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 2016

SPARK Exhibitions

For the 2016 festival SPARK curated a series of five visual art exhibits across Calgary, each exploring themes of Art & Disability from a variety of perspectives and in all media. Of the 245 submissions received, the Festival featured over 140 pieces from Canadian artists pan-disability: 

  • SPARK: ACAD Main Mall (lower level) | 1407 14th Avenue NW, Calgary AB | Nov. 28 - Dec. 2

  • SPARK: Arts Commons +15 (Tiny Galleries) | 205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 17 - Dec. 4

  • SPARK: IDAS Optimist Gallery | 8038 Fairmount Drive SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 28 - Dec. 2

  • SPARK: Loft 112 | #112, 545 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 24 - Dec. 2

  • SPARK: Studio C | #502, 237 8th Avenue SE, Calgary AB | Nov. 28 - Dec. 2

The Festival was curated by Colin Menzies, Daniel Cristini and Roxanne Taylor, with special thanks to the Jury Committee: Aeliot Blackwell, Paula Timm and Nicky Van Minnen.

SPARK Satellite Exhibitions

In addition to SPARK's juried exhibitions, In-Definite Arts and Studio C were pleased to partner with the University of Calgary in 2016 to present new SPARK art exploring ability, disability and mental health. U of C students exhibited sculptures on the theme of Adapt, Ability, Disability during the festival, as well as collaborative drawings created through partnered expression (where U of C students paired with artists from the In-Definite Arts Society to create jointly rendered drawings).

Both series of artworks were featured together at the U of C Art Building under the shared title Creative Growth. The exhibits were on display November 28 through December 2, and the reception took place November 30 with an estimated audience of 100 visitors.

  • Creative Growth | Little Gallery and Gallery 621, Dept of Art, 6th floor Arts Parkade, University of Calgary, 2975 University Way NW | Nov. 28 - Dec. 2

Special thanks are extended to the following University of Calgary Art Department faculty who worked closely with SPARK this year: Dick Averns (Instructor, Department of Art), Jennifer Eiserman (Associate Professor, Department of Art) and Michele Hardy (Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Art, Curator, Nickle Galleries), as well as the many students, technical and administration staff who made this collaboration possible.

SPARK Public Programs

New this year in conjunction with the festival and in partnership with the University of Calgary, the Nickle Galleries was pleased to host Cripping the Museum: A Panel Discussion on Disability, Art, Museums and Galleries in Calgary. This informative discussion raised questions such as what are 'disability arts?' And who are artists with disabilities? How well represented are artists with disabilities in Calgary? What are the issues local artists face navigating the art world? Similarly, what are the issues persons with disabilities face visiting Calgary's museums and galleries?

The panel was hosted at Gallery Hall in the Taylor Family Digital Library, and included panelists Dick Averns, Angela Broad, Geraldine Chimirri-Russell, Stephanie Hanson and Sandra Morton Weizman from the U of C faculty and PhD program, Nickle Galleries, Vecova and the Clinic for Heilkunst Medicine, respectively. The panel was moderated by Michele Hardy, Curator for the Nickle Galleries.