The Academy of Special Dreams presents ongoing Inclusive Art Show

The Academy of Special Dreams is displaying an ongoing art show at the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce. From left are artist Martin Vogel, photographer Basilio Alonzo, and Michael Dergar, CEO and founder of The Academy of Special Dreams.

The Academy of Special Dreams is featuring an ongoing art show at the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, 104 S. First St. The Academy of Special Dreams Inclusive Art Show kicked off with a reception Nov. 20. Several of the artists attended.

Every three months, new artwork by different artists will be displayed. The public is invited to stop by and view the art.

A few of the artists

Martin Vogel has a natural talent for invention and reinvention. Throughout his life he has had several successful careers in vastly different fields. Only seven weeks out of recovery after a serious accident, Mr. Vogel began his career as a wheelchair racer, subsequently winning many races of various distances. An inspiration to other paraplegic athletes, he has toured Europe and North America competing and is a 5000 meter and seven-time world champion. In addition, he customizes and races super karts. He has completed over 800 canvases and hundreds of works for hotels, offices, and restaurants. He has held exhibitions all over California as well as in Washington, D.C., and Texas.

Maru Pombo, international artist, brings a taste of culture, colors, and textures with her unique art pieces with one mission, to support artists from Oaxaca, Mexico, and to bring public awareness to artists with disabilities. Her art pieces are an example of traditions, culture, and beauty.

Annie Young balances her time between volunteering in her community, training for triathlons, and working in her studio. She started to lose her eyesight several years ago. With encouragement from a friend, she found she could continue to create the visions that lingered in her mind. She initially navigated the canvas with her fingers and would get lost in the process of moving the weight and texture about. In recent years, her confidence has grown, and she began painting with a brush. “I live to create, to give, and to share what is inside of me,” she said.

Basilio Alonzo, photographer, has moderate intellectual disability and DiGeorge syndrome. His vision is to bring awareness to the world about his life and the challenges he faces. “I came into this world on May 22, 1992, with a heart defect, which required me to have open heart surgery at only 7 months of life,” he said. “As time passed, I needed another surgery, which I had in 2014. It was then that I had a vision. I saw many clouds and my church. As I walked inside, angels were flying around and I saw God. I believe this was the moment that changed my life.”

Edwin Leung is a photographer by passion. He is a student from LIFT North at Alhambra Unified School District. LIFT stands for Learning Independence for transition. Mr. Leung is a former student volunteer at the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, and he enjoys helping his family in all he can. His love and dedication to help his grandma shows his love and passion to help everyone he finds on his path.  

The Academy of Special Dreams Foundation believes that all persons, regardless of their disabilities, should have equal opportunities to express their talents and to be successful in the arts. As a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, the Special Academy's mission is to increase public awareness, appreciation, and recognition of the creative talents of people with disabilities by providing opportunities that encourage, promote, and showcase their artistic expressions.


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Jun 2021


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