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Access/Points Part 2 - Access/Points Roundtable: Disability Arts

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Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts
Part 2: Access/Points Roundtable: Disability Arts
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, 6:30-8:00pm
Venue: CUE Art Foundation
Free and open to the general public. RSVP is required.

Featured Presenters: Matthew Murphy, Curator of LAND Gallery and Studio;
Ariel Willmott, Director of Fountain House Gallery; Ezra Benus, Artist and Educator

Join us for a public convening and discussion at CUE. The roundtable will bring together artists and representatives from various art and social service organizations to share approaches to building institutions that serve disabled audiences and artists who are often excluded from mainstream art resources. The session will feature a collection of guest discussants who will lead the conversation through presentations. The goal of the roundtable is to put peers and the public in direct dialogue to share the wealth of expertise of the presenters and active audience members. We welcome artists as well as arts workers and audiences to contribute to this dialogue.

As the event runs late, light fare will be provided.

Questions that guide the session include:

For Presenters / Institutions

  • How is your community composed?

  • Which is the public you serve and how does this change way you consider the term access?

  • Is your public closed or open? And does this entail audiences or just artist development (or something else?)

  • How does your work focus on inclusivity and access?

  • How do you define these terms and how is rhetoric around disabilities and the arts either liberating or limiting?

  • What are the biggest obstacles to your work? (What are goals you which you could achieve but are seemingly out of your scope - We think of this as a call to action to work in network with partner institutions who could help fulfill these larger needs.)

For Artists

  • What resources are necessary to your work as an artist and what are the obstacles to receiving support?

  • What expectations or assumptions do you wish to address with institutions in working towards more inclusive arts landscapes.

CUE Art Foundation is wheelchair accessible. Sign Language Interpretation and Real Time Captioning are available upon request with at least two weeks advance notice. To submit your request, please contact Programs Assistant, Eva Elmore, by Wednesday, January 10, at (212) 206-3583 or Service dogs are welcome. There is an all-gender, ADA compliant, single stall bathroom in the gallery. The space is not scent-free, but we do request that people attending come low-scent. Children are welcome. The closest wheelchair accessible MTA subway stations are Penn Station and Herald Square Station.

Artist and Curator Matthew Bede Murphy co-founded the LAND Gallery and Studio in 2003. Matthew has over 20 years of experience serving developmentally disabled adults in art-related affiliations. He has partnered with museums, galleries, non-profits, and other institutions stressing inclusion, advocacy, and collections. LAND studio is a unique nonprofit day habilitation program that teaches life skills through the modality of art. LAND (League Artists Natural Design) was founded in 2005 by the League Education and Treatment Center (LETC) and serves as both studio and gallery for 16 adult artists with developmental disabilities. LETC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and internationally recognized agency for evaluation, treatment and education of children and adults with disabilities.

Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment for artists living and working with mental illness to pursue their creative visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Fountain House Gallery presents six in-house exhibitions per year at their home on Ninth Avenue. Works by Fountain House Gallery artists are included in 400 public and private collections and have been featured at numerous venues and in special exhibits such as the prestigious Outsider Art Fair.

Ezra Benus has studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, the University of Amsterdam, and completed his degree in Studio Art (honors) and Jewish Studies at CUNY Hunter College in NYC. Ezra graduated as an Erich Fromm Fellow from Paideia Institute in Stockholm, where he completed an intensive eight month long Jewish Studies fellowship. He is also a proud member of the first BOOT CAMP cohort of Disability/Arts/NYC/Taskforce (DANT), working to promote the practice and policy of Disability Artistry in NYC. Through his paintings, sculptures, and performances, Ezra's work confronts social and cultural assumptions on the topics of disease/disability, and religion, in hopes of opening up ideas and conversations surrounding these topics. He has shown/performed work in Jerusalem, Stockholm, NYC, Dayton, Ohio, and just had two works exhibited in two galleries during the SPARK Disability Art Festival in Calgary, Alberta. Alongside his art practice, Ezra has worked for three summers as an art educator at Brandeis Institute for Art and Music (BIMA), a pre-college program based at Brandeis University, and was recently featured by the Covenant Foundation as one of "12 Jewish Artist-Educators You Should Know". He has also engaged in various curatorial endeavors, notably the Strijd ∞  (pronounced Stride Infinity) exhibition about the infinite struggle for democratization of higher education, which has been shown in the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, BAK Utrecht, among other venues. He has published articles with his co-curators in the "Nomos of Images" research project, based at the Kunsthistorisches Institut (KHI) in Florenz; Max-Planck-Institut; and, recently, in the Polish art history journal "Art for the Sake of Democracy".

Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts is a series of conversations, workshops, and artist projects that explores ability as the crux of radical inclusion and access in the arts and beyond. The series investigates the ways that artists, cultural producers, and institutions are redefining disability and accessibility in contemporary art by destabilizing our notions of neutral public spaces and arts organizations, and moving towards inclusive body politics and social infrastructures.

Organized by CUE's 2017 Public Programming Fellow, Jeff Kasper, in partnership with Social Practice Queens at Queens College CUNY.

Supported by the Queens Museum and Social Practice Queens at Queens College CUNY.

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