Arts & Disability Festival Co-Sponsored by OCAD University
Looking at Art and Disability Differently Disability gives us unique voices and diverse perspectives, the very core of what we expect art to bring to our lives, challenging us, individually and collectively, to expand the way we think about the world and the people we share it with. Disability creates a range of often enriching experiences from which artists make work that is interesting, meaningful, and important and that leads to new insights for both the artist and the viewer. Hearing, seeing and understanding the viewpoint of others is how we grow as individuals and how we progress as a society.
Throughout September, artists working a variety of media will be visiting, performing and exhibiting in Durham as part of the Common Pulse Arts & Disability Festival. The festival is celebrating the intersection between art and ability and examines alternative approaches to understanding perception and cognition in the practice of artists, particularly artists who address diverse and different abilities and their related experiences.
Hosted by the Durham Art Gallery and organized in collaboration with OCAD University, Common Pulse brings together artists, community groups, researchers and activists to celebrate inclusiveness, accessibility, cultural diversity and artistic excellence.
This year's festival showcases art and promotes inclusion through exhibitions, artist residencies, multi-disciplinary performances, film presentations and a symposium. The month-long festival will engage visitors through creative workshops, mentorships, artists' talks and educational programs.
The Common Pulse Arts & Disability Festival seeks to engage artists and their practices on their own terms: to contextualize their work in ways that are meaningful to them and illuminating for the viewers, and which celebrates and deepens appreciation for different modes of seeing, thinking and being as an artist. It provides an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the powerful contributions of individuals who have different experiences and different perspectives on society, life and art.
Artists and Researchers Discuss Art and Disability
The coupling of disability art with emerging research practices allows for a comparison of the values of embodied experience in academic and studio-based activities and a new formulation of their intersection. The hybrid work being done by practitioners, both artists and researchers, describes a further shift away from the centre towards inclusive and experiential processes and results. Methodologies are likewise being expanded that transform the functions of research in ways that makes it more responsive to the complexities of the subject: This fusion of research and creation is evident in the work being done in the fields of art production, Disability Studies and Disability Art and Culture by all of the participants invited to this symposium. Their contributions to the dialogue will address the applicability of a research/creation model in the ongoing effort to bring more light and understanding to our evolving conception of disability and the contributions that disability culture brings to society generally.
Amanda Cachia, Independent Curator
Emily Cook, OCAD University
Nancy Davis Halifax, Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies, York University
Michele Decottignies, Stage Left Productions
Jay Dolmage, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, University of Waterloo
Deborah Fels, Ryerson University
Ju Gosling, Together! Disability Arts and Human Rights Festival
Grahame Lynch, Ryerson University
Geoff McMurchy, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture Festival, Founder
Geoffrey Shea, OCAD University
Judith Snow, Laser Eagles Art Guild, Founder
Janis Timm-Bottos, Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University
Jutta Treviranus, Inclusive Design, OCAD University