Bonifas exhibit celebrates work by artists with disabilities

January 28, 2016  |  by Bonifas Arts Center

VSA_1524

An exhibit celebrating the diverse creations of Michigan artists with disabilities, “I Am…The Future,” will be on display through Feb. 18 in the Bonifas Arts Center studio.

The exhibit, which features work by children, youth, and adults, is presented by Very Special Arts (VSA) Michigan-The State Organization on Arts and Disability as part of VSA’s work to promote creative power in people with disabilities and create an inclusive society where they canparticipate in, learn through, excel in, and enjoy the arts through education, access, and celebration.

Artwork from across Michigan was submitted, and jurors selected the featured art based on quality and “an interest on the part of VSA Michigan to showcase a variety of media and artistic techniques,” said Lora Frankel, VSA Michigan executive director.

Detroit-based VSA Michigan, founded in 1977, aims to challenge preconceptions and promote understanding by encouraging expression and communication, with a “focus on ability, not disability.”

Gallery viewing of the exhibit at the BAC is open to the public at no charge. According to VSA, more than 1,900,000 people in Michigan have some form of disability, more than 1,448,000 of these being children over age 5, of which 200,000 receive special education services.

“I Am…The Future” will be showcased at galleries, libraries, conferences, festivals, and other public places throughout Michigan through May 2016, said Frankel.

“I Am…The Future” was juried by Shirley Woodson Reed, retired director of fine arts for Detroitpublic schools; Hubert Massey, Detroit muralist and VSA Michigan teaching artist; and Ralph Valdez, director of the Dearborn Community Arts Council and Padzieski Art Gallery, said Frankel.

Each year, VSA Michigan seeks entries for the Emerging Artists Touring Exhibit.

VSA Michigan is a member of the VSA Affiliate Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. VSA was founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith.

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