Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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Artist Focus

Artists with disabilities, Deaf and MAD artists produce unique creations that provide a foundation for dialogue on diversity. AANM encourages and cultivates that creativity among many disciplines within the artist community. Here we showcase some of our members, their work and stories, and the challenges they face.

Headshot of Nigel Bart

Nigel Bart

Nigel Bart, BFA, is the Founder and Studio Facilitator of Artbeat Studio Inc. Music and art play a large role in Nigel’s life and were a great resource in his recovery after the onset of schizophrenia at the age of 19.

Read more about Nigel Bart


Headshot of Angel Clanek signing

Angel Calnek

As many people know, being a physically or mentally challenged artist has its ups and downs, like riding a roller coaster. Unfortunately, some times the roller coaster has a hard time getting up the hill to reap the thrill of the descent!

Read more about Angel Calnek


Headshot of Alice Crawford

Alice Crawford

Printmaker, typography, and collage artist

Partially deafened at an early age, how she hears and interprets spoken language is in her art.

Read more about Alice Crawford


Poster for My Will Remains Art Show

Diane Driedger

“My will remains” is a quote by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-54). About fifteen years ago, I started to see my life with chronic illness and disability reflected in Frida’s life through her self-portraits and her need to work in bed due to chronic pain and fatigue. I started to create art by showing my solidarity with Frida. This was a jumping off point as I began to uncover the stories of artists with disabilities. My exhibit dialogues with artists such as Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, Maud Lewis, Vincent Van Gogh and Andy Warhol, all who had disabilities. Through painting, sculpture, and poetry I unveil our experiences of living with chronic illness and disability and the uncertainties and certainties that it brings.


Headshot of Daphne Enns

Daphne Enns

In 2008, when Susan Gibson invited people to attend her community art piece “The SPARK Initiative”, my connection as an artist in the arts was tenuous at best.

Read more about Daphne Enns


Headshot of Jean Giffen

Jean Giffen

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression make my life difficult to cope with, especially when I encounter triggers and/or flashbacks. My practice is a multi-layered journey of emotions reflecting what I see, think and feel on canvas. It is through my paintings that my experiences are shared.


Headshot of Miranda Kuajczk

Miranda Kudajczyk

Miranda uses the healing powers of art and nature to sooth her anxieties and express her emotions. She is currently in the mentorship program at Martha Street Studios known as Making our Mark (MoM).


Marie LeBlanc with a camera covering half of her face. she is standing in front of pine trees

Marie LeBlanc

I grew up in The Pas, Manitoba where my love of photography began. I am a self-taught performance street artist photographer, writer and poet inspired by the world around me. I moved to Winnipeg in 1984 where I completed my Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) Degree in Human Geography and Sociology from the University of Manitoba.

Read more about Marie LeBlanc


Headshot of Darla-Jean O'Rourke

Darla-Jean O’Rourke

“Lil Irish”, a heartwarming nom de plume for this Manitoba artist, said to have developed as an artist in Winnipeg. Lil Irish had the recognition of others that a writer were emerging, and luckily many a creative kind.

Read more about Darla-Jean O’Rourke


Headshot of Harry Paine, he is smiling and wearing a straw hat with lots of pins on it.

Harry Paine

We didn’t exactly live in poverty but then in my day poverty was somewhat relative I suppose, we were no better nor were we any worse than all the other working class people in the community.

Read more about Harry Paine


Headshot of Debbie Patterson playing an accordion

Debbie Patterson

I have been an artist longer than I have been disabled. Learning to cope with a disability and to adapt my artistic practice to my changing abilities has been a solitary process.

Read more about Debbie Patterson


Tamika Reid

Tamika Reid is a Winnipeg-based writer and painter who is completing a joint-degree of Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications at the University of Winnipeg and diploma of Creative Communications at Red River College.

Read more about Tamika Reid


Headshot of Stephanie Strugar

Stephanie Strugar

Stephanie is a certified body painting and temporary tattoo artist, certified Grumbacher Art Instructor, philanthropist, and an established RAW.organization artist with over 7 years experience in facilitating therapeutic fine arts and performance arts programs for youth and adults.

Read more about Stephanie Strugar


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Angela Taylor

Angela Taylor celebrates many psychological, cognitive and neurological differences within her family. She developed neurological differences as a small child, and experiences anxiety, attentional, and other differences connected to trauma, which has allowed her unique connection and understanding to others. She says her children are her best teachers, and support her to learn about how each of us need additional support at different times in our lives.

Read more about Angela Taylor…


Headshot of Nora Tureen

Nora Turenne

I just had my first solo art exhibition “Identity Theft” at Artbeat Studio in Winnipeg. In this body of work I explored how mental illness is the biggest thief of all when it comes to identity theft.

Read more about Nora Turenne

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