SEA of Visibility, an exciting arts-education group, has taken up residence in Patchogue and partnered with a Goliath of the eastern arts scene, Patchogue Arts Council/Museum of Contemporary Art.
SEA of Visibility is an organization that embraces BIPOC, queer and disabled artists and allies, focusing on neurodiversity and mental health. It “supports expression through the arts” (SEA) and promotes destigmatization and integration through multidisciplinary arts exhibitions, performances and art-making programs. It provides peer and professional support and offers coping and compensatory strategies for its participants, helping to create art that broadens the greater community’s vision of what mental illness is.
In their collaboration with Criterion Contemporary, held at Toast Coffeehouse, SEA filled the Long Hall Gallery with probative and penetrating artwork from members, covering a deep exploration of the human condition.
The exhibit, “Strange Years,” is meant as a resurgent frenzy of individuality as “strangeness can be seen through isolating eyes, but it can also celebrate individuality. What is absurdity? Whimsy? Oddity? Is strange necessarily negative? Many of us go through strange times in our lives—sometimes for years.”
Disability is a strange existence, but this group, SEA of Visibility, embraces our, at times, crushing foibles. We overcome hurdles together and shatter stereotypes explaining our "strangeness," difficulty, and trauma—even the type that some are first experiencing through the pandemic—through our art.
“We, as unique individuals, find community, commonality, and friendship through sharing—even possibly, especially, our weirdest works,” according to SEA founder Anu Annam.
The mission statement of the group outlines their dedication to the community and diversity of its members” “SEA of Visibility Integrative Arts Education supports mental wellness through socially conscious, multi-disciplinary arts programming. Our classes and open studios are inclusive of neurodiverse and neurotypical students and provide a safe space to create expressively.”