“Revealing Culture,” an exhibition highlighting the works of contemporary artists with disabilities, at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center runs through Aug. 29. The multisensory exhibition features more than 130 works of art in a broad range of media― installations, video, performance, painting, sculpture and printmaking―from emerging and eminent artists with disabilities in the United States and abroad. The exhibition was designed by Michael Graves & Associates/Michael Graves Design Group.
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, occurring June 6–12 in Washington, D.C. The exhibition considers the influence of disability within both the lives and works of these artists. “Revealing Culture” features innovative works by 54 artists juried from more than 400 submissions.
“Revealing Culture” includes California artist Katherine Sherwood’s acclaimed mixed-media paintings that investigate the intersection of art, medicine and disability. Kenn Coplan, from Arizona, uses his reports and records from special education classes to create an installation that mimics a typical school classroom.
Other artists featured in the exhibition include Jamshid Agayev, Stephanie Bachiero, Mejia Granja, Jesse Higman, Julie Lusson, Amy Miller and Judson Wright.
“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 presenting this dynamic exhibition in the International Gallery.”
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 www.vsarts.org.
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.