Saturday, January 14, 2012

Momentum: A National Juried Exhibition for Emerging Artists with Disabilities, Ages 16-25

Where: Ripley Center

When: through January 22, 2012

I'm pretty sure this is the third time I've seen this annual exhibit.  It's meant to encourage artists with disabilities at a time when they are deciding whether or not to make the arts their career.  I'm impressed by their talents, and when you read about what they struggle with on a daily basis, their work is just that much more impressive.

This year's theme is the creative spark, the force that drives their artistic interest.  I'm not entirely sure that each piece necessarily conveyed the answer to that question ("What is it that drives you to create?"), but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

The piece that most caught my attention was "Skateboarding Geisha" by Jansen Smith.  Really, how could you not want to look at a piece called Skateboarding Geisha?  Smith suffers from cerebral palsy that affects his right hand.  He makes prints, and he makes them first with his left hand and then with his right, to show the difference the disease makes on his coordination.  I didn't see a vast deal of difference between the two prints, but I was greatly taken with the idea and the picture.

Another artist, Xi Nan, who works with ceramics, was quoted, “I have learned to be strong and perseverant in the journey of making my art works; no risk, no miracle.”  I love that sentiment: no risk, no miracle.  I'm going to make it my  motto for 2012.

Verdict: This small show is great for a lunchtime excursion.

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