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Heartside Park and Online
301 Ionia Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
DisArt is thrilled to present a sneak peek of our upcoming ‘Art of Disruption’ exhibition, a groundbreaking display featuring innovative works by Black and Disabled artists. This collection boldly explores the intricate relationship between race and disability, illuminating parallel histories of activism and advocating for transformative change.
The realization of ‘Art of Disruption’ has been made possible through generous funding and in-kind support from esteemed organizations including the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Conduit Studio, SideCar Studios, SiTE:LAB, Frey Foundation, Steelcase, FASTSIGNS, and ArtPrize.
EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS: ‘Art of Disruption’ centers on four core themes: Language Expansion, Self-Preservation, Collaboration, and Continuous Growth. These themes inspire a fresh perspective on how we relate to each other, nurturing personal and community well-being through thoughtful and intentional processes. Through their art, the artists share their personal stories about being Black and/or disabled.
1) Language – consider the words we currently use and the importance of including Black and disabled people in language development
2) Self Preservation – emphasizing self care and care of our communities
3) Collaboration – prioritizing interdependence and collaboration over independence
4) Continuous Becoming – promoting continuous growth and learning of self and of oppressive systems
‘Art of Disruption’ celebrates the complexities, contradictions, and connections that bind people to spaces, places, and each other. By transforming current systems with a focus on genuine care, it introduces innovative ways to interact, connect, and work together. Artists drive change by engaging in meaningful dialogue and purposeful communication. The resulting stories arise from introspection and personal development rather than external influences. Rooted in community and driven by a common goal larger than the individual, ‘Art of Disruption’ embodies the 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.
In this exciting collaboration, DisArt is teaming up once more with Paul Amenta and SiTE:LAB. They are building on their previous work, “Hybrid Structure.” Paul Amenta, a respected art figure, will provide advisory support for the construction, and SiTE:LAB will help curate programs focused on Race and Disability themes to enhance the exhibition experience.
“The ‘Art of Disruption’ is more than just an exhibition,” says DisArt Creative Director Le’Andra LeSeur, an artist skilled in various mediums like video, installation, photography, painting, and performance. In 2018, LeSeur received the $200,000 grand prize at the 10th international ArtPrize. “It’s a testament to art’s power to challenge norms, spark conversations, and drive societal change. We invite the community to celebrate this transformative journey with us, where we’ll discover new viewpoints, build 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.