Creating Access presents

Formed in 2021 the NB Disability Art Collective is a group of New Brunswick artists with lived experience of disability interested in Disability Arts and advocating for accessiblity to arts. 

New Brunswick has the 2nd largest population of persons with disabilities in Canada around 26% of the population of NB compared to the national average of 22%.
It is the largest minority group where anyone of us can become a member of it at any time.

What is Disability Arts?

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 nondisabled 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.”  (https://www.britannica.com/art/disability-art)

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.”

Latest News

Radio Canada Interview
CTV Live at Five Interview
Artist Residency with NBCPD
Struts Gallery Creating Access Installation
Aquinian Interview

Artist Residency Exploring Disability Aesthetics

Interview with Lucas Patuelli Disability Without Poverty

Since our weekend at the Northside Creators Market, Cass, a student at NBCCD now has a both called Brush Stroke

Podcast Interviews

Interview with Abigail Smith Third Space Gallery
Kelly and Company Podcast Interview
Interview with Jim Middleton Flying by the seat of my Paints

Featured Artists

Hi I’m Leanne. I’m a Chronic pain sufferer and neurodivergent artist. I paint and create. I don’t like to limit myself to one style of painting, I’m kind of all over the place but I do have a common theme. My paintings must be colorful. I use mostly acrylic but I will also use other things I can to create art.

I’m different but no one else caught on until after i was well into adulthood. They just thought I was too talkative, not willing to apply myself (work or study hard enough) and that I wasn’t interested in learning. What they couldn’t see was that I was extremely good at masking. Through the years I was diagnosed with (in chronological order) Major Anxiety Disorder, Osteoarthritis, PTSD, IBS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, PCOS, Arnold’s Neralgia, Endometriosis, Barrett’s esophagus and just this past year ADHD.

Most people have no idea that I live with so many conditions. They just think I’m a unique, a bit different and sometimes a drama queen. Those are the moments when I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. Art became my way to cope. I started by painting small clay Christmas houses when i was 20, then I used the same craft paint to make a painting as a gift to my mother. Then I painted almost anything I could. Many years later I decided to try painting more seriously. My first painting was a large dragonfly and I’ve been painting ever since. This creative outlet has helped me alot and gives me a sense of pride because it’s something I can do when I feel there’s so much I can’t do. Thanks to the support of my loving husband, children and family I’m able to create whenever I need to.

I’m Murielle and I don’t think of myself as an artist, but some people seem to think I am so here goes…. I have Spina Bifida, Scoliosis and chronic pain and I use a power wheelchair full-time. I worked in the oil & gas industry for most of my career and just stopped working four years ago. It was difficult to get used to not working outside the home. It was also a rude awakening to discover how poorly people with disabilities lived in this province if they can’t work at all. Through this frustration, I co-founded The New Brunswick Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, and advocacy group for people with all types of disabilities. Through this group, I have been meeting such talented artists such as Ysabelle Vautour, Cass Mazariegos and Leanne Foucault, who have encouraged me to share my art. I do no create to sell, as I have found in the past that this was taking the fun out of creating and making it a job. Something I felt I surely did not need when I already had a full-time job. Perhaps now I would consider. My biggest love was, for a long time, bead embroidery and this is something I tend to go back to. Right now, I concentrate on free-hand embroidery (no pattern). I also like to experiment with watercolours, and I love creating mandalas. Bright colours are a must in anything I create.

Hi my name is Terry. I am a quadriplegic as I had a diving accident back in 2001. Before my accident I was an outgoing teenager playing sports, working and hanging out with friends. One warm summer day all of us decided to go to the beach to celebrate graduation. Little did I know it would be the last time that I would walk. The doctors gave me a one percent chance of living. I beat those odds and spent five weeks in the hospital before being shipped to the rehab centre in Fredericton. Once there I was put on a scheduled day for physio, adaptive seating and a recreation period. This is where I had to figure out what I can do for a hobby or even what I would do with the rest of my life as a quadriplegic. One day I was there and she asked me what I enjoyed doing before my accident. I told her I enjoyed drawing. She then told me about quadriplegics that can draw my mouth. I looked at her shocked not believing her until she went on the Internet and showed me a video of them doing it. And then thought to myself, if they can do it I can do it. I first tried to paint but it didn’t satisfy me. She then found a soft enough pencil that I could control in my mouth to draw against the paper. The first thing I drew was Pluto, it felt like it took me forever to do it when I was finished I couldn’t believe what I do with my mouth. The more practice I got, the better I got. I got good enough that I even won a scholarship to take an art course which help me with shading my drawings. In 2012 I drew a picture for the cauliflower alley club in Las Vegas for the retired WWE wrestlers and family. They were so impressed with the piece that they invited me out to Las Vegas to join them for their reunion. I wasn’t going to let this accident take away the one thing I love, to draw! I took a graphic design course for a challenge on my laptop. Now I can do art related jobs play either pencil or computer. Which has come handy since Covid has come up. Where I have compromised lungs I don’t dare to put the pencil in my mouth in fear that I’ll get sick. So being able to draw still I have something I love to do still.

Coming Soon

Tobie Gregan

Kristen Barnes

Hi, I am Darren Hanson Anxious Folk Artist extraordinaire living in French Lake New Brunswick. I specialize in making art that is furniture but, I dabble in DIY everything. I grew up in a hardware store, so I’ve gotten to know products and, MacGyvering things pretty well. 

I was featured in Grid City Magazine you can read the interview here and you can also see one of my sculptures at Monarch in downtown Fredericton. 

 

Tobie Gregan

Tobie Gregan was born in Miramichi, NB in 1971.  Born severely profoundly deaf and uses Cochlear Implant. She has the privilege to use ASL and Hearing world. Having grown up both next to the river and in close proximity to sea her love of the outdoors grew tremendously. Throughout her life, Tobie has always been fascinated by images and how world is presented through the eyes of others. Naturally, she was drawn to photography. The interest was cultivated during her teenage years and further developed when she opted to take her Web Design degree. She always wanted become a photographer but she knew in her heart, there was something more out there. Web Design and Digital Art are her passion and artist opens up many opportunities. Tobie still lives in the Miramichi, surrounded by the River and I loves outdoor activities.
 

Kristen Barnes

Creativity has been an important part of Kristen’s life since a very young age. Originally from Moncton, but currently living in Fredericton, Kristen Barnes is a photographer, creator, crafter and musician. Kristen’s interest in photography started in wanting to see the finer details from a different perspective than others might see. She uses amateur tools to capture some of her favourite scenes or places, especially outdoors. Kristen’s crafting specializes more in making jewelry with wire and beads, however she also enjoys knitting, painting, and creating any other kind of craft. Music has been a part of Kristen’s life since birth. Growing up in a musical household, she has tried several instruments but settled her passion on the flute which she has played since she was 8 years old. Kristen also enjoys playing piano by ear, is now trying to learn the acoustic guitar, and has a love for discovering new music. Kristen finds inspiration when she can bring creativity into what she is doing. She sees the world differently and brighter than others living with several visual conditions, including being born without irises, resulting in being legally blind. Kristen uses her creativity to see and create a different perspective on things and places. Outside of her creative hobbies,Kristen works in the field of mental health, is an adventurer by heart, and a mom. Kristen is a recipient of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and an alumni of 21Inc from 2013 where she was selected as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 Emerging leaders

Kathleen
Leger

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sign Language Bio

English Bio Coming Soon

Hello my name is Cass. The day I almost died was actually the day I started living. At the age of 22 I suffered a stroke. It left me with many deficits. A few of the most frustrating ones is ataxia and my nystagmus. Which makes my vision shaky.

My fine moter skills aren’t the best, it’s very difficult for my fingers to hold onto small objects. I have been looking for an exercise that would help my ataxia, then after hosting a paint and sip I discovered how fun and therapeutic painting was! It helps greatly with my fine motor skills, coordination, balance, vision, & even overall brain health. There was so many cool techniques that somebody with even my level of ability could do! I’m a perfectionist, so I end up trying really hard to make a painting turn out good. In turn I create works of art at the same time!

Hey I’m Ryan, I started selling my art in 2020 and sold around 38 canvases a handful
of prints as well as posters. I’ve donated to charities. Stray Cat Rescue in Sussex.
Glaucoma research. As well as a few fundraisers one of which helped a coworker
with a headstone after the unexpected loss of her son.
I’ve created artwork for a friend who passed away for his family. I made a
memorial piece.
I’ve gifted a few pieces one to Adica Massage , one to Medicine Man.
Donated one to a friends Church in St Stephen for their fundraiser.
I’m just a self taught visually impaired Artist showing people to chase their dreams
and to not let a disease or illness hold them back and to always push forward
believe in yourself and just have fun with it.

A Girl and Her Mic

Hi, I’m Kyra Goguen. Marketer by day artist by night. I’ve been painting on an off since I was a teenager. I started with Acrylics and in university, while I did not have time to paint did I get my minor in Art History. Years later after attending a workshop hosted by Sophie LeBlanc Art, my love of painting was rekindled. What I love the most about watercolour is that the medium forces you to let go and not be a perfectionist. it has a mind of its own, and therapeutically force me to “go with the flow” (pun intended). I’m drawn to florals and fauna, and occasionally landscapes. I’m also inspired by vintage floral paintings like those found in Victorian botany textbooks. I’m also a voice actress. I’ve narrated telephone prompts, e-learning modules, descriptive video and promotional videos for Medavie Blue Cross, Accessible Media Inc. as well as the Greater Moncton International Airport.

Hi, I’m Laurianne, Ysabelle’s cool mom. I am a visual artist and curator. I believe art is a powerful tool for love and healing.  

I have done sculpture, quilting, embroidery. But mainly I have painting working mostly with oil and acrylic. 

Currently, I am having a lot fun doing fabric collage. I am also participating in the Isaac’s Way Art Auction. Art has really connected our family over the years. 

I presented my new series at Connextion Artist Run Center Member’s Show in the Charlotte Street Art Centre. 

I am looking forward to my solo exhibition at the Pattes de Mouche Gallery in Grand Barachois.

  

Hey my name is Jessica (they/them). I am a neurodivergent interdisciplinary artist, and musician. I work in several different mediums, finding unique and playful combinations of techniques and principles. My main mediums at the moment are: needle felting, sculpture, photo manipulation, 2d animation, vfx, and illustration. I also dabble in watercolor and ink. I’m like a rather large, and clumsy butterfly flitting from one medium to the next.
 
Art is a great way to raise your voice in a world that doesn’t understand what it is like to be different, it is a great way to see ideas through another perspective. Art is our chance to tell our stories and to reach out into the world. I tell stories through colour, conveying feelings and abstract ideas in a unique combination of various media. My inspiration is drawn from my cats, my mom’s garden, nature in general, anatomy, the idea of hope, and tone colour in music. I particularly enjoy finding connections between things I am interested in. 
 
I have anxiety, depression, adhd, ptsd, fibromyalgia and a few other health issues. Living with chronic pain, and living with invisible illness is difficult. There is a lot of discrimination when you look fine on the outside.People can’t see that I am struggling and I hurt everyday, sometimes even clothes hurt to wear, sometimes getting out of bed is too painful. Just because you can’t see a disability doesn’t mean it is not there or that it is less valid. I struggle to be well enough to create, I often find myself saying that I do more art and painting in my head than I do in real life. I do the best I can with the life I have, one day at a time, and I am grateful for the people around me that support me in so many ways.

Disability Arts Writing

Hi I am Christiana,  a curator and artist from Saint John, New Brunswick. I have my MLitt in Curatorial Practice from the Glasgow School of Art and was Canadian Art’s winter 2018 editorial resident.

C Magazine / Crip Hope

On the Complexity of Cripping the Arts – Canadian Art

Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance – Canadian Art

Hi Ysabelle here, I am the artist behind this site I was fortunate to attend a workshop hosted by Artslink NB and Canadian Art Magazine on Arts Writing. 

Akimbo/Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium

Grid City Magazine – Art as Therapy

Createdhere Magazine  Issue 11 Psyche – Access to Art