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Portraits of Ability | Open to the Public

Portraits of Ability | 25 Stories of Independence & Inspiration

The community Via serves is overflowing with people taking amazing journeys through life. Each is addressing mobility challenges in unique ways. Explore their beautiful journeys through Portraits of Ability.

Why 25 stories? This show is a tribute to Via’s Executive Director, Lenna Kottke, who served as Via’s Executive Director from September 1991 – October 2016. We’re highlighting one story for every one of Mrs. Kottke’s 25 years of visionary leadership. In 2015, Via served more than 3,000 individuals living with mobility limitations across five counties as a one-call resource for on-demand transportation, travel training, mobility options information and referral services, and community transit (the HOP, Call-n-Ride, and Access-a-Ride).  Learn More About Via

Portraits of Ability will be on display in Via’s award-winning Boulder facility until year-end:

Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4 pm,
Excluding holidays through December 30 | 2855 N. 63rd St., Boulder CO 80301
(Please call ahead if your party is larger than six people: 303.447.2848)

BLOG Portraits of Ability | 25 Stories

VSA Colorado/Access Gallery (VSA) co-sponsored and curated this powerful exhibit. VSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating economic and educational opportunities for people with disabilities through art. Access Gallery, located in the Santa Fe Art District in Denver, CO, is a nonprofit gallery focusing on promoting the creative power in people with disabilities.

The spirit and rich sense of who each person is – beyond their mobility challenges – is captured in photo-portraits taken by featured New York portrait artist Sophie Klafter and Denver-based fine-art wedding/life events photographer Rachel Gomez.

Featured Artist: Visual storyteller Sophie Klafter, the 2014 Emerging Young Artist for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, is a young photographer living and working in New York, New York.

“I have my mother’s light eyes, my great grandmother’s round nose, and my grandfather’s gift of gab. From my father, I’ve inherited a neuromuscular disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth disease,” she says.

Her unique appreciation for individuals living with physical limitations allows her to capture the richer sense of who they are, helping to dismiss persistent myths of disability.


Rachel Gomez
You could say art was in her bones all along. Her father was a painter, her grandfather; a photographer.

“I’ve been a photographer for more than half of my life. I’m incredibly grateful to have made a career out of capturing the moments that matter most in life,” Denver-based fine arts photographer Rachel says.



BLOG Portraits of Ability | 25 Stories
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