Abilities United artists Daniel Arroyo, Ingrid Lai, and Philip Ma have joined ArtLifting, an award-winning national marketplace for notable artists affected by disabilities or homelessness.

ArtLifting began as a Boston startup in 2013 and now has contracts with more than 100 artists in 19 states. ArtLifting’s website, www.artlifting.com, allows buyers to browse by artist, art type, or city, and offers a variety of products from framed prints and canvases to smartphone cases and greeting cards. Artists get 55 percent of their own sales, while ArtLifting gets 44 percent, and 1 percent funds supplies to art groups nationwide.

Fine art prints start at $75 and go up from there, depending on size, with larger pieces selling for $500 or more. Original artwork typically sells for between $600 and $2,000, but can sell for $10,000 to $25,000 on the high end.

In addition to selling through ArtLifting.com, the company sells directly to corporate offices, counting Staples, Google, and Microsoft among its partners. And in November, 11 ArtLifting artists designed limited edition gift cards for Starbucks that sold out in the first day.

“We’re thrilled to see our local artists receive greater exposure for their work, and earn the income that’s commensurate with their talents,” Abilities United CEO, Charlie Weidanz said of the ArtLifting partnership.

Artists must be recommended by someone at a local social service agency or disabilities organization, and the artwork passes through a rigorous curation process before being selected. Almost all of ArtLifting’s artists produce work through accredited art programs.

“There’s this really great partnership that can happen with programs like Abilities United, that are creating the artwork, but may not have the infrastructure or capacity to sell the artwork at the capacity or network that ArtLifting has,” said Hillary Kaufman, ArtLifting outreach director. “We offer the platform to ask the prices that the artwork deserves, and bring in companies who want to give back to their communities and to support people who might be marginalized otherwise and celebrate their talents.”

The Abilities United artists featured on ArtLifting are:

Daniel Arroyo

Daniel is a 23-year-old artist who lives in Santa Clara. He has been drawing and painting since he was 7 years old. He likes to paint landscapes and still-lifes: he first draws the lines with a pencil, and then paints the drawing with oil or acrylic paints.

As a source of imagery, Daniel works from his own photos or those found on the Internet, and from his imagination.

“Art allows me to be creative and show my thoughts in a way other than words,” he says.

Daniel participates in the Independent Living Skills and Computer Education programs at Abilities United and takes classes at both De Anza College and Art Hub Academy. He helps curate his own website, www.danielsoilpaintings.com, and participates in exhibitions with Abilities United.

Daniel is excited about the professional opportunities of working with a company like ArtLifting and the chance to share his artwork with the world.

To see Daniel’s work available through ArtLifting click here:


Ingrid Lai

Ingrid, a resident of Palo Alto, lives with a condition called Lupus but remains joyful and eager to help others. She notes that art has been a tool she has used since she was a young child to cope with chronic illness and hospitalizations.   Through her participation in ArtLifting, Ingrid would like to spread the positive energy in her paintings to a much broader audience. She has pledged to donate most of the proceeds to Abilities United.

“My work captures the beauty of nature,” Ingrid says. “Light and color spark the compositions and turn them into special occasions. The mundane becomes special, my work is a testament to the beauty of life.”

To see Ingrid’s work available through ArtLifting click here:


Philip Ma

As a child, Philip was fascinated by Disney characters and could spend hours drawing and painting human and animal characters. At 7, he started more formal artistic training in a private art studio. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he majored in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. Philip truly believes both traditional art mediums and technology tools can work hand in hand to push his art to a different level of visual expression.  Philip states, “Art provides me the best communication protocol to reach others. Through lines and colors, I found an immeasurable visual expression tool without any other constraints.” Philip lives with his family in Santa Clara and participates in the Independent Living Skills program at Abilities United.

To see Philip’s work available through ArtLifting click here: