PACC

We're In It (Remaking the World)

Artist in Residence w/ Samantha Mitchell Lead Artist

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We're In It (Remaking the World)

Neurodiversity in Contemporary Art w/ Disparate Minds

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Introduction

Learning about artists through their art – and vice versa – we seek to create an open forum for conversation that engages concepts of disability, neurodiversity, narrative voice, art writing, and book-making. How do we rethink the problematic term “outsider art” and reconsider how all of us move between “inside” and “outside”? How do we build relationships, one-on-one and across communities, that contribute to this reimagining? This project connects institutions of higher education, art studios, and local and national arts organizations. Building narratives and relationships through speech, drawing, and the written word, we aim to find common ground, build access across boundaries of space and difference, and bring both art-making and storytelling into ethical visions that remake the world.

This project was active during Spring 2018, in addition to a significant planning phase preceding the active semester as well as a follow up once the semester had concluded.


Collaborators

Lead Artist

Samantha Mitchell is a an artist and writer based in Philadelphia. She was born in New York City and graduated from Oberlin College in 2008. She lived and worked in Illinois, Utah, California, and Oregon before enrolling in the MFA program of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, graduating in 2012. Aside from her work in the studio, Mitchell works as an adjunct professor and is the Arts and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Creative Works, a studio for adults with developmental disabilities. She is an editor of Title Magazine, a publication devoted to writing on the arts in Philadelphia, and contributes regularly to The Brooklyn Rail and Brut Force.Her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Grizzly Grizzly, and the International Print Center of New York, and is part of the permanent collection at the Woodmere Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Director

Center for Creative Works

The Center for Creative Works is a unique work environment with a goal of developing creative work potential and cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities. Creative Works combines supported studio art development with work opportunities-including supported employment options – and community programming. Participants learn and work in drawing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, textiles, design, music and other media. A staff of mentor artists teach professional materials and techniques, with the goal of developing participants as artists, artisans, and designers. We foster individual expression and skill development, promoting our artists’ work through public exhibitions, art fairs, and other events in the community.

Director of College Writing Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of Independent College Programs

Haverford College

Kristin Lindgren is the director of the Writing Center and a visiting assistant professor of Independent College Programs at Haverford College, where she teaches courses in literature, writing and disability studies. She earned a BA at Dartmouth College, and MA at Columbia university, and a PhD at Bryn Mawr College. She is co-editor of two books on Deaf culture, Signs and Voices and Access, and author of numerous articles and essays on illness and disability. Her work appears in several collections, including Gendering Disability; Illness in the Academy, Disability and the Teaching of Writing, The Patient, and Disability and Mothering

Visiting Assistant Professor; Coordinator, Peace, Justice & Human Rights

Haverford College

Adam Rosenblatt is an interdisciplinary scholar of human rights and humanitarianism with a background that combines political theory, anthropology, and other fields such as science and technology studies. Hiscurrent transnational research explores how lost, neglected, and marginalized spaces of the dead lead to the creation of communities of care and resistance among the living. Other research and teaching interests include care ethics, neurodiversity/disability, and nonhuman animals. At Haverford College, his teaching includes seminars on “Human Rights and the Dead,” “Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity” (which is participating in a Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives grant), the community-engaged “Social Justice Organizations,” the introductory class in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and other core seminars in the concentration.

Events

Center for Creative Works: Lori Bartol, Director

Non-Profit Partner

241 Lancaster Ave, Wynnewood, PA

The Center for Creative Works is a unique work environment with a goal of developing creative work potential and cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities.

Creative Works combines supported studio art development with work opportunities-including supported employment options – and community programming. Participants learn and work in drawing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, textiles, design, music and other media. A staff of mentor artists teach professional materials and techniques, with the goal of developing participants as artists, artisans, and designers. We foster individual expression and skill development, promoting our artists’ work through public exhibitions, art fairs, and other events in the community.

Our fully engaged program includes many options for inclusion, growth, exploration and development of individual talents and skills within each person. CCW is committed to realizing potential for everyone to contribute in truly meaningful and productive ways, and to support our artists in building their cultural identity as members of their community.
Photo Credit: Center for Creative Works

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Samantha Mitchell, Lead Artist

Artist in Residence

Samantha Mitchell lives in Philadelphia and is the Arts and Exhibitions Coordinator for The Center for Creative Works, a studio for adults with developmental disabilities.

Mitchell has been a long-time teaching artist at CCW, and as a result has created intimate, long-term relationships with the resident artists. Because of these relationships and deep understanding of the CCW mission, she is uniquely positioned to speak to the students about a wide range of accessibility issues as well as the personalities and working styles of the individual artists.

“Mitchell is primarily a drawer and printmaker who investigates the relationship between order and chaos through different processes of mark-making.” From A Tenous Equilibrium curated by Emily Elliott & Jillian Schley

The image above, Mountain Knot, is ink and watercolor on paper, 30 x 24 inches, made in 2016.
Photo Credit: Samantha Mitchell

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We're In It (Remaking the World) Student Tumblr Blog

Website

Created and facilitated by lead artistSamantha Mitchell, this public blog was designed as a repository for student writings, questions about CCW or disability studies, and a record of all the activity between the students during this collaboration. In addition to this blog space, the students all kept physical, personal journals where they recorded their reactions and ideas in a more private space.

We’re In It (Remaking the World) Tumblr Blog

Photo Credit: We’re In It (Remaking the World) Tumblr Homepage

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Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice Course Visit w/ Samantha Mitchell, Lead Artist

Course Visit

1.23

7:30-10pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Samantha Mitchell, the Arts and Exhibitions Coordinator for The Center for Creative Works, visits Professor Kristin Lindgren’s course “Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice” to give a talk about the Center for Creative Works and provide an introduction to the collaborative project. The talk includes explorations of topics such as creative process, materials, and how these ideas connect with the larger collaborative PACC project.

Mitchell has been a long-time teaching artist at CCW, and as a result has created intimate, long-term relationships with the resident artists. Because of these relationships and deep understanding of the CCW mission, she is uniquely positioned to speak to the students about a wide range of accessibility issues as well as the personalities and working styles of the individual artists.
Photo Credit: Samantha Mitchell

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Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity w/ Samantha Mitchell, Lead Artist

Course Visit

1.25

8:30-10am, VCAM, Haverford College

Samantha Mitchell, the Arts and Exhibitions Coordinator for The Center for Creative Works, visits Professor Adam Rosenblatt’s course “Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity” to give a talk about the Center for Creative Works and provide an introduction to the collaborative project. The talk includes explorations of topics such as creative process, communication, materials, and how these ideas connect with the larger collaborative PACC project.

Mitchell has been a long-time teaching artist at CCW, and as a result has created intimate, long-term relationships with the resident artists. Because of these relationships and deep understanding of the CCW mission, she is uniquely positioned to speak to the students about a wide range of accessibility issues as well as the personalities and working styles of the individual artists.
Photo Credit: Samantha Mitchell

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Center for Creative Works Artist Presentations

Presentation & Discussion

1.26

2pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Center for Creative Works resident artists Mary T. Bevlock, Paige Donovan, Vinetta Miller, Joyce Moseley, Timothy O’Donovan, and Tamisha Williams gave individual talks about their work to students in both Kristin Lindgren and Adam Rosenblatt’s courses.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Center for Creative Works Tours w/ Haverford College Students

Tour

1.29

Multiple Times, Center for Creative Works, 241 Lancaster Ave, Wynnewood, PA

Haverford College students were taken on a tour of the CCW studios, which includes a gallery, woodshop, ceramic lab, silkscreen space, a kitchen, open workspace, and fiber room. The four tours, led by CCW artists, gave the students insight into how the resident artists utilize the space on a daily basis and how the activities of the artists connect with the programming of those areas. The visits were held on Tuesday 1/29 at 11am, Thursday 2/1 at 11am and 1pm and Friday 2/2 at 11am.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice Course Visit w/ Kaitlin Pomerantz, Artist

Course Visit

2.27

7:30-10pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Artist and educator Kaitlin Pomerantz visited Professor Kristin Lindgren’s course “Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice”. Pomerantz, who has previously worked as a teaching artist at The Center for Creative Works, shared her work, her writing, and also engaged the students in a discussion about her creative process and concepts present in her most recent projects.

Kaitlin Pomerantz is a visual artist and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Her sculpture, intermedia installation, 2D works, and writing explore the relationship between humans and nature, landscape and land use, and themes of history, vacancy, loss, and renewal. Pomerantz participated in the academic arts residency program, Land Arts of the American West, based out of Texas Tech University, this past fall. Pomerantz is co-facilitator of a recurring botanical arts project, WE THE WEEDS, which will attend the Cabin Time residency out of Los Angeles this spring. Pomerantz has most recently shown work at Little Berlin, Philadelphia; Texas Tech Museum, Lubbock, TX; and Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Chicago, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art from the University of Pennsylvania. (Nov. 2017)
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Pomerantz

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Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity Course Visit w/ Kaitlin Pomerantz, Artist

Course Visit

3.1

8:30-10am, VCAM, Haverford College

Artist and educator Kaitlin Pomerantz visited Professor Adam Rosenblatt’s course “Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity”. Pomerantz, who has previously worked as a teaching artist at The Center for Creative Works, shared her work, her writing, and also engaged the students in a discussion about her creative process and concepts present in her most recent projects.

Kaitlin Pomerantz is a visual artist and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Her sculpture, intermedia installation, 2D works, and writing explore the relationship between humans and nature, landscape and land use, and themes of history, vacancy, loss, and renewal. Pomerantz participated in the academic arts residency program, Land Arts of the American West, based out of Texas Tech University, this past fall. Pomerantz is co-facilitator of a recurring botanical arts project, WE THE WEEDS, which will attend the Cabin Time residency out of Los Angeles this spring. Pomerantz has most recently shown work at Little Berlin, Philadelphia; Texas Tech Museum, Lubbock, TX; and Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Chicago, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art from the University of Pennsylvania. (Nov. 2017)
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Pomerantz

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Disparate Minds Private Workshop for Center for Creative Works Teachers

Workshop

3.6

3:00pm, Center for Creative Works

Disparate Minds co-founders Tim Ortiz and Andreana Donahue created a presentation specifically for teachers at Center for Creative Works around challenges that are specific to progressive art studios. CCW teachers received special training credit for attending the presentation.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Neurodiversity in Contemporary Art w/ Disparate Minds

Presentation & Discussion

3.8

7:30pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Disparate Minds co-founders Tim Ortiz and Andreana Donahue discuss current concerns at the intersection of art and disability studies while highlighting neurodivergent artists’ contributions to the contemporary art discourse. In the interest of progressing past trends in writing and exhibition typically associated with the now obsolete Outsider Art designation, Donahue and Ortiz trace a gradual paradigm shift over the past twenty years – the convergence of artists making work in facilitated art studios with an increasingly pluralistic art world. The image above is by CCW Artist Jenny Cox, “Black and White,” 18 x 24 inches, marker on paper, 2016

Andreana Donahue (born in Chicago, IL) is a multimedia artist, writer, and independent curator with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has organized and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Alaska, Chicago, Iceland, Los Angeles, NYC, Nevada, and Miami. Donahue’s project-based practice spans various narratives and media, yet reflects an ongoing relationship with the transformation of found materials through labor-intensive, analog processes. Her recent work reflects a deep engagement with abstraction, the history of quilting and a re-imagining of its utilitarian traditions. Artist residencies include the Wagon Station Encampment at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, The Icelandic Textile Center, SIM in Reykjavik, 100 West Corsicana in Texas, and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently based in the Southwest, she is an art handler and vocational trainer for individuals with disabilities who are entering the workforce. Donahue is the recipient of a 2018 Nevada Arts Council Fellowship and Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant, among others.

Tim Ortiz (born in Burlington, VT) is a painter and writer with a BFA from Elmira College in New York. Initially trained in traditional landscape painting and contemporary Photorealism, Ortiz’s work presently reflects a commitment to the practice of painting from a minimalist perspective – seeking the absolute through the deconstruction of mark-making, while rendering space and form in an abstract context. Ortiz began working with adults living with developmental disabilities in 2008, spending two years managing a caseload of over 100 individuals for a job training program before meeting Donahue in a progressive art studio. He has developed art programming for Special Education and High School students with Autism, and spent one year creating and providing weekly art-making sessions for seniors in a psychiatric hospital. He is currently a CNA and home/community-based personal care provider for adults with developmental disabilities.
Photo Credit: Jenny Cox

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Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity Course Visit w/ Kaitlin Pomerantz, Artist

Course Visit

3.20

8:30-10am, VCAM, Haverford College

Artist and educator Kaitlin Pomerantz visited Professor Adam Rosenblatt’s course “Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity” for the second time in the semester. For her second visit with Rosenblatt’s students, Pomerantz focused on brainstorming presentation methods for the upcoming exhibition of CCW artwork at Haverford College. Many of the students in this course had never worked with artists, curatorial practices or exhibition design and they were able to draw on Kaitlin’s extensive experience.
Photo Credit: Image of Kaitlin Pomerantz courtesy of Mariel Joan Capanna

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Bookbinding Workshop w/ Lindsay Buchman (Part 1)

Site Visit & Workshop

3.23

11am-1:30pm, University of Pennsylvania Fisher Fine Arts Library, 220 South 34th St., Philadelphia, PA

Lindsay Buchman, guest lecturer in the Penn Design program and affiliated with Common Press at Penn, met artist from Center for Creative Works, Artist Samantha Mitchell, students from Adam Rosenblatt’s course ‘Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity’, students from Kristin Lindgren’s course ‘Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice’ at the Penn Library. Buchman gave the group a tour of Common Press Studio, Penn’s independent publishing imprint, along with a wide array of publications that were made in the studio using the Riso printer. The group then participated in a text-based exquisite corpse activity which generated material for a collaborative publication that was then printed at Common Press. This was the first part of a two-part workshop that continued at Haverford College later in the semester.

Lindsay Buchman is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia, PA, and Saratoga Springs, NY. Her work explores image-making and writing through print and lens-based media, artist books, and installation, pivoting between language, intersubjectivity, and site. Buchman holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from California State University Long Beach. Exhibitions of her work include the LA Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Los Angeles, CA); NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY); The Danforth Museum of Art (Framingham, MA); Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia, PA); and Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA). She has lectured on her work at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), has been featured in Hyperallergic, and is a recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. Buchman is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Student Consultations w/ Samantha Mitchell

1-on-1 Student/Artist Meeting

4.8 - 4.13

Multiple, VCAM, Haverford College

Artist Samantha Mitchell visits with students at Haverford College to go over the material they have gathered from the CCW artists, organizational methods, and how they might start thinking about presenting it in the forthcoming exhibition.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Bookbinding Workshop with Lindsay Buchman (Part 2)

Workshop

4.27

11am-1pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Lindsay Buchman, guest lecturer in the Penn Design program and affiliated with Common Press at Penn, will be working with artists from the Center for Creative Works and students from Adam Rosenblatt’s course ‘Thinking Differently: Politics and Practices of Neurodiversity’ and Kristin Lindgren’s course ‘Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice’. This is the second part of a two part workshop that began in at Common Press. The students and artists bound risograph prints made at Common Press, each page came from a group exquisite corpse writing assignment. Workshop from 11-12, lunch from 12-12:30, wrap up from 12:30 – 1.

Lindsay Buchman is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia, PA, and Saratoga Springs, NY. Her work explores image-making and writing through print and lens-based media, artist books, and installation, pivoting between language, intersubjectivity, and site. Buchman holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from California State University Long Beach. Exhibitions of her work include the LA Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Los Angeles, CA); NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY); The Danforth Museum of Art (Framingham, MA); Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia, PA); and Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA). She has lectured on her work at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), has been featured in Hyperallergic, and is a recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. Buchman is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Activity Visit w/ Teacher Corps from Center for Creative Works

Public Program

5.7

10am-1pm, Founders Green, Haverford College

The Center for Creative Works teacher corps, Sharina Porrman, Vinetta, Cassie and Christine V. constructed multiple activity stations on the Founders Green outside of VCAM. The Haverford community was invited to play with giant bubbles, try out the pedal powered wood scroll saw designed for the Center for Creative Works studios, and construct their own fidget spinner while enjoying snacks in the summer sun before the opening reception of the exhibition “We’re in It (Remaking the World)”.

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We’re In It (Remaking the World) w/ the Center for Creative Works

Exhibition

5.7

4:30-6:30pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Learning about artists through their art – and vice versa – we seek to create an open forum for a conversation that engages concepts of disability, neurodiversity, narrative voice, art writing, and book-making. How do we rethink the problematic term “outsider art” and reconsider how all of us move between “inside” and “outside”? How do we build relationships, one-on-one, and across communities, that contribute to this reimagining? Building narratives and relationships through speech, drawing, and the written word, we aim to find common ground, build access across boundaries of space and difference, and bring both art-making and storytelling into ethical visions that remake the world.   

This exhibition is the culmination of a semester-long collaborative project between ten artists working at the Center for Creative Works (CCW) and thirty-two Haverford and Bryn Mawr College students. Meeting one-on-one or in pairs, students traveled weekly to CCW for interviews, collaborative art-making projects, conversation, and portfolio viewing sessions. For this exhibition, groups of students worked together to curate a selection of artwork by each artist, as well as contributing a short piece of writing about the artist and their work for printed monographs. Artists were recorded talking about the collaboration – and about their own work – for an audio component within the installation. Also included are collaborative books that artists and students created together, an exquisite corpse storytelling project (created in collaboration with and printed by artist Lindsay Buchman), and selections from student journals written throughout the semester.

This exhibition was installed with accessibility in mind and includes an audio tour and large format wall labels. All work has been hung to respect a 50-inch eye level.

CCW artists:
Owen Ahearn-Browning, Beth Barsky, Mary T. Bevlock, Kelly Brown, Jenny Cox, Paige Donovan, Vinetta Miller, Joyce Moseley, Timothy O’Donovan, and Tamisha Williams.

Haverford & Bryn Mawr students:
Clara Abbott, Elise Black, Grace Brosnan, Julia Coletti, Keri Cronin, Amanda Dennis, Bryn Everson, Julia Fortier, Nicole Gianetti, Margaret Gorman, Tessa Haas, Julie Hanss, Sarah Jesup, Mary Kearney-Brown, Silvia Lang, Julian Ledger, Alison Love, Sasha Mathrani, Grace Pindzola, Claudia Rivera, Theodora Rodine, Paola Salas, Rory Seymour, Fiona Smith, Julia Smith, Adam Stambor, Hanae Togami, Kate Weiler, Riley Wheaton, Lindsay Wytkind, Anna Yang

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