LAND Studio & Gallery is a unique nonprofit day habilitation program that teaches life skills through the modality of art. Located in Brooklyn, NY, LAND was founded in 2005 and serves 16 adult artists with developmental disabilities. I spoke with six of the artists at LAND before visiting the co-founder Matthew Bede Murphy at his home in Brooklyn. This is an episode for close listening.
In my conversation with Matthew, we discuss how art can have a role in our discovery of Self. He shares his struggles in understanding his own identity as a young gay man, and how art therapy helped him to know his whole self. Trigger warning, there is a very brief mention of suicidal thoughts, but the bulk of our discussion explores the healing potential of having a creative practice and a safe space to express yourself. I’m so grateful for Matthew’s candor and inspired by his empathy, and I was truly honored to visit with these six artists at LAND: Rudy Bansraj, Michael Pellew, Kenya Hanley, Stephon Bryce, Robert Lachman and Myasia Dowdell.
I’m so grateful for Matthew’s openness in sharing his metamorphosis as a natural art child who had a long journey to meet his destiny as a free thinker. I’m inspired by how he survived his own traumatic struggles with identity, to continue on to create a safe space for sixteen artists to be exactly who they are.