With Shape artists set to feature in another international venue, we take a look at the role the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary has played in this.

Brazil, Qatar, and now the USA – our mission to promote outstanding works by disabled artists has taken Shape global over the last few months! The latest international destination for Shape is Grand Rapids, Michigan, where work by six artists connected to Shape will feature in the 'Art of the Lived Experiment' exhibition this April. As well as being another exciting step towards impacting disability arts worldwide, this project has highlighted the importance of the Adam Reynold’s Memorial Bursary as a stepping stone to success.

Adam Reynolds Leaded Light'Art of the Lived Experiment' might sound familiar to some readers - the exhibition was on display at The Bluecoat in Liverpool from November 2014 to January 2015, as part of DaDaFest International 2014. You can read an article on the Liverpool exhibition here. Now, it is to form part of the inaugural DisArt Festival from April 10-25 2015, which aims to change perceptions about disability, one work of art at a time. 'Art of the Lived Experiment' will be the centerpiece of a programme of disability art exhibitions, a film festival, a fashion show, theatrical and dance performances, and other learning opportunities. Find out more about the festival and exhibition here.

It's fantastic to have so many Shape alumni represented - exhibiting artists include Katherine Araniello, runner up of the Shape Open 2013, the vacuum cleaner, whose 'Madlove' project was an Unlimited 2014 R&D, and Shape CEO Tony Heaton.

The continuum from Shape's Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary is particularly exciting - exhibiting artist Simon Raven was the bursary recipient in 2012, whilst Araniello was shortlisted for the bursary in the same year, and 2010 recipient Aaron Williamson is co-curating the exhibition. The work of these artists is displayed alongside that of Adam Reynolds himself, with 'Leaded Light 1' (image left) and 'Current' on loan from the Shape Collection. The Bursary, launched in 2008 to commemorate Adam's life and work, is currently in the midst of its 2014/15 programme - find out more about the upcoming talks, performances and events here.

Several pieces of Adam's art are held in the Shape Collection, which at present holds over 25 works by disabled artists or on the topic of disability. We're constantly working to expand this collection, both to preserve extraordinary artworks and to share them, as the Shape Collection is available to loan. Last year, works from the collection were on show at Pallant House. The collection currently features work from Tom Shakespeare, Caroline Cardus, James Lake and Sue Austin.  

As Shape's international reputation as a leading disability arts organisation continues to build, we'll soon be heading to Italy for the Venice Biennale, now one of the most famous and prestigious cultural events in the world. Keep an eye on this blog to find out where in the world we'll be making our mark next!

Banner image: Tony Heaton 'Gold Lamé'. 
Inset image: Adam Reynolds 'Leaded Light 1'