Madness + Mobilty: The Art of Inclusion

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Blind Field Shuttle, 2012 Participatory Performance © Jordan Reznick
Gachet Art Cart, 2012 Industrial Design, Various Materials © Gabriella Solti
Zapatista, 2012 Silkscreen Print, String © Melodie Acero
Squizits, 2011 © Lavinia Chu
Madness + Mobilty: The Art of Inclusion
Curated by: Gabriella Solti

88 East Cordova
Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 1K3
July 6th, 2012 - July 29th, 2012
Opening: July 6th, 2012 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

+1 604.687.2468
Wednesday to Sunday 12PM to 6PM
industrial-design, social practice mixed-media, installation, performance


The exhibition Madness + Mobility: The Art of Inclusion presents the works of four Vancouver-based artists and industrial designers who employ innovative and artful solutions to making art and space inclusive. Each artist examines the confinements - psychological, physical and economic – that artists and individuals can face when informed by mental health issues, physical impairment or other forms of marginalization. Engaging the concept of mobility - literally and metaphorically - these creators work to invent escape routes from confining restrictions, creating spaces of inclusion while underscoring the creative process essential to equitable access. 

 Related programs (all programs are free and open to the public):

 Artists’ panel discussion: Melodie Acero, Dean Bennett, and Lavinia Chu with Gabriella Solti, Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 6:30pm

 Cutting the Disability out of Disability Arts, a talk by social practice artist Carmen Papalia, Friday July 27 at 5:30pm

 Blind Field Shuttle, a participatory performance by Carmen Papalia presented first time in Vancouver, Friday July 27 at 6:30pm. The public is invited to participate in a non-visual art walk in the city led by Carmen Papalia starting and ending at Gallery Gachet.

 Writing through the Body, a three hour workshop by Carmen Papalia that will introduce participants to a number of strategies for addressing their bodies in their autobiographical writings. Saturday July 28 at 1:00pm. Free and open to anyone. Registration required.  Please RSVP:

 About the artists:

Melodie Acero is a Vancouver-based visual artist and a traveling Atelierista, a Reggio Emilia inspired studio art teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and completed her training as an Atelierista in Miami at the leading Reggio Emilia school in North America. Acero is passionate about Reggio Emilia's progressive approach to early childhood education in which children are empowered to learn through the exploration of art, expression and self-direction.As a visual artist, she draws upon her childhood, her dreams and her Mexican roots for inspiration. Recurring themes in her craft include collaboration and storytelling that provoke interactivity and create spaces that allow imaginations to flourish. Acero is inspired by Mexican imagery, specifically from the regions of Chiapas and Oaxaca, and frequently uses handmade toys such as Animalitos and Alebrijes as inspirations for the characters in the worlds that she creates. Her protagonists include a variety of animals, little girls, mamas, dream monsters and Zapatistas (an indigenous group based in Chiapas that fight for dignity and peace for humanity and against Neoliberalism).

 Dean Bennett is an artist and designer living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Design degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and has worked extensively with other artists and designers in the city. In recent years he has focused on collaborative process involving inclusive, human-centred design methodologies alongside his own material practice. Drawing from nearly 20 years experience in the trades that have been complimented by his involvement in the arts community he is currently researching and experimenting with innovative ways to push the boundaries of traditional design development. He is especially interested in how social, political, and contextual factors are brought to bare on design processes and material production in our contemporary urban environments.

 Lavinia Chu is an artist and industrial designer living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Design degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her artistic and design practice is inspired and informed by interactivity, transformation and collaborative healing. She is interested in designing assistive products that employ research on healing from other fields. Her works have been exhibited in BC and Yukon. Most recently her work Nuum, a planter of individuals to explore their restorative possibilities, inspired by horticultural therapy, was showcased in the Interior Design West show, at the Vancouver Convention Centre in September 2011.  She has developed Squizits, an assistive product for children with ADHD to find a way to release their excess energy through a kit of various hand-held motions and fidgets. This product was developed through collaboration with a child with ADHD and OCD and her Education Assistant.

 Vancouver-based artist, Carmen Papalia is a radical social worker. His participatory projects create and complicate accessibility with regard to public space, the Art institution and visual culture. He has conducted the Blind Field Shuttle as part of engagements in Portland OR, Beach Lake PA, Oakland CA, San Francisco CA and will be presenting the project as part of the “What Can a Body Do” exhibition at the Canter Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College this Fall. Papalia has developed workshops on the topic of access for the Portland Art Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. He currently teaches undergraduate Art &Social Practice at Portland State University.