July 20, 2020
Contact: Chris Watford
(413) 528-5485
Digital images available

CATA CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADA WITH ONLINE ART EXHIBIT “BACK & FORTH”—a multimedia exhibit showcasing paintings by local artists with disabilities 

GREAT BARRINGTON, NY— In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Community Access to the Arts (CATA) will launch a multimedia, online art exhibit showcasing the work of local artists with disabilities. The exhibit, titled Back & Forth, features paintings by fifteen artists from across the Berkshires and Columbia County, NY who create their work using the adaptive Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) painting technique.

Back & Forth launches on July 22 at A free, online “Meet the Artists” reception will be held on Thursday, August 6 at 4pm with many of the artists in attendance. RSVP‘s for the reception will open on July 22 at

Each artist featured in the exhibit creates their work using an adaptive method known as Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.). The technique, which was developed by artist Tim Lefens, gives full creative control to individuals with significant physical disabilities and expands the range of expressive possibilities for artists of all abilities. With the help of a laser pointer and a trained “tracker”—a person who acts as the artist’s hands—CATA artists control every aspect of the painting process, from the size of the canvas, to the color of the paint and the movement of the brush.

“Now especially, with the 30th anniversary of the ADA this month, the voices, perspectives, and talents of people with disabilities deserve to be recognized and appreciated,” says CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller. “For years, CATA workshops using the adaptive A.R.T. method have allowed people with significant physical disabilities to share their creative perspectives. The paintings in this virtual exhibit are a powerful testament to the importance of accessibility and a fitting tribute to this milestone anniversary of equal rights protections for people with disabilities. We’re thrilled to share this work with our community.”

“With Back & Forth, we’re sharing a deeper look at the work of CATA artists with disabilities than is usually possible at an in-person art show,” says CATA’s Program Coordinator Kara Smith, who curated the exhibit. “We hope that this exhibit will allow more people to connect with the talents and creative perspectives of people with disabilities.”

To create the exhibit, CATA partnered with local web designer Mungy Studios to create a dynamic, multimedia art experience. Each painting is accompanied by videos, photos, additional artwork—and even poetry—to illuminate the work of the individual artists. The exhibit showcases an extraordinary range of work, from bold and exuberant abstract paintings, to meditative and sometimes humorous reflections on the world around us.

Back & Forth launches July 22 at and will be available to view through August 31. Additionally, all works in the exhibit are professionally matted, framed, and available for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists. The artists represented in Back & Forth participate in CATA programs through Berkshire County Arc (BCArc), Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR), and Columbia County Arc (Coarc).

Back & Forth is sponsored by October Mountain Financial Advisors (Lead Sponsors), with additional support from Mungy Studios, Berkshire Magazine, Frames on Wheels, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and other generous supporters.

About Community Access to the Arts: Community Access to the Arts (CATA) nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities. Through dynamic arts workshops and public events, CATA artists tap into their potential, explore new talents, and share their unique points of view with the wider community. CATA collaborates with 50 partner organizations to bring visual and performing arts programs to 800 people with disabilities across Berkshire County, Massachusetts and Columbia County, New York. Learn more at