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Three artists from Blank Canvas Studios and Fine Line Studios — St. Louis-area art programs for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities — will have their work featured at the Sanford Smith Outsider Art Fair in New York City next month.

The studios are scrambling to raise the money to send Yamada Verges, Ruth Loeffler and Heidi Stuber to the art fair, with help from the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board, hoping that they can be there when their art is unveiled.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our clients, and such an honor to be selected to appear at this show," said James Huffman, director of Blank Canvas Studios. "Many of our clients have never been on a plane before."

Blank Canvas Studios in St. Charles and Fine Line Studios in Bridgeton are art-based day programs that provide adults with disabilities an outlet for creativity and self-expression through visual arts, music, and photography. They are part of RHD-Missouri, a program of national nonprofit Resources for Human Development.

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The term "outsider art" broadly refers to artists with no formal training, but primarily it has come to describe the work produced by artists with disabilities.

The Sanford Smith Outsider Art Fair is Jan. 27-29.

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