Chicago Art Show Features People with Disabilities

I usually have at least an hour free to write the daily entry for Blind Confidential.  I value this hour as it is the part of the day that I can just be Chris and simply improvise on a topic.  I hardly edit most BC posts and just let the stream of consciousness flow.  I do run the Word Spell Checker, read through my articles and fix any really broken sentences.  I always double check any references I make to materials I’ve quoted from other sources to make sure I’ve credited them to the proper author so as not to cause any confusion.  I know the blogosphere tends to have pretty low standards for referencing sources and such but I like to keep my writing chops solid and don’t want anyone crying foul over an incorrectly attributed statement.  

I will, however, steal jokes from anyone and use them as if they came from my own mind.  Few thoughts are truly original and even fewer jokes wander far from the same structure that probably followed the invention of language well before history started so everyone who tells jokes is, at some level, stealing from a cave man who first told it around the campfire while cooking some wooly mammoth for dinner.

Today, however, I don’t have my requisite hour available to construct a full entry for Blind Confidential so, like any gonzo journalist in a hurry; I’ll cheat and copy in a press release verbatim.  This item comes from the Accessible Image mailing list hosted on where it was posted by Jennifer Justice.  The press release is about an art show called “Humans Being” that opens in Chicago on April 1.  As many of you know, I have a passion for the fine arts and this show of works by people with disabilities sounds terrific.  It is an International show that will run until June and I hope I can get to Chicago to check it out before it ends.


Ground-Breaking Exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center
April 1—June 4, 2006
Highlight of the City-Wide Bodies of Work Festival

This spring, the Chicago Cultural Center will host one of the first American surveys that will take an in depth look at the issues of art and disability.

Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art is a ground-breaking exhibition that will be a cornerstone of Bodies of Work: The Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture, the city’s first-ever multi-venue festival showcasing work by professional artists with disabilities.

Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art will come to the Chicago Cultural Center’s Michigan Avenue Galleries, located at 78 E. Washington St. (accessible entrance located at 77 E. Randolph St.), from April 1 through June 4, 2006.  The show aims to be a complex
And serious conversation about how disability is both understood and misunderstood by the culture at large.

It will include paintings, sculpture, photography, installation and samples of graphic novels by more than 20 artists—both disabled and non-disabled—and will explore issues of illness, impairment, discrimination, alienation, sexuality, community,
Identity and the political aspects of disability.

The exhibition is organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and co-curated by Illinois artist Riva Lehrer and Sofia Zutautas, Assistant Curator at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.  Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art has been underwritten by Maria Magnus and is made possible through generous gifts from Beatrice C. Mayer, Michael Louis Minns, Mary McFadden, Good’s of Evanston and The Compounder Pharmacy.  Admission to the exhibition and related programming is free.  

Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art will include work by local, national and international professional artists including David B. (Beauchard), Madison Clell, Katie Dallam, Susan Dupor, Laura
Ferguson, Tabata Hideoshi, Jennifer Justice, Terry Karpowicz, Leonard Lehrer, Riva Lehrer, Tim Lowly, William Newman, Harriet Sanderson, Katherine Sherwood, Hollis Sigler, Sunaura Taylor, Frances Turner, Richard Yohnka and Jonathan Wos, among others.

“This exhibition challenges the way disability has stayed beneath the radar on the art world’s screen,” said Sofia Zutautas, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

  “It also gives this artists’ community its well deserved exposure while bringing to light a subject matter that is rarely addressed.”

The public is invited to learn more about the exhibition by taking part in a number of programs at the Chicago Cultural Center.  A list of programs include:

Public Discussion:  “The Geography of Art &
Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m., First Floor Garland Room
Katherine Sherwood, participating artist and professor of Art at UC Berkeley, discusses the history of art and disability.  

Bodies of Work: A Public Forum  
“Disability Culture in the U.S.: Revolutionizing Art
From the Inside Out”
Friday, April 21, 6 p.m., First Floor Garland Room
Moderated by Carrie Sandahl, disability rights activist, cultural critic, historian and theatre artist, and Associate Professor at Florida State University’s School of Theatre.

Audio Described Tours
Saturday, April 22, 12-2 p.m., Michigan Avenue
Thursday, April 27, 12-2 p.m., Michigan Avenue
Audio described tours will be available for the visually impaired.

Gallery Talk
Thursday, April 27, 12:15 p.m., Michigan Avenue Galleries
Co-curators Riva Lerher and Sofia Zutautas discuss the exhibition.

Public Discussion:  “Imagining and Imaging the Disabled Self”
Saturday, April 29, 2:30 p.m., First Floor Garland Room
Moderated by Alice Dreger, PhD., of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at Northwestern University, and including a panel of artists whose works are included in the exhibition.

Expanded hours for summer at the Chicago Cultural Center begin on April 1 and run through October 31.

Viewing hours for Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art at the Chicago Cultural Center are Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on holidays.

This program is presented as part of Bodies of Work:
The Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture, held in venues across the city from April 20-30, 2006.
Bodies of Work features artwork and performances that address disability issues and highlights the work of artists with disabilities in a variety of disciplines including the visual and literary arts, dance, film and theater. Lectures, tours and workshops are also featured.  

The Michigan Avenue Galleries are supported by Chase.  Exhibitions and related educational programming presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at the Chicago Cultural Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.  

Also on view in the Chicago Cultural Center from April 1 through May 14 is the exhibition, “Thinking Out Loud: Studio Programs for Artists with Disabilities,” which features the work of artists with developmental, cognitive, and mental disabilities.  A part of the
Bodies of Work festival, “Thinking Out Loud” includes work by artists who participate in studio programs operated by community-based organizations in Chicago, including Project Onward, Esperanza Community
Services, and Thresholds South.

For more information about Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art, call 312.744.6630 (TTY: 312.744.2947) or visit

For more information about “Thinking Out Loud,” visit;

about Bodies of Work: The Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture, call 312.744.6630 (TTY: 312.744.2947) or visit


Our local neo-nazi murderers continue to impress the community with their intellectual prowess.  WMNF, our local community radio station, reported last night that Plott and his gang weren’t even certain who they wanted to kill.  They agreed that they definitely killed the wrong guy but could not come to agreement as to whether they were after Wells’ black boyfriend or her gay son, neither of whom were injured in the attack.  Plott, the individual “too mean” to be a member of the Iron Coffins biker gang also proved that he wasn’t too mean for the Pasco County lock up as he, while watching television in the common room, got beaten so badly by the other residents that he had to be brought to a hospital outside of the local jail.  I guess nice guys like Plott just can’t hack it in a tough county cooler.

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I'm an accessibility advocate working on issues involving technology and people with print impairment. I'm a stoner, crackpot, hacker and all around decent fellow. I blog at this site and occasionally contribute to Skepchick. I'm a skeptic, atheist, humanist and all around left wing sort. You can follow this blog in your favorite RSS reader, and you can also view my Twitter profile (@gonz_blinko) and follow me there.

One thought on “Chicago Art Show Features People with Disabilities”

  1. Let me try this again. My roommate, Steve Cahn, and another young man living in our building, Quinn Zenner, have works on display as part of the exhibit mentioned in this posting. Their works may be viewed at the jane Addams Hull House through Sunday, April 30 for any of you who will be here in Chicago from now up until then. I can’t remember the address off the top of my head, but if you Google “Jane Addams Hull House,” I’m sure you’ll find it. Just thought I’d mention this, and my sincere thanks go to Chris H for this posting. I’ve known Quinn Zenner for a few years, and Steve Cahn was my neighbor several years ago. They are both great people with a lot of talent.

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