Through partnering with the DisArt festival in the spring of 2015, and facilitated by professor, artist and curator Paul Amenta, the Collaborative Projects class was able to dive into the complex world of disability rights, understand the problems that many disabled peoples face, and in turn develop a system of implementation to create a gallery space for a number of local, disabled artists.
In the beginning of this course, students met with several artists, curators, disabled individuals, and various professionals in the area that work with disabled people. Absorbing information and heightening a sense of empathy was important in the beginning few weeks of this course, for these resources were then pumped into the designs they created. In the middle of the semester, students developed posters for the festival, way finding systems, and methods of interaction with the community to raise awareness – all while holding true to standards of disability design and ADA compliancies. Towards the end of the semester, the class repurposed an abandoned office space in downtown Grand Rapids to host 5 artists from the area.
The 2015 DisArt festival was a huge success, and truly helped change perceptions in our city of what it means to be a disabled person. DisArt x KCAD = Community Development.
- Collaborative Projects, Spring 2015
- Ian Culver, Amar Dzômba, Kat Matisse, Johnathon Morrow, Emily Nagy, Jessica Rozema, Eric Schroeder, Ben Schumitz, Hattie Straube, Leslie Yarhouse
- Paul Amenta