January 2022

About the NB Disability Art Collective Showcase

Image and poster designed created by Cassandra Mazariegos

About the NB Disability Art Collective

Formed in 2021 by visually impaired visual artist Ysabelle Vautour the NB Disability Art Collective is a disability lead group of New Brunswick artists with lived experience of disability interested in Disability Arts and advocating for accessibility in the arts sector. 

New Brunswick has the 2nd largest population of persons with disabilities in Canada around 26% of the population of NB. It is the largest minority group where anyone of us can become a member of it at any time.

What is Disability Arts?

Encyclopedia Britannica says “Disability art, any creative work that explores a disability experience, either in content or in form. Although the term disability art is sometimes restricted to artwork that is intended primarily for audiences with disabilities, many disabled artists create work that is intended for audiences that include both disabled and non-disabled people. Occasionally the term is used to refer to any artwork created by a disabled person, whether referencing disability or not, but that usage is uncommon among members of the disability community. A primary function of disability art has been to articulate for the disability community as well as for the mainstream what disability means—politically, personally, and aesthetically.” 

The Canada Council for the Arts defines it as “Disability arts are created by people with disabilities or with mental illness. This includes artistic practices and processes grounded in ensuring that the lived experiences and identities of disabled people are conveyed, explored or represented. This typically means that disabled artists are directors, creators or main contributors to the artistic process.”

This is what the founder had to say about the collective 

“I believe that accessibility requires innovation and who better to lead the charge than artists with lived experience of course! As the slogan says “Nothing about us without us”. In my disability studies, I found it very helpful to learn about things like disability pride, the social model of disability and the disability rights movement.

I wanted a place where local New Brunswick artists experiencing disability can connect and share resources with each other on how we can make our own and other’s artwork more accessible. I want to start a dialogue where we can identify the barriers in terms of accessing the arts. Art is one form of communication where we can explore complex ideas like ablism or inclusion.”

The featured artists for the collective first Showcase at the Fredericton Playhouse January 11th- February 28, 2022, are Cassandra Mazariegos, Kyra Goguen, Laurianne Vautour, Ryan Annett and Ysabelle Vautour To learn more or get a digital copy visit http://www.creatingaccess.org

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