April 10 – July 31 2015
UICA, The Fed Galleries at KCAD, and Grand Rapids Art Museum

A new festival coming to Grand Rapids this spring is on a mission to change perceptions about disability, one work of art at a time. 

The inaugural DisArt Festival, to be held from April 10-25, will enliven the city with several expansive disability art exhibitions, a film festival, a fashion show, theatrical and dance performances, and other learning opportunities, all aimed at championing creativity and conquering prejudice in order to unite and strengthen the community at-large. 

The centerpiece of the DisArt Festival is ‘Art of the Lived Experiment', which will feature the work of more than 19 internationally renowned disability artists, including sculptor Tony Heaton and performance artist Simon Raven. In addition to these works, seven additional North American pieces have been commissioned for the U.S., including those by mixed-media artist Jeremy Burleson and performance artist Raphaelle de Groot.

The exhibition also features work loaned from the Shape collection by sculptor Adam Reynolds - find out more about Shape's Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary here.

Co-curated by Amanda Cachia and Aaron Williamson for DisArt 2015, the exhibition brings together a range of artworks by US and international artists, many showing for the first time in this country. Process-based and performative work is strongly featured. An introductory ‘Ignition Room’ at UICA presents an eclectic range of historical ephemera that illuminates the exhibition’s themes and includes an acoustic chair, a gold disc and hearing aid as worn by singer Johnnie Ray, and material relating to Goya, Kafka, Isaac Newton, Sarah Bernhardt and Yves Klein. A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, and an accessible iOS app that is driven by iBeacon technology will be active at all three venues.



Jeremy Burleson
Raphaëlle de Groot 
Martin KerselsAdam Reynolds
Alison O’Daniel

Katherine Sherwood
Laura Swanson
Katherine Araniello
Tony Heaton
Bobby Baker
Ellen Friis
Kate Mahony
Simon Raven 
Matthew Thompson
The Vacuum Cleaner
Dimple Shah


Ellie Collins
Brian Catling
Anna Berndtson
Aaron Williamson
Floris Kaayk
Sinéad and Hugh O’Donnell
Bekki Perriman
Wendy Jacob


David Lock 
Maurice Mbikayi

Visit the Art of the Lived Experiment website by clicking here.

This exhibition was at The Bluecoat 8th Nov 2014 - 11th Jan 2015. 

Image: Adam Reynolds 'Leaded Light', from the Shape Collection.

Booking for this event has now closed.