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For Immediate Release
Contact: Jill Hurwitz
Phone: 312-742-1148
E-mail: jhurwitz@cityofchicago.org
Monday, February 27, 2006
Humans Being: Disability In Contemporary Art

Ground-Breaking Exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center April 1 - June 4, 2006 Highlight of the City-Wide Bodies of Work Festival

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 addressed."

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 & Disability"
Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m., First Floor Garland Room
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"
Friday, April 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 of Theatre.

Audio Described Tours
Saturday, April 22, 12-2 p.m., Michigan Avenue Galleries
Thursday, April 27, 12-2 p.m., Michigan Avenue Galleries
Audio described tours will be available for the visually impaired.

Gallery Talk
Thursday, April 27, 12:15 p.m., Michigan Avenue Galleries
Co-curators Riva Lerher and Sofia Zutautas discuss the exhibition.

Public Discussion: "Imagining and Imaging the Disabled Self"
Saturday, April 29, 2:30 p.m., First Floor Garland Room
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 state agency.

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

Visit the Chicago Cultural Center website for more information.

Visit the Department of Cultural Affairs website for more information.

 
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