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Metropolitan Hospital Proudly Shows Disabled Artists' Work

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Disabled artists are center of attention at Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, as their work is on display and turns heads. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.

An inspiring art exhibit that lines the halls of Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem features the work of artists with disabilities.

Evan Gozali says his nature-inspired paintings are all about healing.

"It's part of the therapeutic process for the hospital and for us, too," Gozali says.

The colorful presentation is a collaboration between the hospital and The Shield Institute, which has provided studio space for disabled artists since 1992 as part of its Pure Vision Arts program.

"It also helps to educate people about artists that have disabilities and it helps to reduce negative stereotypes and misperceptions. So the artists benefit in many ways and so does the general public," says Pamela Rogers, the director of the PVA program.

Dr. Bijan Safai, who works at Metropolitan Hospital, says he is thrilled that his son's work is on display.

"In the right environment even someone who's severely disabled has some talent that can be put out," he says.

"There are people with all kinds of abilities and this art exhibit speaks to who we are here at the hospital, in terms of accepting everybody and presenting the talents of everyone we meet," says Meryl Weinberg, the executive director of Metropolitan Hospital.

Thousands of people walk through the corridors of this busy city hospital and Simone Johnson says she is honored that her cat-inspired work is seen by many.

"I love doing, showing and selling my art work," Johnson says.

The art exhibit runs until the end of August. To learn more, visit purevisionarts.org.

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