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OT Students Host Annual Art Gallery
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D'Youville Occupational Therapy Students Host Annual Art Gallery Event


D'Youville members of the national occupational therapy honor society, Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), transformed a space on their college campus in Buffalo, NY into an art exhibition for a night. Now in its third year, this event was created to raise disability awareness and educate the general public about the wonderful artists who are part of the Western New York community. Over 70 artists showcased their works which included paintings, woodworking, sculptures, jewelry, photography and a dance portion. Some of the wares were even for sale for community members to further support these individuals in their artistic endeavors.

These artists, young and old alike, came together to share in their valued occupation of artistry. The night of the event, the student therapists witnessed how the occupation of art can be used to do things like manage pain, provide gainful employment, increase social participation and promote physical functioning for members of their community. Students and the community were invited to chat with some of the artists who were able to express how their disability plays a role in the creation of their art.

PTE members reached out to various local businesses which resulted in 36 baskets to be raffled off. Over $700 was raised and donated to two Buffalo-based organizations that provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to pursue play, leisure and social occupations.

This grassroots event has been successful three years in a row, and has received overwhelming support from the local community. Under the guidance of co-coordinators Liz Tzetzo '19, Nicole Giliforte '19 and Kelsey Farmer '18, D'Youville PTE members would like to challenge students and practitioners across New York State to view art through an OT lens and create opportunities to support the artistic endeavors of community members with disabilities. Please keep NYSOTA posted if you do - we'd love to share your experiences!

- Kathryn Maher, '18 (D'Youville)


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