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The Director of CFM Gallery in New York City and independent art curator is calling on some famous artists to support an arts program for people with developmental disabilities.

For Leonardo Feroleto, who also owns Six Summit Gallery and curates some of New York City's largest venues, art is personal. Feroleto has an older brother with a disability and knows first-hand the impact art has on him.


"Art is universal moments of both attraction and distraction that are reusable," Feroleto says. "Art enhances our existence and transcends all levels of abilities."

To show his support for Gallery YAI, a three-year-old visual arts program for artists with developmental disabilities, this special exhibit will appear side-by-side with the works of Gallery YAI artists. Jurors Steven Assael, David Wenzel, Domingo Zapata and celebrity guest juror Vanessa Williams will select works submitted by artists from New York and other cities.

Five noteworthy artists have donated their work to "Vision," with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting Gallery YAI. The artists are:

  • Steven Assael, an American painter nationally recognized as one of the leading representational figurative artists of his generation. Assael is represented by Forum Gallery, and his art has been displayed in  galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Ailene Fields, sculptor who  taught stone carving at Sculpture Center and The Educational Alliance in New York City, and is currently teaching at The Compleat Sculptor, one of the largest sculpture suppliers and design facilities in the world which is based in New York City.
  • Anne Bachelier, global figurative  artist, and illustrator for the Phantom of the Opera books, and currently finishing the 75th anniversary edition of the "Wizard of Oz." This donation is courtesy of Neil Zukerman, principle and owner of CFM Gallery.
  • David T. Wenzel, recently honored by The Society of Illustrators for "The King and Queen of Little Things," is an illustrator and children's book artist. He is best known for his visualization of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," illustrated in a graphic novel format.
  •  Sally Jessy Raphael, guest artist who is the highest rated person to host a radio talk show in the U.S., and winnerof two Emmy awards for her 22-year career in television.

These works and many others will be showcased at YAI's Partners at the Pier gala on Oct. 16, 2014, at Pier Sixty in Manhattan. Some 50 additional paintings and sculptures will be available online for an extended period at with 25 percent of the sale price supporting Gallery YAI.

Twenty-one pieces from Gallery YAI will be for sale at the gala, with 60 percent of each sale going to the artist.

"Art levels the playing field," said Seema Moondra, Coordinator of Gallery YAI. "It doesn’t matter if you have a degree, certain qualifications or how intelligent you are. Each artist has something to offer from his or her unique perspective. The work speaks for itself and is not sold because it was created by a person with a disability."