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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.
Printmaker, typography, and collage artist
Partially deafened at an early age, how she hears and interprets spoken language is in her art.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Visual artist, illustrator, writer
Natasha has relied on art and the practice of art-making to cope with a lifetime of chronic illness. A three-time kidney transplant recipient, she is aware of the fragility and the strength of the human body. Her work subsequently encompasses this complexity; reflecting a desire for faith, for purpose, the ever-present ‘reason for being’ in the world.
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.
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.
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.
Acadian artist and art teacher Ysabelle Vautour started out working in the mental health and disability support sector.