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Access/Points Part 3 - Let's Keep in Touch Presentation and Open Access Workshop

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Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts
Part 3: Let's Keep in Touch Presentation and Open Access Workshop
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, Noon-3:00pm
Venue: CUE Art Foundation
Free and open to the general public. RSVP is required.

CUE alumni artist Carmen Papalia and curator Whitney Mashburn will lead a public workshop on the topic of Open Access – a relational model for accessibility that Papalia produced in 2015. The event highlights documentation, objects, ephemera, and a lexicon produced through non-visual and tactility-based learning activities with youth collaborators (ages 8 to 14) who participated in the Let’s Keep in Touch workshop at Queens Museum this past November. This event is ideal for museum educators, teaching artists, and socially-engaged arts professionals interested in the intersection of visual arts and disability.

In 2015, Vancouver-based artist and disability activist Carmen Papalia produced Open Access, a conceptual work consisting of five tenets that describe a relational practice concerning the agreement to support others. The work models a new paradigm for accessibility that centers care, mutuality, and the responsibility for those present to interrupt the conditions that obstruct agency for those in need. A critique of institutional models for accessibility – which the artist maintains are prescriptive and marginalizing by design – Open Access problematizes the typical roles of support by encouraging participants to share accountability, practice mutual aid, and organize for accessibility from the grassroots. Since he first proposed it in 2015, Papalia has employed Open Access as: a private agreement for support, a cross-country movement building campaign, and a methodology for assessing the conditions of institutional access and publicness.

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 31, at (212) 206-3583 or eva@cueartfoundation.org. 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.


Carmen Papalia makes participatory, socially engaged projects on the topic of access as it relates to public space, the art institution and visual culture. In early 2015, Papalia served as Artist-in-Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK and at the Model Contemporary Art Centre, Sligo, Ireland, where he assumed the role of Access Coordinator, making site specific interventions in response to the long history of disabling practices at each institution.


Whitney Mashburn is a Boston-based curator, currently collaborating on a project with Vancouver-based social practice artist, Carmen Papalia. She holds an M.A. in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute, an M.A. in Disability Studies and Counselor Education, and a B.A. in History of Art and Studio Art from Vanderbilt University. She has interned at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts as a curatorial research assistant, is a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC), and has worked both in disability services offices and as a researcher and editor in art history in Vanderbilt’s Special Collections and Archives and in their History of Art department. Her current research investigates tactile aesthetics, accessibility, and the role of conversation in social practice and institutional critique.


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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