October 3, 2010

2010 Access Day at the de Young Museum

Yesterday, I went to the Access Advisor's Open House and Disability Arts Festival at the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park. This annual event, organized by Tish Brown, features disability culture presentations and accessible tours (This includes tactile tours for blind visitors and ample time and space for visitors with mobility impairments to get up close to exhibitions which aresometimes obscured by the large crowds that flock to the museum every day). Access day has an art-making/open studios room where disabled artists work on pieces live and in-person. [Image is of a woman weaving at a loom and an interactive weaving statue. The statue is a replica of the Eiffel Tower with baskets of fabric that passersby can pick up and weave into the frame.]





I first found out about Access day at the de Young a few years ago when I was involved with producing radio shows for Pushing Limits (KPFA). I had the honor of recording almost 200 artist statements for the the Art Slam audio track. 

The Art Slam slide show is featured every year at the de Young on Access day. It includes slides from Bay Area programs that support artists with developmental disabilities or mental health issues, like Becoming Independent and Berkeley Creative Living Center. Below are 4 images from artists showcased this year, with the name of the artist, the title of the piece and and a excerpt from the artists' personal statements. [If you would like a description of the images or the text of the entire statement, please let me know.]


Franna Lusson, Scream. "Art helps me express, in process, what I cannot express in words."

Marilyn Coleman, Flowers of Glory with Sunshine Star Above. "Wings in my head and eyesight."

Vita O'Shea. Love's Approach. "Making art is a way for me to give form to emotional and mental processes so that I can redefine them."

Elaine Steel, Happy Kitty. "I like depicting everyday life and the history it speaks to us."