The first ever celebration of professional artists with disabilities in Manitoba is taking place tonight and tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11, at The Winnipeg Art Gallery.
The two day event is hosted by the Arts & Disability Network Manitoba (ADMN), a regional not for profit organization dedicated to full inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.
The show is called Art + Body: The Possible, Improbable & Everything in Between, and it explores how disability informs and enriches an artist’s creative expression as well as brings new perspective to the world.
“Art + Body is an opportunity to showcase the work of artists with disabilities, as well as learn more about their creative process,” says ADNM president, Susan Lamberd.
“Only an artist with a disability can give us that unique perspective,” she adds.
The world has certainly improved for people with disabilities, at least in North America and in other parts of the industrialized world. Yet, change has come slowly for people with disabilities, and in particular for disabled artists trying to break into the mainstream. The challenge of including artists with disabilities into Manitoba’s art scene and providing professional opportunities for artists with disabilities has been the focus of ADNM since 2008.
This week’s Art + Body event features local, national and international artists.
The evening of Wednesday, October 10th has a keynote address by Amanda Cachia from Sydney, Australia. Ms Cachia is currently working on her PhD focusing on disability and contemporary art. The evening also includes a performance by acclaimed actor/director/playwright Debbie Patterson, and local blues band Hillbilly Burlesque Trio.
Thursday, October 11 is hosted by Big Daddy Tazz and features talks by local artists Ted Howorth and Tara Davis, as well as Geoff McMurchy, founder of Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture. The day will also include performances by the Deaf Mime Troupe, Kathy Kennedy, Andrea Von Wichert and Willie Wiebe.
Tickets for the two-day event are $45, and can be purchased at www.adnm.ca.
Arts & Disability Network Manitoba is a network of artists and stakeholders from both the arts and disability communities that supports artists with disabilities in achieving individual artistic excellence, promotes higher visibility of these artists within all disciplines, and promotes policies and practices intended to make the arts more accessible to all Manitobans.