Desert Euphony: An exhibition of artworks by disabled VCU artists

Desert Euphony

February 10 – March 3

Exhibition Reception: Saturday, February 18, 12–2pm (masks encouraged)

VCUarts and The Anderson are pleased to present Desert Euphony, on view on the first floor of The Anderson. Curated by disabled Craft/Material Studies student Shannon Harper Kane, this exhibition centers the lived experiences of VCU students with disabilities.

Participating Artists

Anonymous, Calvin Ashley, Alexander Burdette, Maddie Ernst, Aynslee Hodnett, Jazmine Jackson, Caitlyn Kantaparn, Verena Lathers, Luci Milo, Lillian (Lily) Mullins, Heciel Nieves-Bonilla, Ryder Paley, Sirena Pearl, Memphis Prater, and Helen Trout.

Exhibition Statement

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it? If joy is sung in the desert, does it make a sound? Joy exists in isolation, but thrives in community. The Desert Euphony exhibition brings together disabled student artists in an effort to encourage connection and make space for collective empowerment.

The disabled experience is often a lonely one characterized by a tumultuous correspondence between the physical world and what’s going on internally. The tile of the exhibition, Desert Euphony, speaks to this paradox of isolation felt by disabled people but also the power that resides in self expression and vulnerability. The artworks in this exhibition reflect that vulnerability and the persistence of disabled artists at VCU. With these artworks, the artists have made visible their parallel experiences of loneliness, turmoil, tenacity, desire for connection, and more–creating a harmonious oasis; a Desert Euphony.

Artists are uniquely positioned to rely directly on the relationship between mind, body and the physical world—a relationship that is particularly fraught and distorted for disabled people. Often, disabled people are expected to ignore their bodies’ cues with the expectation that better results are gained through pain and overexertion. It is advantageous to listen to the needs of our bodies and minds, whether they are disabled or not, as doing so will allow community to continue to grow, and encourage artists to thrive.

There is no neutral body from which our bodies deviate . . . no body stands outside the consequences of injustice and inequality.” – Aurora Levins Morales

Poster designed by felipe Fonseca.