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James Lane
Peapack, NJ
Painting, Digital Art

Artwork Details
Acrylic on canvas
9" x 14"

James Lane is one of the most talented, dedicated, and directed artists of the Matheny Arts Access Program, and has been an active participant since the program’s inception in 1993.  Arts Access, an integral part of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, is an alternative fine arts program for individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including some of the most severe. The program’s objective is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to fully express themselves in the artistic medium of their choice.

Lane takes advantage of that opportunity to the fullest extent. He is always ready to work, never misses an art session, stays to work night classes and is eager to work on his art whenever he can.  Lane has had paintings sessions that have lasted for over 3 hours without wanting a break - and these sessions are unlike that of an able-bodied artist.  Lane was born with severe cerebral palsy; he is in a wheelchair and has extremely limited movement and speech.  He cannot hold a brush or mix the paints himself, but through the use of a professional artist facilitator, his artistic vision is fully realized in whatever medium he chooses. The facilitator essentially acts as the arms and the legs, but Lane runs the show, and directs the facilitator to execute the work to his exact specifications. The facilitators are carefully trained to stay neutral in the artistic decision-making process. Through the use of Arts Access’ unique chart systems and questioning methodology, Lane makes all the creative decisions, and the artistic results are amazing.  Painting has become his medium of choice, however he has also experimented in digital art, sculpture, and drama.  He takes his art very seriously and it shows in his approach to his art creation and his demeanor when discussing his work.  He often experiments with different tools and materials, while maintaining a consistent style that runs through his body of work.  His visual artwork is highly sophisticated and the great pride he takes in his work is evident in the care and craftsmanship of his designs.

James Lane is so proud of his work that when it is mentioned that his art will be exhibited in a show he lets out his patented “YEEEEE!” often followed by his boisterous and excited laugh.  It shows that he truly loves what he does and it becomes very clear when one views his work or interacts with him. His work has been displayed at various events over the years, and numerous paintings have been sold.  His wit and dedication inspire Arts Access staff and the other disabled artists.  His presence always adds to the creative environment.  Lane willingly demonstrates his painting techniques for studio visitors, and has assisted in demonstrations for the young children in Arts Access, who are just beginning their artistic journeys.  James Lane has amassed a great body of work in his life and will undoubtedly continue to gain praise from the art community as he continues his artistic career.