D Emptyspace
Sep 16 · 6 min read

Michael Dergar is an impressionist modern artist, who’s made a significant impact on the lives of disabled artists in the US.

His passion for transformation and inclusivity are represented both by the work he does and the artwork he creates. Using colorful, rhythmic patterns, he creates impactful acrylic pieces that communicate his vibrant desire to create more inclusivity in the art world. His work truly is for the community he serves, with 50% of exhibition profits going back into creating more inclusivity.

“While I am painting, my textures, colors, and designs awaken another part of me that connects me with another world where time does not exist.”

This week, we chatted with Dergar about how he manages his art foundation work while simultaneously working as a commercial artist.

Explore Michael Dergar’s Art Galleries.

If you want to get a sense of how Dergar curates his galleries, you can now experience them virtually on D Emptyspace:

Orgánico / Vivo / Textures and Color / Beauty Collection / PERVAZ collection

Want to create your own galleries? Click here to download D Emptyspace for IOS from the app store.

How did art come into your life? And what made you decide to make a career from it?

Deep Blue Sea! by Michael Dergar.
“This is a representation of Nature and the opportunity of life! Dedicated to my dear collector MM”

I discovered my passion for the arts by helping artists with disabilities. I found my calling when I created the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation — a nonprofit who brings support, public awareness and recognition to artists with disabilities.

During my time helping artists, I became one myself. I painted privately from 2015 until recently for international art collectors. And after 10 years of providing services and financial support to artists through my foundation, I decided to go public with my art and launch into a fully-fledged career as an impressionist artist.

My personal motto is “I paint to help!” Most of my profits go towards the support of my foundation and other causes to create a more inclusive society within the art world. Being able to help others is something I’m deeply grateful for.

You founded the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation to help artists that have disabilities. What’s the easiest and the hardest thing about doing the work you do?

The most difficult thing in our able society, I find, is to bring people to understand that disabled artists exist and deserve to be included in society — regardless of our disability. As it stands, people (artists among them) with disabilities in our society don’t often enjoy equal opportunity, awareness or inclusion. And that’s at the core of what we aim to change.

Artist Michael Daergar pictured at an Academy of Special Dreams Foundation Art Event

The work that I do as an artist coupled with my volunteer work as a Founder/CEO of the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation keeps me humble and grateful. Without fail, it reminds me every single day that you don’t need to be rich or famous to make a difference in someone’s life.

I feel extremely fortunate that I have the ability to make a real difference in the world. To touch the lives of others. It brings peace to my heart! And it’s what I consider to be real wealth!!!

The textures you create are beautiful. What technique do you use to achieve the effect?

Ahh well, that’s my artist’s secret! Just kidding! As you’ve noticed, my signature technique is created through texture. Using multiple controlled layers of condensed acrylic paint and acrylic paste on canvas, I slowly build up a layered depth. To bring varied shapes and interlocking lines, I apply the paint emphatically with spatulas, spray cans and my hands.

I like to connect colors, movement, and textures to represent the individuality of the art collector that I am painting for.

My inspiration for my artwork comes from my fluid feelings. It is an interpretation of people’s energy and emotions.

When working with disabled individuals, do you find technology is changing the way we create art?

In part, yes, especially in photography and film. Personally, I think it’s a positive change. Technology provides many digital tools, venues to promote art and make opportunities reachable for many people with and without disabilities to be able to showcase their talents to the world. The D Emptyspace app is a great example of this.

How do you set up an exhibition? Do you have any tips and tricks you can share?

Go out there and ask! You have to talk to people! Beyond that, it’s all about self-promotion and putting yourself out there.

Set up a portfolio, make postcards with your art and go to your local city hall to request public space. Donate art to benefit nonprofit organizations…

Use your art to make a difference! That’s something I’m very passionate about — it’s just a bonus that it also happens to be a great way to promote your work.

La Mexican by Michael Dergar. “This painting represents leadership and pride.”

Marketing your art is a vital part of making art financially viable. How do you market/sell your own art, and that of others (via your foundation)?

Our foundation does not sell art, instead, we enable artists to stand on their own two feet through our free services. For more than 250 artists, we provide a community, the chance to win scholarships or get financial support, and we connect them with buyers when requested.

Negotiation is between artists and buyers. We don’t require a commission or get involved in the transaction. The foundation simply provides an online presence and financial support so people get to know our artists for their talents and not for their disabilities.

In a personal capacity, I promote myself via social media. I do this by creating my own marketing videos. I’ve been lucky as an artist — people like what I create. I have several art collectors who buy my work regularly.

I also collaborate with organizations in the USA and Mexico who are interested in holding what I call “inclusive art exhibitions”. From those exhibits, I donate more than 50% of the total profits towards improving inclusivity in the arts as well as cultivating public awareness.

Reunite by Michael Dergar. “Reunite is an interpretation of waiting for a new beginning after a long and difficulty journey.”

When are your next show dates?

I’d like to extend an invitation to all readers to attend our next exhibition on October 10th, 2019 at the Los Ángeles City Hall in LA. We’ll be featuring some talented disabled artists who work with the foundation. You won’t want to miss it!

If you’re in Turkey this October to November, please join me for a personal exhibition for which the proceeds will benefit those living in the community with disabilities. Click here to contact me for more details.

And in Mexico for November 2019, we are sponsoring an inclusive art exhibition in Oaxaca. It’ll be in collaboration with the famous artist Maru Pombo and will be hosted by Hotel CasAntica.

These exhibitions are a testament that we all can make a difference. I repeat is again, I paint to help. If I can make a difference with my talent, I will. And I encourage you to do the same! Art has no borders! Art is a universal language that brings people together. Let’s use it.

Explore Michael Dergar’s Art Galleries.

If you want to get a sense of how Dergar curates his galleries, you can now experience them virtually on D Emptyspace:

Orgánico / Vivo / Textures and Color / Beauty Collection / PERVAZ collection

Download D Emptyspace for iOS: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs

Android version coming soon!

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