Our History

Gateway Arts was originally established in 1973 to provide day services for eight adults.

When I moved to Boston from Manhattan in 1977, I accepted a position as Director of Gateway Crafts, a small program, which combined my interests in the arts and human services.  Gateway had been established four years prior as part of the de-institutionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health state schools.  At that time ten individuals were part of this little gem of a program, housed in a small basement studio in Brighton.  Shortly after, Gateway became part of Vinfen Corporation, a non-profit human service agency with entrepreneurial spirit.  They encouraged me to expand the program.

- Former Director Rae Edelson shares the early history of Gateway Arts.

And expand we did.

The Gateway Timeline

Read Outsider Art: the Studio Art Movement and Gateway Arts by Rae Edelson (Director, Gateway Arts) to learn more about the international history of outsider art studios and Gateway’s place in that history.

Emmy Award Winning PBS Special on artist Bohill Wong (1997)