City-wide festival is one of the largest and longest running visual arts festivals for artists with disabilities.
“SPARK celebrates creative self-expression by artists pan-disability, including emerging and professional artists with developmental, physical, or sensory disabilities, mental health barriers, brain injury, and/or chronic illness. Artists are encouraged to explore authentic interpretations of the disability experience. SPARK provides exhibition and advancement opportunities and advances a creative vision of equality.
SPARK is presented by Prospect/Studio C. This year’s festival runs from November 27th to December 8th in 6 public venues across Calgary.”
“Studio C is proud to present the 2017 SPARK Disability Art Festival, Calgary’s longest running festival for artists with disabilities. The festival kicks off next week Monday November 27 and takes places in 7 different venues across the city. This year’s festival includes juried exhibitions with international talent from across Canada, the United States and United Kingdom, as well as public programs and other events presented in partnership with the University of Calgary Department of Art, Nickle Galleries, Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association and artist Dick Averns.
SPARK is excited to present a series of visual art exhibits that will ignite the mind & spark the imagination. This year’s Festival features over 110 pieces juried of art in all media from international artists pan-disability. Exhibits will be hosted at ACAD, Arts Commons, cSPACE King Edward, the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and Studio C from November 27 to December 8.
SPARK SATELLITE EXHIBITIONS:
SPARK 2017 has an exciting lineup of satellite art shows presented in partnership with the University of Calgary, including student work on display in the Sculpture Gallery on the theme “Adapt… Ability… Disability”. At Nickle Galleries, a significant retrospective exhibition “RAGE HOPE” addresses the theme of mental wellness and features the work of Edmonton artist Richard Boulet.
SPARK is also proud to promote the ACADSA Hear/d Residency, a pilot project developed by the Alberta College of Art + Design’s Students’ Association. The residency has its own central theme of resilience relating to the journey of mental health issues currently experienced by many post-secondary students. Drawing on this theme, the Hear/d Residency program invites participants to explore concerns that are affecting post-secondary students in a creative and innovative way. Artistic outcomes from the residency will be exhibited alongside SPARK artwork with a joint reception occurring November 30.
SPARK PUBLIC PROGRAMS:
At the Lightbox Studio in Arts Commons, don’t miss “Recognition… Validation… Reassurance… Art + Mental Wellness“, a collaboration between artist Dick Averns and SPARK to utilize spaces in and around Arts Commons: engaging public audiences on the topic of mental wellness. The installation hopes to address feelings of invisibility and isolation that often accompany mental distress. The exhibition space includes an evolving display of artwork generated through community workshops: collage, drawings and text-based art comprising personalized depictions fostering mental wellness. Contact Studio C for more more information about workshop opportunities available.
Finally, SPARK is proud to promote the Nickle at Noon discussion panel “Mental Health in Museums and Art Galleries” presented at the University’s Gallery Hall on November 30. From 12-1:30pm, join Dick Averns, Paul Freeman, Tamara Pringsheim, Richard Boulet and other special guests to discuss the relationship between mental health, museums, art galleries, art and artists. The discussion will be followed by the relaxed reception for the exhibition, Richard Boulet: RAGE HOPE. For details, visit http://nickle.ucalgary.ca/
The closing reception for SPARK 2017 will be hosted in conjunction with the ACADSA Hear/d Residency on November 30 from 6 to 8pm. All are welcome!”
The complete SPARK program, with a list of events, see below or visit https://www.sparkdisabilityartfestival.com/ for more information.