Get­ting Tan­gled: Dis­abilty Art

Broken Pencil - - Table Of Contents -

A ground­break­ing new art gallery has opened up a per­ma­nent space in Toronto. Tan­gled Art and Dis­abil­ity is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that has show­cased dis­abil­ity art across Canada for the past 15 years. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has opened a ded­i­cated space in the 401 Rich­mond build­ing in Toronto that will al­low au­di­ences to in­ter­act with work by dis­abled artists. The space will also en­able dis­abled pa­trons to en­joy art in a com­fort­able and wel­com­ing set­ting and par­tic­i­pate in work­shops on art­mak­ing, cu­ra­to­rial prac­tices and funding specif­i­cally geared for dis­abled cre­ators.

The realm of dis­abil­ity arts has been grow­ing in promi­nence this year, in­clud­ing Canada's first-ever dis­abil­ity arts sym­po­sium, Crip­ping the Arts, held at Ry­er­son Univer­sity this past April (where Tan­gled's artis­tic di­rec­tor El­iza Chan­dler is also a re­search fel­low.) Chan­dler hopes that the es­tab­lish­ment of a per­ma­nent gallery space will as­sist with pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, funding (many dis­abled artists do not ap­ply for arts funding be­cause they fear los­ing gov­ern­ment sup­port for long-term needs) and cu­ra­to­rial prac­tice (in­clud­ing mak­ing a space that is ac­ces­si­ble and com­fort­able not only for pa­trons, but for artists too.) The gallery's open­ing ex­hi­bi­tion by artist Per­sim­mon Black­bridge was ti­tled Con­structed Iden­ti­ties, col­lect­ing small sculp­tures made of wood, metal and other found ob­jects ad­dress­ing con­cepts of dis­abil­ity, race and gen­der as they re­late to bod­ies. It also fea­tures a sculp­ture that pa­trons could touch and ma­nip­u­late; a thought­ful way of al­low­ing vis­ually-im­paired art lovers to en­gage with the work. You can view a slideshow of Con­structed Iden­ti­ties at bro­ken­pen­

news/get­ting-tan­gled. (Alison Lang)

Photo of Con­structed Iden­ti­ties sculp­ture by Steve Kean

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