When Robert Schonhorn was president of the Matheny School and Hospital (now the Matheny Medical and Educational Center) in 1993, he posed the question: "Can people with disabilities create fine art?" Schonhorn, who died earlier this year, recognized the creative possibilities that were trapped inside the bodies of people with disabilities. Nineteen years after he posed that question, it is clear that the answer is an unqualified "Yes!"
Full Circle 2012: Unexpected Art, the annual celebration of Matheny's Arts Access Program, was held on Saturday, December 1, in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center at Matheny and was dedicated to the man who, along with then medical director Gabor Barabas MD, conceived of and created this unique program, which enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators. Matheny is a special hospital and educational facility in Peapack for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.
"My father would have been so proud," said Erica Schonhorn Gorman, Schonhorn's daughter, as she and his grandson Max Gorman accepted a special plaque from Steve Proctor, Matheny president and CEO. Guests at Full Circle attended a visual arts exhibit, curated by Madison-based artist Dan Fenelon, and a reception in the gallery before viewing a stage presentation that included a video tribute to Schonhorn as well as several examples of prose, poetry, drama and dance created by Arts Access artists.
Corporate sponsors were: The Provident Bank Foundation, Day Pitney LLP, Affinity Federal Credit Union and The Angeletti Group. Food and beverage donors were: Cafe Azzurro and cocoLuxe fine pastries, Peapack; Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone; 3West Basking Ridge; and Village Office Supply, Somerset.