This Is Special is a project that stimulates and exhibits the cultural talents of students in special education and raises money for charity at the same time. In This Is Special 2.0 the students painted to raise money for Serious Request 2014, Hollands largest fundraiser.

Since 2011 the students of De Ambelt have been making a triptych a year (Ambelt paintings). The smallest measures four and a half by two meters. An exhibition was held at the Ice Statue Festival Zwolle. At the exhibition students and teacher Dennie Boxem painted ‘live’ on two portrets in the hyperrealistic style of Chuck Close. Visitors painted along for a donation. The fundraising resulted in €1.560,- for Serious Request and thirty thousand visitors of the Ice Statue Festival enjoyed the paintings of the students.

De Ambelt is a school for special education, specialized in educating children with learning, developmental and/or psychiatrical disorders. “This description however doesn’t realy tribute to how proud students are to be in special education. And that’s unjust, just look at the talents”; says Boxem. Besides raising money for charity, This Is Special also pushes for changing the perception on special education by showing everyone how talented these students are and giving them the confidence they deserve.

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