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Contemporary Art Exhibition on Disability

  • Published: 2010-05-25 (Revised/Updated 2011-08-11) : Author: VSA
  • Synopsis: VSA Presents Revealing Culture a Contemporary art Exhibition on Disability.

Main Document

VSA Presents Revealing Culture, a Contemporary art Exhibition on Disability.

VSA presents Revealing Culture, a contemporary art exhibition on disability, at the Smithsonian Institution's International Gallery June 8-August 29, 2010. The exhibition is part of the International VSA Festival, the world's largest arts, education, and disability festival.

VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, announces the upcoming contemporary art exhibition Revealing Culture at the Smithsonian Institution's International Gallery, June 8-August 29, 2010.

The exhibition explores how culture positions people with disabilities; it turns a mirror back on society, revealing honest portrayals of personal experiences. Out of these experiences of difference comes innovation: sample tactile pieces to touch; descriptions to hear; and even environments to experience, including a classroom, a waiting room, and a medical lab. The multi-sensory exhibition, designed by Michael Graves & Associates/Michael Graves Design Group, features more than 130 works of art in a broad range of media--including installations, video, performance, painting, sculpture, and printmaking--from emerging and eminent artists with disabilities in the U.S. and abroad. This juried international exhibition is part of the 2010 International VSA Festival, an unprecedented event featuring 600 artists, performers, and educators from all over the world, June 6-12 in Washington, D.C.

"This is an opportunity for patrons to admire, to critique, to appreciate, and to examine works by these artists," commented VSA President Soula Antoniou. "From the artist developing photographs in the dark room to the artist digitally programming a 3D portrait, the variety and complexity of this exhibition is astounding."

"The Smithsonian is pleased to have an ongoing relationship with VSA. We have been working with VSA for the past six years, annually presenting the works of the 15 winners of the young artists with disabilities competition," said Ellen Dorn, director of special exhibitions in the S. Dillon Ripley Center. "This year we are pleased to be involved with the International VSA Festival and present this dynamic exhibition in the International Gallery."

The jury review panel for this exhibition consisted of Leanne Mella, consulting curator; Laurel Reuter, director of the North Dakota Museum of Art; and Brandon Brame Fortune, curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery. The jury reviewed nearly 400 submissions.

The Smithsonian Institution's first contemporary art exhibition on the topic of disability, Revealing Culture features innovative works by 54 artists with disabilities, including: Jamshid Agayev, Leni D. Anderson, Stephanie Bachiero, Loretta Bebeau, Jon Berge, R. Jane Bouchard, Allen Bryan, Christina Casebeer, Martin Charlot, Amy Charmatz, Kenn Coplan, Henry Coupe, Liz Crow, Liz Doles, Emily Eifler, Jeffrey Erken, Emmet Estrada, Joan Fabian, Justin Finnegan, David Forbes, Barbara Freeman, Ju Gosling aka ju90, Lesley Haas, Michelle Lisa Herman, Jesse Higman, Busser Howell, Sophie Kahn, Catherine Larson, Riva Lehrer, Beth Livingston, Mary Lucier, Julie Lusson, Sheri Marshall, Simon Mckeown, Pedro Luis Mejia Granja, Coralina Meyer, Amy Miller, Janet Morrow, Jeffrey Nelson, William A. Newman, Lynnda Pardoe, Juan Pierri, Isaac Powell, Jose Rivera, Judith Scott, Janet Shagam, Bill Shannon, Katherine Sherwood, Sunaura Taylor, Anne Teahan, Gwynneth VanLaven, Mark Wittig, Judson Wright, and Rhonda Zwillinger.

The Smithsonian's International Gallery, located in the S. Dillon Ripley Center on the National Mall at 1100 Jefferson Drive S.W., presents temporary exhibitions in art, history, science and technology that complement the Institution's existing educational programs and collections. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Dec. 25, and admission is free.

VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. With 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates, VSA is changing perceptions about people with disabilities around the world. Each year, 7 million people of all ages and abilities participate in VSA programs, which cover all artistic genres. VSA is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit

About the 2010 International VSA Festival - From June 6-12, 2010, VSA will bring together artists, educators, researchers, and policymakers with and without disabilities from around the world for a multicultural celebration of the arts and education. The 2010 International VSA Festival will be the largest arts event featuring artists with disabilities to take place in Washington, D.C., to date.

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