA and Squeaky Wheel and our work is shown at local restaurants, galleries, the Elmwood Festival Dance Tent and as far away as Pennsylvania!

The program and gallery are open 5 days a week with art shows year-round of Starlight artists and artists from the Buffalo and WNY community, many of whom have become friends of the studio and are involved in Co-Artifact. Learn more at

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