Ground-Breaking Exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center April
1 - June 4, 2006 Highlight of the City-Wide Bodies of Work
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, 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
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
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"
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
Audio Described Tours
Saturday, April 22, 12-2 p.m.,
Michigan Avenue Galleries
Thursday, April 27, 12-2 p.m., Michigan
Audio described tours will be available for the
Thursday, April 27, 12:15 p.m., Michigan
Co-curators Riva Lerher and Sofia Zutautas
discuss the exhibition.
Public Discussion: "Imagining and Imaging the Disabled
Saturday, April 29, 2:30 p.m., First Floor Garland
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
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
www.chicagoculturalcenter.org. For more information about "Thinking
Out Loud," visit projectonward.org; about Bodies of Work: The
Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture, call 312.744.6630
(TTY: 312.744.2947) or visit www.bodiesofwork.org.
Note to Press: Electronic Images Available Upon Request
the Chicago Cultural Center website for more
the Department of Cultural Affairs website for more