GEC hosts fifth annual art show in Bay Ridge

It was a work of art.

Students from the Guild of Exceptional Children (GEC) displayed their works at the organization’s fifth annual art show.

The event was held on Friday, June 9 at the GEC Main Building, 260 68th Street, and featured a broad range of artwork on display, with attendees from the community embracing the festive atmosphere that included refreshments and entertainment

Art teacher Connie Diaz discussed how hard her students, who range in age from 21 to 91, worked on the project. “We’ve been collecting work for over two years and it’s pretty much a self-expression art show,” she explained. “We wanted the artists to be able to express themselves in all mediums from ceramics to painting.  It was them coming up with ideas, and us filtering out what it is that they want to say, and everything just came together.”

Students proudly showed off their work and explained their inspiration along with how it was created. Items for sale included ceramic frames, light switches, paintings and more.


“I’m extremely proud to see them grow over the course of the years,” Diaz added. “They flourished and showed how they had matured and how they were able to take a step back and watch the process. It takes patience, especially with ceramics, to wait for something to be finished.”

GEC Executive Director Paul Cassone was very impressed as he looked at each piece of art. “I’m really proud of all of our artists. They have tremendous creativity and they move past any obstacles they have to make beautiful creations,” he said. “They’ve been working for quite a long time on all of this and we manage to get participation from everyone within this building and some of our other programs. I’m amazed by some of their work. There are works here that are worthy of display in any gallery.”

Cassone added that Crossroads Christian Church allowed the GEC to display some of the work within its storefront on Fourth Avenue, which helped attract attendees.

“I came here last year for the first time and it was so wonderful,” remarked Victoria Hofmo, president of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum. “I wanted to come back with the kids from my program. It’s really imaginative and I find the arts amazing here. I also buy the ceramic things they sell here for my staff.”

Cassone hopes the show will increase in popularity over the years. “I think there aren’t as many people aware of it as we’d like,” he said. “Anyone who has come has been impressed with the level of creativity. It will grow.”


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