Alternatives is presenting an exhibition of work by Massachusetts artist Jon Sarkin in the Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery. The exhibition opens with an artist’s reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 7.
Sarkin has gained international renown as an artist, and, coupled with his extraordinary life story, sets a powerful example of the positive contributions individuals with disabilities can make.
In 1988, Sarkin was a successful chiropractor who had little interest in art. But a risky operation to relieve tinnitus — a constant ringing in the ears — caused him to suffer a serious stroke. While in recovery, Sarkin began to draw. From that point on producing art has become his life.
Sarkin is a prolific artist whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, ABC Primetime, “This American Life,” GQ, ArtNews, and galleries in New York, Los Angeles and around the world. He has been the subject of documentaries on BBC World Service and Discovery’s Science Channel.
“Perhaps more than any other exhibit Alternatives has hosted, Jon Sarkin’s story and work resonate with Alternatives’ mission and vision,” said Alternatives Executive Director Dennis Rice. “He suffered life changing brain damage but moved forward and made a great contribution to the community through his art.”
Along with the exhibition of his work, Mr. Sarkin has agreed to a public performance at Alternatives in the GB Lexi Singh Performance Center. Working with noted classical guitarist David Patterson, Sarkin will produce an original painting — providing a rare opportunity to see the artistic process firsthand. The exhibit and performance is made possible by Savers Bank (lead sponsor), Wiersma Insurance (presenting sponsor) and the Telegram Gazette (media sponsor).
The exhibition will continue through Nov. 19. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is open evenings and weekends by appointment. For more information, call (508) 266-6502 or visit www.alternativesnet.org.