Grad gallery begins new 2020 season with opening of the exhibition entitled “Beginning”. During decade since its opening Grad gallery has featured a large number of local and international artists, as well as those artists without artistic education and whose works are considered as naive art or art brut. Thanks to many years of cooperation with the Special Hospital of the Central Prison in Belgrade, we had the opportunity to see a selection of works that were created within the occupation therapies organized at the CZ Special Hospital from the 1970s to the present.
This time Grad gallery will present very important project of the OT Center from Belgrade. The activities of the OT Center are aimed to help people with mental disabilities after active treatment in healthcare settings. Through the guided occupation-therapy process, the users of the OT center express their struggle with mental difficulties through painting, sculpting and other forms of creative expression. Goal of the OT Center draws attention to the marginalized groups of people who are mostly socially disadvantaged due to the problems they face. As such, they are not visible to society. The OT Center wants to present them as equal members of our society who, despite their problems, can contribute to the community. KC Grad recognized the activities of the OT Center as very important and the results of occupation therapies as artistically valuable.

The “Beginning” exhibition shows works done by persons who have never had a formal education in any field of art but through an active occupation-therapy process their desire to express feelings and thoughts through art have been recognized and guided primarily by therapeutic benefits. As their mental recovery progressed to healing, they became more aware of their new discovery … they became creative, interested, persistent, motivated for change, and above all regained confidence in their environment. They are worthy of respect and are an example for others who think there is no way out. Through the expression of the OT center users, the power of our psyche, of nurturing mental health in every way, is shown. People with mental disabilities can actively be engaged and could contribute to social life through artistic expression. In addition to the works of OT center users, the exhibition also includes works by users of the Zemun Disabled Home and the Special Prison Hospital in Belgrade.

If you want to take a peek into the world of people who have experienced mental health problems at some point in their lives and who have ventured out of that vicious circle with support of professionals and who express themselves through creative prosess, we invite you to attend the opening on January 27 at 8pm Grad’s gallery. The exhibition will run until February 2, 2020. You can visit the Grad’s gallery every day from 2pm to 8pm. Exhibited art works are on sale.

The authors of the OT Center project are Branka and Miroslav Sudar
The curator of the exhibition is Ljudmila Stratimirovic, artistic director of Kc Grad and Grad’s gallery.