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The artwork is being auctioned off through Give Butter at the U&I website, uandispreadthelight.com/auction.

14 Pieces of Artwork from Dallas Artists Were Donated with the Mission of Reshaping Perception and Fostering Inclusivity for People with Disabilities

  

Artwork from The 30th Annual U&I Dash that was revealed at the nonprofit’s event in Klyde Warren Park Saturday, March 23 is now up for auction. There are 14 pieces of artwork available to the highest bidder that were featured in two distinct areas of the event - the Redefining Disabilities Experience, an immersive art experience, and the Rise Up Live Art Show featuring local muralists who created their pieces onsite. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork benefits U&I’s mission, meeting the needs of disabled individuals in our community. 

Eight distinguished Dallas artists paired up with eight U&I clients - youth and adults with disabilities as well as disabled veterans - to create artwork that redefines what it means to create and collaborate. The artwork is being auctioned off through Give Butter at the U&I website uandispreadthelight.com/auction. The auction will close at 1 pm CST on Wednesday April 3. All sales are final. To learn more about the story of why the artists partnered with U&I, visit U&I’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/@ui4715

The Redefining Disabilities Experience featured the following artists with U&I clients:

“We brought these eight prominent Dallas artists together with eight of our clients,” said Bobby Cerda, U&I Creative Director. “They got to know each other, and each artist created an original piece of artwork that was featured at The U&I Dash in Klyde Warren Park. The goal was to tell the clients’ story and help put the viewer in their shoes… to feel what it’s like to be an underdog.”

This year’s event theme, Underdogs Run Faster, honored each person's innate creative potential. Each piece of art conveys a message about resiliency, self-expression, and the strength of human connection via vivid colors, complex textures, and distinctive forms.

“We aren’t as different from each other as we might think,” said Dallas artist Kyle Steed, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was paired up with Army veteran Ellington Rucker. “My goal is to interpret El’s life and the embodiment of who he is. Working with a fellow Veteran was a draw. Giving back to the undervalued and helping give a voice to those with disabilities made me want to participate.”

The Rise Up Live Art Show, curated by Ray Butler and powered by The Box Cofeatured local muralists Daniel YanezJD MoorePatricia RodriguezHatziel Flores, and Eliana Miranda who created murals inspired by U&I clients and their daily challenges. Artists Raul Rodriguez and Christopher Machorro, known as Bestu Friendo, teamed up for a joint collaboration and invited the community to participate in the creation of their live mural on the day of the event. 

"Art reflects a world that we don't understand, so to be given this opportunity to collaborate with someone that cannot typically express their creativity has been truly amazing,” said Dora Reynosa, one of the featured artists. “These pieces show how being different can be great and how art forces you to examine things differently.” 

Each artist has given freely of their time, skills, and creations. All of the auction's proceeds—100% go straight to U&I—supporting the organization’s purpose of empowering people with disabilities, encouraging inclusivity in our community, and advancing the idea of redefining disabilities.

In 1951, Jean Walker Bentley overcame cultural barriers and spoke out for disabled children and their families. She started the Children’s Development Center to meet the scholastic and socialization needs of children with special needs. In 1981, the federal government mandated that public schools had the responsibility to educate children with disabilities. The organization evolved to help veterans find employment and provide vocational training for special education students preparing to transition out of high school.

Today, as one of the largest workforce development centers in DFW, U&I continues to meet the needs of disabled individuals by providing vocational training, job readiness training, paid work opportunities and community placement to more than 1000 youth and adults with severe intellectual, physical and/or mental health disabilities. More information is available at uandispreadthelight.com.

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