Art Ability show at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital celebrates artists with disabilities

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Thursday, October 24, 2019
Art of Aging: Art Ability show at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital
Art of Aging: Art Ability show at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital - Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on October 24, 2019.

MALVERN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- One of the Philadelphia area's premiere art shows opens next week. These artists have overcome more than most to express themselves.

Ever since she was little, Carol Spiker of Wilmington has been creating art.

"I just remember my first poster in the 4th grade," she recalled.

She never strayed from art for long - even when a car accident 22 years ago put her into a wheelchair.

This year, Carol, now in her 70s, is the featured artist at the Art Ability show at Bryn Maw Rehab Hospital.

It's the largest show dedicated to artists with disabilities.

"We have this year 185 artists participating in Art Ability that represents 30 states this year and 6 countries," said coordinator, Cristine Largoza.

The 450 paintings, drawings, and sculptures will be spread through the hallways of the hospital in Malvern. Although Bryn Mawr Rehab's first-floor is always an art gallery, these will be new works.

"Artwork is one of those ways people are able to express and heal," said Largoza.

Largoza believes Art Ability has changed minds over its 24 years.

"That being labeled an artist with a disability doesn't change the quality of the artwork," she said,.

Carol says life now revolves around painting.

"I'm miserable if I can't get into the studio," she said.

She sees herself or her dreams in her works.

"I'd love to be on a beach, I'd love to have 2 legs, and I'd love to be reading," she said.

She's not the only artist named Spiker at Bryn Mawr Rehab - this dragonfly sculpture was made by her husband, a welder. He lost his legs to septic shock.

Art Ability opens to the public on November 3rd, and runs through January 26th - and all the works will be for sale.

For more information on Art Ability, visit: