THE SPARK DISABILITY ART FESTIVAL IS PROUDLY PRESENTED BY A DEDICATED TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS.

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©2019 by SPARK Disability Art Festival

SPARK FESTIVAL 2015

SPARK Exhibitions

For the 2015 Festival SPARK was excited to receive visual art submissions from around the world, including a unique new partnership with disabled artists from the i-dART Institute in Hong Kong. Of the 223 submissions received, In-Definite Arts and Studio C curated a series of five visual art exhibits across Calgary intended to ignite the mind & spark the imagination. The Festival featured over 130 pieces of art in all media from international artists pan-disability: 

  • "Confusement" at Loft 112 | #112, 545 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 30 - Dec. 4
    An installation by Scott Berry and the Nina Haggerty collective exploring "the feeling of being looked at but no one can see who you really are".

  • "Dramaticalism" at the Studio C Gallery | #502, 237 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 30 - Dec. 4
    A group exhibition exploring Art & Disability in all media and from a variety of perspectives.

  • "Imaginational" at the IDAS Optimist Gallery | 8038 Fairmount Drive SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 30 - Dec. 4
    A group exhibition exploring Art & Disability in all media and from a variety of perspectives.

  • "Knowledgment" at the ACAD (Main Mall) | 1407 14th Avenue NW, Calgary AB | Dec. 2 - Dec. 4
    A group exhibition exploring Art & Disability in all media and from a variety of perspectives.

  • "Terrifical" at the Arts Commons +15 | 205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 30 - Dec. 31
    A group exhibition exploring Art & Disability organised around the theme of sculpture.

The Festival was curated by Colin Menzies, Daniel Cristini and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Dani Mortson, Erin O'Toole, Jean Snowden and Morgan Paul.

To help present the 2015 Festival, SPARK was also pleased to partner with the City of Calgary's International Day of Persons with Disabilities. On December 3rd, a selection of artworks from the IDAS venue were temporarily relocated to the Arts Commons's Jack Singer Lobby for the duration of the IDPD Celebration.


To see or download a digital copy of the SPARK 2015 Festival catalogue, click here.

SPARK Workshops

Uniquely in 2015 SPARK presented a series of professional development workshops designed specifically for artists with a (developmental) disability. Workshops were free to attend, delivered in plain language and included the following topics:

What is an Artist Statement, What is a Curriculum Vitae, How do I Photograph my Art, and How do I Enter an Art Show?

Now that the Festival is over, In-Definite Arts has published these learning materials in an artist handbook available freely for download here.

SPARK Public Programs

Lastly in connection with SPARK's Closing Reception on December 3, Studio C hosted a panel discussion where audience members could engage directly with the diverse artists who exhibited in SPARK. The panel included five emerging visual artists who approached art and disability from unique perspectives, including: an artist who is blind, a mental health author, and a learning disability curator. Through candid, moderated conversation artists and audiences together explored the challenges and successes of creating Disability Art in Calgary. Special thanks are extended to artists: Alyssa Hatton, Andrew Harding, Jana Brodkin, Morgan Paul and Rachel M. Thomas for leading this discussion.