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Annual art exhibit featuring works of disabled artists goes virtual

Mary Schneider and Alicia Malik

The pandemic may have put a hold on visiting art showcases in person, but groups like Starlight Studio & Art Gallery have taken their events online to continue operation. The non-for profit art studio is holding their fifth annual Co-Artifact silent auction-- an exhibition that starts Thursday and runs through the weekend. 


The event focuses on adult artists with disabilities who start a piece, then collaborate with other professional artists who finish it. Starlight Studio Program Assistant Jennifer Ryan said they originally had big plans for this year.

“It was originally going to be in June, held in the Northland Workforce Training Center. We were really excited about it. Getting in a different space and inviting our community and to see that what we've been working on. And so obviously things had to change in March when we got shut down,” Ryan said.

The event also coincides with the studio’s 15th anniversary. Ryan said after several Zoom calls and lots of communication, they found a way to make it work.

“We're hoping that people learn more about Starlight Studio in our gallery. We're a unique program. We serve 40 adults with learning and developmental disabilities who like to make art and we're hoping that we have more people come to our websites, our social media, engage with us and learn more about what our artists are making on a regular basis.”

Ryan said one of the positives through the pandemic has been increased online sales.

Finished pieces from this exhibit can be viewed at

This exhibition's proceeds will go to the studio. 

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