Changing Landscapes —
Supporting Artists with Disabilities
The Institute on Community Integration's Changing Landscapes initiative supports artists with disabilities through displaying and celebrating the work of Twin Cities artists in Pattee Hall. In addition, we offer the new Stephanie Award to one artist per exhibit, thanks to the Stephanie Evelo Arts & Disability Memorial Fund. In 2009, the Institute also hosted the Symposium on the Arts and Disability.
All images on this page are copyrighted to the artists. It is not permissible to download and illegally use these images.
Current UMN Exhibit
This exhibit showcases authors with disabilities from Cow Tipping Press and is called, “Aliens in the Group Home: A Neurodiverse Literary Landscape.”
The widely-used medium of literature is not often considered visual art. The current exhibition, however, presents a series of printed poems and short stories written by their students and peers. To feature the expression of the medium of literature, printed books and excerpts partner with form, attached to raw wooden frames that showcase words in harmony with visual art. Similar to the limited ability of letters to compose words, each frame is near identical, marked with subtle variations in structural details. Each author has arranged words creatively to produce their own distinct imagery. The medium of language in these creative writings and the form of the wooden frames help turn a literary art work into a visual one.
Cow Tipping Press teaches inclusive writing classes for adults with developmental disabilities. More broadly, the publishing house offers adults with developmental disabilities a chance to speak for themselves in a medium — books — usually used to speak about them. Authors then share their distinct voices with new audiences as a form of advocacy and integration. Yet the impact is not limited to authors. Surveys show that 83% of readers cite that Cow Tipping books change their fundamental perspective on disability.
The show can be viewed in Pattee Hall during regular business hours (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) now through January 2018.
Past Art Exhibits
Jon Leverentz (June-September 2017)
Jon has been an artist for most of his life, using acrylic and oil paints to create his artwork. He is inspired by nature and likes painting outdoor scenery. Jon’s insignia for all his paintings includes a “G” for God and his initials. He includes a “G” because through everything God has helped him, especially in his painting. Review the listing of Jon Leverentz's pieces in this exhibit (PDF). See also: Jon Leverentz: The Soul of an Artist (video), and the authors of Art Beyond Sight: A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment briefly discuss Jon's artistic contributions despite his multiple disabilities.
Interact Visual Artists at Birchwood Cafe, "Feast" (August-October 2017)
Feast was a community exhibit by Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts held at the Birchwood Cafe in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. During 2017, Interact Visual Artists explored the subject of food and their relationships and perceptions of food and art. Individual cultural traditions were compared by exploring different ethnic foods. The artists approached the call in a variety of media and styles to demonstrate both existing and new understandings of one of the most basic building blocks of life, food.
Evelo Permanent Collection at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Minneapolis (May 2017)
We installed our first community art exhibit at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral on Loring Park at 519 Oak Grove Street (across from the Walker) in Minneapolis! With the aid of St. Mark's art curator Gregory McDaniels, we installed nine works of art from Changing Landscapes' Evelo Permanent Collection. This exhibit was open to the public for the month of May.
Artists whose work were displayed include Ashlea Karkula, Mike Kramer, Eric Sherarts, Juanita Umbell, and Matthew Zimdars from Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts; Sharon Wood from Courage Center; and independent artists Stephanie Evelo, Geoffrey Mikol, and Jimmy Reagan.
Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts (January - April 2017)
We were delighted to install our third exhibit of art from Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, in this, our 10th year anniverary of showcasing art by artists with disabilities in Pattee Hall! This exhibit includes the work of 39 incredible Interact artists. We enjoyed meeting many of the artists at their closing reception on March 31, 2017 in Pattee Hall. Congratulations to Ingrid Hansen for winning the Stephanie Award for her piece "Llamas and Cliff" and to Ashlea Karkula for the sale of her piece "Cityscape" which is now a part of our permanent collection!
Art: Ingrid Hansen's Llamas and Cliff.
Geoffrey Mikol (September - December 2016)
We were excited to exhibit the artwork of Illinois artist Geoffrey Mikol as part of our Changing Landscapes Arts exhibits. Geoffrey was born with Downs syndrome and has found a special connection with fine art photography as a means of expressing himself. He recently graduated from Harper College and is self-employed through his fine art photography. Follow Goeffrey on Instagram or Facebook.
Art: Geoffrey Mikol's First Light
ICI Staff and Permanent Collection Exhibit (June - August 2016)
Works in the Stephanie Evelo Permanent Art Collection and by Institute on Community Integration employees were on exhibit over the summer months.
Minnesota Life College (January - April 2016)
The students of Minnesota Life College (MLC) prepared exceptional art work for the Changing Landscapes exhibit at the Institute on Community Integration. The selection of artwork spanned two years of art making and included intaglio prints, dioramas, scratch boards, charcoal and pastel drawings, and both watercolor and acrylic paintings. MLC is a life-long learning program for individuals with Autism Spectrum and learning differences who want to lead an independent life within the community. The purpose of MLC is to provide Real Skills for Real Life™ training in an experiential learning setting, and be a transition guide throughout the many changes that take place throughout adult life. We are excited to see their creations!
Jonathan Culbertson (August - December 2015)
About the artist: Jonathan Culbertson is a skilled photographer who specializes in nature, portrait, and event photography. Jonathan lives with Autism and other disabilities which have added strength to his work. He uses his unique view of the world to inspire others through his art.
Jimmy Reagan (March - July 2015)
Born July 6, 1993 in St. Paul, MN and creating art since 2009, Jimmy Reagan has a passion for color, texture and the simplicity of an image. His work is expressive and inventive while innocent and sophisticated at the same time. The sumptuous, unexpected array of color in Reagan's work, suggests the artist's relationship to synesthesia. Bright, electric color infuses his images as do short lines he defines as 'tick marks.' Reagan's favorite subjects are portraits – both people and animals. The subjects of Reagan’s portraiture often depict a clear, sometimes striking, direct gaze. Eye contact is an interesting and reccurring theme. Diagnosed with complex autism at age 2 1/2, Reagan's work offers him a means to illustrate his perspective of the world. See CEHD News article, Institute on Community Integration Showcases Artist Jimmy Reagan.
Midwest Special Services (July - October 2014)
We are excited to display over 20 pieces of visual art from the talented artists at Midwest Special Services (MSS), a non-profit organization that provides supports for adults with disabilities. The show includes a variety of art mediums including drawings, paintings, prints, textile art, photographs, and digital art. The art on display is a product of MSS' award-winning Creative Arts Program. Through a facilitated approach, MSS artists are able to overcome physical or cognitive barriers they may face, and bring their creative vision to life.
For more information about MSS or their Creative Arts Program please contact Lauren Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Upstream" (March - June 2014)
New York photographer Dirk Anschütz joined forces with Minneapolis-based Upstream Arts – a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and youth with disabilities through the power of arts education – to produce Upstream, an exhibition that offers unsentimental portraits of young adults with disabilities. In this body of work, Anschütz focuses on the complex human being beyond the disability.
Lao Xiong (October 2013 - January 2014)
This independent artist, Lao Xiong, supported by TSE Incorporated, provided over 20 pieces to exhibit in Pattee Hall. See this StarTribune article, On the job with employment advisor Jeff Myhre for more information about Lao's employment advisor and TSE.
Opportunity Partners (May - September 2013)
Pattee Hall was graced with artwork from artists from Opportunity Partners during the summer of 2013.
Interact Center (November 2012 - January 2013)
This was our 3rd exhibition from artists at Interact Center. We showed over 30 paintings, sculpture, and home decor pieces exhibited on all 3 floors and in select conference rooms and suites.
Lifeworks Services (June - September 2012)
We displayed over 30 pieces from Lifeworks Services' traveling collection. Art, music, theater, photography, and art history are taught by volunteers, guest artists and Lifeworks staff. Clients have the opportunity to display their art at events around the community, as part of the Lifeworks Traveling Art Show.
ART-Abilities (November 2011 - February 2012)
We exhibited over 35 pieces from ART-Abilities Gallery celebrating artwork and creativity by Twin Cities artists of all abilities. This show was presented in collaboration with ARRM, Homeward Bound, Inc., and Star Services, and with community partners CCP, Harry Meyering Center, Opportunity Partners, Phoenix Alternative and REM The Mentor Network. This selection of art had been previously exhibited at the Ridgedale Library, and enjoyed an extended exhibit at Pattee Hall!
Brainstorms (January - May 2011)
Raising awareness about epilepsy, in collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota
The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFM) launched its Creative Arts program in 2004, the only program of its kind in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. The BRAINSTORMS visual arts program is one of EFM’s three Creative Arts programs and features over 120 pieces from artists living with seizures. The collection travels throughout communities in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota to raise epilepsy awareness. See the full Brainstorms Art collection online.
Slideshows of Past Art Opening Events
- VSA arts of Minnesota on July 22, 2009
- Slideshow of all 2007-2008 tours including guest comments
- Courage Center Art Opening on June 12, 2008
- Partnership Resources, Inc. Art Opening on February 5, 2008
- Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts Art Opening on September 17, 2007
News Articles Related to Ongoing Exhibits
- Changing Landscapes: An art exhibit - Paintings showcase works made by Twin Cities area artists with disabilities, July 21, 2009, UMN Brief
- Show and Sell: U of M art exhibit promotes artists with disabilities, March 10, 2008, Access Press, Inc.
- ICI (MN UCEDD) Launches "Changing Landscapes: The Visiting Artists with Disabilities Project", January 7, 2008, Association for University Centers on Disability Web site.
- ICI Launches “Changing Landscapes: The Visiting Artists with Disabilities Project”, August 2007, ICI’s FYI Newsletter
Arts & Disability Symposium
The Institute was proud to co-host the Symposium on the Arts & Disability on October 30, 2009 at the Weisman Art Museum to share ideas and strengthen opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the arts. We were honored to have Tom di Maria, director of Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, as our keynote speaker. In addition, three panels of prominent artists, educators, and program directors added to the discussion of ways to strengthen opportunities for artists with disabilities.
Thanks to the generous support of ICI, its committed staff members, and the participating organizations and artists loaning and selling their artwork. Special thanks to a grant from the College of Education and Human Development’s Multicultural and Diversity Committee for supporting us in our inaugural year, 2007-2008.
Arts Committee Members
The following Institute on Community Integration staff comprise the Changing Landscapes Arts Committee:
- Megan Dushin (co-chair)
- Mark Olson (co-chair)
- Amanda Ryan
- Melissa Critchley
- Cliff Poetz
Congratulations to the 2007-2008 committee for winning the ICI Excellence and Community Building Award in 2008!
Please contact Megan Dushin at email@example.com or 612-626-8649 to inquire further.