Tuesday, August 4, 2015

As Gallery U, Westfield approaches our two year anniversary it’s time to pause and reflect upon the highlights and accomplishments of the past.
Gallery U is the combination of a fully functioning art gallery along with a shopping boutique. We are an extension of Universal Institute Inc. and are a vocational rehabilitation site providing art and retail business opportunities for adult clients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The clients at Universal take part in running all aspects of Gallery U. They acquire work skills and experience the transformative power of art.

   The Gallery was founded on January 13, 2010 in Montclair NJ . It  quickly evolved into a venue for local artists. The proceeds from the art work are entered into the Universal Art Fund.
   Westfield is a town in Union County, New Jersey. It was settled in 1720. It has a population of 30,316 citizens. Six municipalities border Westfield.

Westfield’s downtown features 200 retail establishments. It is the ideal location for Universal’s latest project, our gallery and boutique.

 The founder of Universal Institute was Jerry Lasso. Drawing on his own experience as a paraplegic he founded Universal Institute, the parent company of Gallery U. Jerry believed that rehabilitation had to be person centered. He believed that therapy had to be individualized based upon the needs and desires of the client. It is Jerry’s philosophy that still guides the everyday operation of the gallery.
  The work of the clients at Universal are an integral component of the art displayed at Gallery U. Our creative clients are proud to showcase their work alongside local artists and designers in our boutique where a great selection of handmade items created by our clients with TBI are available for purchase. You can choose from greeting cards, beaded jewelry, tee’s, tote bags and planters.

    Over the years we have had numerous shows with well attended receptions.  The gallery enhances the cultural atmosphere of Westfield. From our humble beginnings in the town of Montclair, New Jersey the gallery has evolved into a real artistic mecca. In the words of Robert Greco,  Executive Director  “Art is the great equalizer.” Mr. Greco displays a talent for Management that keeps our employees productive.  Bob Langdon, Director of the gallery is the 'go to'  talent in charge of community out- reach. He curates the monthly art exhibits, and creates monthly events. He is an extremely capable manager who attends to the day-to-day running of our facility. There is a new show at our gallery every month. The rotation of the art keeps my job interesting. This job has awakened a slumbering aesthetic sensibility.

John B (Client , Gallery U)

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