Introducing a new Solo Artist Series this summer!
SPARK Disability Art Festival is currently accepting applications from emerging artists who self-identity as disabled to take part in an upcoming Solo Artist Series.
This series is part of a larger, multi-artist collaboration with the RBC Emerging Visual Artists program at Arts Commons. The exhibition pays Artists Fees and will run from June through August 2020. Artists accepted into the program will also receive free (mandatory) professional development training September 2020 through August 2021. Applications (in the form of an Expression of Interest) will be accepted by SPARK between March 23 and April 10, 2020.
Click below for details on eligibility and how to apply, or check the NEWS section for more festival updates.
If you are interested in partnering with SPARK, planning an event/exhibition or funding a project, please contact the SPARK Disability Art Festival by email: email@example.com.
The SPARK Disability Art Festival is Calgary's largest and longest running arts festival for visual artists with disabilities.
SPARK Festival 2010
November 29 - December 3, 2010
For SPARK's inaugural year, Studio C and In-Definite Arts were excited to present a wide selection of artwork representing a diverse array of subject matter and media in four juried venues:
"The Nature of Things", In-Definite Arts Gallery
"The Mind's Eye", Studio C Gallery
"Colour Sense", Art Central Atrium
"Celebrating a Lived Experience of Disability", Eau Claire Market
This Festival was curated by Daniel Cristini, Colin Menzies and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Doug Driediger, Jamie Gray and June Hills.
SPARK Festival 2011
November 28 - December 3, 2011
For SPARK's second year of presentations, Studio C and In-Definite Arts teamed up to curate over 40 artworks that celebrate art and disability from multiple perspectives. The shows were titled:
"Curio",Studio C Gallery
"Exotica", In-Definite Arts Gallery
The Festival was curated by Daniel Cristini, Colin Menzies and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: David Janzen, Linda Hawke and Ann Haessel.
SPARK Festival 2012
December 3 - 7, 2012
In SPARK's third festival year, In-Definite Arts and Studio C showcased works from 42 of Calgary's best emerging artists with disabilities, in two juried venues:
"Supercalifragilistic", Studio C Gallery
"Expialidocious", In-Definite Arts Gallery
The Festival was curated by Daniel Cristini, Colin Menzies and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Christeen Nahas, Kaili Cashin, Lissy Sexsmith and Martin Aguilar.
SPARK Festival 2016
November 28 - December 2, 2017
Continuing the momentum from the previous year, SPARK 2016 was as dynamic as ever... with five juried exhibitions across Calgary, two satellite shows at the University of Calgary and a jam-packed closing reception with three guest speakers. Read on for more details about the SPARK happenings that took place place November 28 - December 2.
SPARK Festival 2017
November 27th to December 8th 2017
SPARK's eighth year of presentations was another breakout year for the Festival, including five juried exhibitions showcasing international talent to an estimated viewership of over 60 000. The Festival also included satellite shows and public programs presented by the Alberta College of Art + Design Students' Association, artist Dick Averns, the Nickle Galleries and University of Calgary. Read on for more details about the SPARK happenings that took place November 27 - December 8.
SPARK Festival 2018
December 3 - 8, 2018
For SPARK's ninth year, Studio C was proud to organize a week-long takeover of cSPACE King Edward—Calgary’s newest arts hub. The festival included juried exhibitions (showcasing international talent) spread over multiple floors/galleries, as well as a panel discussion with Calgary artists and Disability Art programmers about the "Pros and Cons of Disability-specific Festivals". Read on for more details about the SPARK happenings that took place place December 3.- 8.
SPARK Festival 2013
December 2 - 6, 2013
For SPARK's fourth year, Studio C and In-Definite Arts showcased artwork in three juried venues, representing the diverse talents of emerging artists with disabilities from across Alberta and British Columbia:
"Nature", Studio C Gallery
"Portraiture", In-Definite Arts Art Box
"Abstraction", Atlantic Avenue Art Block
The Festival was curated by Daniel Cristini, Colin Menzies and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Amanda Koyama, Kaili Cashin, Sally Raab and Mark Vazquez-Mackay.
SPARK Festival 2014
December 1 - 5, 2014
For SPARK's fifth anniversary year, Studio C and In-Definite Arts curated two traditional and salon style exhibitions featuring the talents of over 60 emerging artists with disabilities:
"Reflection", Studio C
"Refraction", IDAS Optimist Gallery
The festival was curated by Colin Menzies, Daniel Cristini and Julie Ridley, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Aeliot Blackwell, Lucy Aburto, Paula Timm and Aaron Sidorenko.
SPARK Festival 2015
November 30 - December 4, 2015
SPARK 2015 was a breakout year for the Festival with significant expansions including new exhibits, keynote speakers, panels, and workshops sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts. Read on for more details about the different SPARK happenings that took place November 30 - December 4.
SPARK Festival 2019
September 9 - December 17, 2019
For its tenth anniversary year, the SPARK Disability Art Festival introduced a new Solo Artist Series titled "Changemakers". Hosted in collaboration with Arts Commons, this exhibit featured seven emerging or early career artists who represent Calgary’s next wave of professional artists living with a disability. A retrospective of disabled-identifying artist Matthew Carberry ("From Concept to Comic") closed the festival during the month of December at Studio C.
Over the years, SPARK is proud to have hosted a series of artist talks on subjects relating to art, diversity, inclusion and a lived experience of disability. These public presentations are paid opportunities for artists with disabilities to share their creativity and amplify their voice within the contemporary arts.
An Artist's Journey
Nature is Our Teacher
heART Where You Are
Beyond My Wheels:
What Do You See
SPARK would like to thank Daniel Pisterzi of Upstream Video Marketing and Kim McGowan for filming and editing these videos.