Ruben Caballero was eight years old when he was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. As school activities became increasingly difficult, he would remain in the classroom during recess activities, and began to draw. Today, Ruben is a prolific artist and poet, living in Claremont in a Jamboree affordable community.
Ruben is one of many residents living with special needs who call a Jamboree property home. These special needs include a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of their major life activities. With the stability of a quality home that’s affordable, they are better able to live successful lives in spite of their unique challenges.
Throughout his life, Ruben’s art has been an outlet for his frequent pain. Over the years, the daily reality of arthritic pain and the ensuing joint deformity have required constant adaptation in order to continue creating as an artist, as well as to live independently.
Recently the August 2017 featured artist at the Claremont Community Foundation, Ruben’s exhibit "Disclosure" was a personal account of his experiences from his diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis to the struggles and victories that have followed. He told this story through the poignant art and words as a self-taught artist -- from the vantage point of his wheelchair. His art and poetry explore his feelings about life as a disabled person, and give the viewer an insight into the difficulties and challenges he has faced and overcome.
While Ruben has been very effective at adapting to physical changes brought about by his impairment, the one constant in his life has been and remains his passion for art.