Quick Links: (scroll down for page content)
Media – Official News Release – English
Media – Official News Release – Spanish
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Preview: ‘The Art of Disruption: Expressions of Black and Disabled Protest’
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN [Date] DisArt announces a preview of our upcoming ‘Art of Disruption’ exhibition, a groundbreaking showcase of innovative works by Black and Disabled artists. This collection boldly demonstrates the profound interplay of race and disability, shedding light on parallel histories of activism and advocating for transformative change. ‘Art of Disruption’ is made possible by funding and in-kind support from the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Conduit Studio, SideCar Studios, SiTE:LAB, Frey Foundation, Steelcase Inc., FASTSIGNS, in addition to ArtPrize.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: At the heart of ‘Art of Disruption’ lies a deep appreciation for four essential themes: Language Expansion, Self-Preservation, Collaboration, and Continuous Becoming. These themes serve as catalysts for reshaping our understanding of interpersonal relationships, fostering an environment of growth that honors the significance of adopting mindful processes and intentional care for both individuals and communities.
‘Art of Disruption’ exhibition and community events embrace the intricacies, paradoxes, and bonds that connect humanity with space, place, and each other. By reimagining existing structures to embrace the potential for progress inherent in genuine care, ‘Art of Disruption’ pioneers new ways to commune, connect, and collaborate. Artists weave change into their work through meaningful conversation and conscious communication. Ensuing narratives emerge not from the outside, but rather from a place of inner reflection and growth. Rooted in community and fueled by a shared purpose greater than the individual, the ‘Art of Disruption’ embodies the shared values of collective growth and well-being.
While the full exhibition will not be showcased until 2024, the ‘Art of Disruption’ preview will commence with the installation of an outdoor community space between September 8–14. After installation of the structure, a series of public events will take place during ArtPrize between September 14–October 1, where Art of Disruption artists will collaborate closely with local community members in and around Heartside Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As part of this remarkable collaboration, DisArt will once again join forces with Paul Amenta and SiTE:LAB by building upon the foundation of a previous installation titled “Hybrid Structure.” Paul Amenta, a prominent figure in the art community, will serve as an advisor, lending his expertise to the construction process. DisArt will also partner with SiTE:LAB to curate programming centered around themes related to Race and Disability, further enriching the exhibition experience.
“The ‘Art of Disruption’ is not merely an exhibition,” reveals DisArt Creative Director Le’Andra LeSeur, a multidisciplinary artist whose work includes video, installation, photography, painting, and performance. LeSeur was awarded the $200,000 juried grand prize at the 10th international ArtPrize in 2018. “It is a testament to the power of art to challenge conventions, ignite conversations, and inspire societal change. We invite community members to join us in celebrating this transformative journey as we uncover new perspectives, forge connections, and amplify the work and unique perspectives of Black and Disabled artists.”
About DisArt: DisArt is committed to cultivating and celebrating Disability Culture by using the power of creative expression to transform physical, sensory, and attitudinal barriers, especially those of the imagination. We strive to provide everyone in every community the opportunity to engage with the arts in ways that value their unique viewpoints, experiences, and talents. Through exhibitions, events, and consulting, DisArt advocates for greater inclusivity and accessibility, creating spaces where both disabled artists and audiences can thrive.
About ArtPrize: ArtPrize is an open, international art competition that takes place for 18 days in the fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. These citywide art experiences encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space, and promote cultural understanding.
For Media Inquiries and Interview Requests, contact:
Lawrence Carter-Long, DisArt Co-Director
*All events are at Heartside Park unless otherwise noted
Thursday, September 14, 7:30pm – 8:30pm EST | Film Screening of ‘Underlands’ by RA Walden
Friday, September 15, 7pm – 10pm EST | Opening Night Party hosted by SiTE:LAB (Ritsu Katsumata, Cabildo, DJ SuperDre)
Saturday, September 16, 11am – 8pm EST | HeartPrize, a project of the Heartside Business Association, will activate Heartside Neighborhoods opening weekend of ArtPrize *throughout Heartside Neighborhood
Sunday, September 17, 11am – 6pm EST | HeartPrize will activate Heartside Neighborhoods opening weekend of ArtPrize *throughout Heartside Neighborhood
Sunday, September 17, 4pm – 6pm EST | Partner Activation
with Grand Rapids Downtown Market (Artist To Be Announced)
Monday, September 18, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Tuesday, September 19, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Wednesday, September 20, 1pm – 2pm EST | Care, Dignity, and Belonging are Necessary in DEI Work, Online Lunch ‘n Learn, Register for Zoom Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/care-dignity-and-belonging-are-necessary-in-dei-work-lunch-n-learn-tickets-698013867267?aff=oddtdtcreator
Wednesday, September 20, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Thursday, September 21, 6pm – 7pm EST | The Embodiment of Material, Online Artist Panel, Register for Zoom Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-embodiment-of-material-virtual-artist-panel-tickets-697976726177?aff=oddtdtcreator
Friday, September 22, 12 noon EST | Community Gathering and Lunch – 40 meals will be provided to community members 1st come. Please bring your lunch and join us
Friday, September 22, 7:30pm – 8:30pm EST | Film Screening of ‘Underlands’ by RA Walden
Saturday, September 23, 2pm – 3:30pm EST | Josiah Golson Artist Workshop
Sunday, September 24, 4pm – 6pm EST | Partner Activation with local artist Reyna Garcia (Arts, Culture, and Disability GR)
Monday, September 25, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Tuesday, September 26, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Wednesday, September 27, 1pm – 2pm EST | Disrupting Norms: Access in Branding, Lunch ‘n Learn, Register for Zoom Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disrupting-norms-access-in-branding-tickets-698015281497?aff=oddtdtcreator
Wednesday, September 27, 7pm – 8pm EST | Listening Session of ‘The Clearing’ by JJJJJerome Ellis
Thursday, September 28, 3pm – 5pm EST | Partner Activation with Lexi Newland
Thursday, September 28, 6pm – 7pm EST | Process as Resolve, Online Artist Panel, Register for Zoom Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/process-as-resolve-virtual-artist-panel-tickets-698025461947?aff=oddtdtcreator
Friday, September 29, 12 noon EST | Community Lunch
Friday, September 29, 3pm – 4:30pm EST | Jeff Kasper Artist Workshop
Sunday, September 24, 5pm – 5:15pm EST | Partner Activation with local artist Reyna Garcia (Arts, Culture, and Disability GR)
Friday, September 29, 7:30pm – 8:30pm EST | Film Screening of ‘Underlands’ by RA Walden
Saturday, September 30, 4pm – 5pm EST | Jerron Herman Artist Performance
October 1, 4pm EST | Partner Activation with local artist Reyna Garcia (Arts, Culture, and Disability GR)