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Blind Painter’s A-Ha Moment Spawns Art Agency

Exclusively Licensing Works by Handicapped Artists

By Home Business Magazine

After a successful career as a writer and editor, Ketra Oberlander left publishing around the turn of the millennium when her vision started to fail, and employment prospects concurrently diminished. Severe myopia, a lack of color and depth perception, and cone dystrophy conspired to rob her of her sight in her late thirties.

With some vision that, as Ketra describes, is “like staring at the sun with shortening smeared on your glasses,” and a keen interest in visual perception – and misperception — Ketra decided to find a means to visually express the experience of her lost sight. At 40, she picked up a paint brush for the first time and, despite her blindness, she found she had a gift.

Ketra works from her home studio as a painter. Despite being sightless, Ketra quickly realized much acclaim and notoriety for her paintings. Since “going pro” in 2005, Ketra received numerous awards and widespread recognition for her work, but her disability made it difficult for her to earn a living through her craft. In search of a solution, Ketra’s research revealed that licensed artists largely worked from their home studios, solving her own logistics problem. She also learned that there were no for-profit art resources exclusively focused on the disabled. A-ha! This epiphany inspired Ketra to not just license her own artwork for profit, but also represent other physically handicapped artists facing the same career challenges.

Ketra launched Art of Possibility Studios in January of 2008, the only licensing agency in the world exclusively representing handicapped artists in a for-profit model. Ketra’s ground-breaking company helps her and other physically challenged artists earn independent income as societal equals rather than dependents, while uplifting and inspiring consumers with their creativity in the process. In addition to sourcing talent, Ketra personally negotiates licensing agreements with socially conscious, cause-oriented manufacturers seeking to feature Art of Possibility Studios’ beautiful and meaningful imagery on their products.

Ketra hopes consumers of her licensed products will not only appreciate their beauty at face value, but also take a moment to realize the magnitude of the purchase — direct support, liberation, and empowerment of a physically disabled artist no longer dependent on charity and disability benefits, or oppressed by logistical limitations, in his or her quest for self-sufficiency. Visit www.freespiritfabric.com. HBM

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