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Changemakers - A SPARK Festival Solo Artist Series

Presented in partnership with Arts Commons' RBC Emerging Visual Artists Program

For its tenth year of presentations, the SPARK Disability Art Festival is proud to present a new Solo Artist Series, hosted in collaboration with Arts Commons and developed alongside the RBC Emerging Visual Artist Program. Featured in this showcase are seven emerging or early career artists—selected from SPARK’s ten-year exhibition history—who demonstrate exceptional talent and tenacity, and who represent Calgary’s next wave of professional artists living with a disability.

For the 2019 Festival, SPARK is proud to spotlight: Amber Harriman, Daniel May, Eva Hontela, Lynn Cameron, Macarena Ruidiaz, Penny Gunderson and Shawn Belanger.

Leading with difference, the “Changemakers” exhibition is committed to making a positive change in Calgary’s art sector by giving emerging artists with disabilities the best opportunity to launch their careers at a professional level. Spanning all media and genres for art-making, the themes of the exhibition have evolved alongside its participants, encompassing the different ways that disabled identifying artists contribute to, create and experience culture. Through this exhibition, SPARK invites the public to meet, see and begin to understand what motivates these great artists to create their work and impact their communities.

The exhibition will run from September 9 through December 8, with an artist reception at Arts Commons November 29 from 5:30 to 8:30pm.

Learn more about the RBC Emerging Visual Artist Program (EVAP): SPARK is proud to partner with Arts Commons’s RBC Emerging Visual Art Program in promoting fair conditions for all persons (especially persons with disabilities) to participate fully in the arts. The purpose of this engagement is to help bridge the gap between emerging and established for Calgary artists who self-identify as Deaf, having a disability or living with mental health barriers.

The EVAP program represents an exceptional opportunity for emerging visual artists to develop their artistic practice, to showcase their work to the public through exhibitions, open studio and speaking engagements, and hone their professional skills in order to build a solid foundation for a successful career. Through one-on-one mentorship opportunities, professional development sessions, networking social events and exhibition opportunities, these emerging visual artists will enter into the next phase of their career. Becoming a successful artist is about more than innate ability, it is a purposeful combination of opportunity, meaningful hard work, and mentorship.

Learn more about this opportunity here.

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