In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed Dec. 3rd International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
To recognize that important date, the Victoria Disability Resource Centre is holding its sixth annual Artists with Disabilities showcase.
The Victoria Disability Resource Centre is a not-for-profit, run by and for persons with disabilities.
“We see around ten thousand people a year. It’s a large number, and it blows my mind when I think of that” says executive director Wendy Cox.
“We have a number of services. We do a lot of helping people fill out forms, applying for disability benefits…it can be a very convoluted process so it’s nice to have some assistance there.”
“We have peer support programs, we’ve got a computer access program, so people can come in and check their emails, look at their Facebook, keep connected with family, do some job search, print resumes, things like that.”
The Artists with Disabilities showcase is from Nov. 30 until Dec. 3.
“I think it started originally in the office with just a few artists” says Ami Gordon, on the board of the centre, and one of the coordinators of the art showcase.
“Now we have close to 40 artists submitting their work, and we have over 100 submissions every year.”
“We feature around 20 to 25 artists, and 30 to 40 pieces.”
One of those artists, who’s also one of the organizers of the showcase and an integral member of the centre, is Les Chan.
“The centre really encompasses all people with varying disabilities, and allows them to come into a safe environment where everybody’s very congenial.”
“Being part of an art show is allowing so many people in, and it’s all about inclusion. And for people to showcase their art, that’s what it’s all about!”
Chan explains that the showcase is at a different venue this year.
“We were at the Art Gallery [of Greater Victoria] for two years, but of course they’re in renovations so we’re not there this year,” says Chan.
And so this year, Flux Media Gallery, right next door at 821 Fort Street, is presenting the showcase.
“The show is going to occur over four days,” says Ami Gordon, “Friday, November 30 to Monday December 3.
“And during the entire time our offices will be open, providing refreshments and information on our programs. We will have accessible washrooms too” Gordon adds.
The juried Artists with Disabilities showcase will include painting, photography, fabric, and sculpture.