A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art is a two part project by Catherine J. H. Miller.  The first part of this project was the creation of an exhibition “A Somewhat Secret Place”  that included works of art, literature and performance from artists and writers with and without disabilities. The Oregon Women’s Caucus for Art, (OWCA) a 501c3 corporation, took on the exhibition as a project of the OWCA.  The exhibition took place at PRESENTspace 939 NW Glisan in the Portland Pearl District. The show opened July 7th and closed July 30th 2011. The show featured eight events which included an opening, artists talks each week, V.I.P. events, and a closing night party. To learn more about the OWCA please visit us at http://www.oregonwca.org.

The second part of A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art is currently underway and sponsored by RACC. This part of the project will be a book documenting Ms. Miller’s curation, her collaboration with the OWCA and the community at large. Miller’s book will offer her theories on the intersection of contemporary arts and disability, and offer definitions and names for four areas of artistic practice in which disability is present. Miller’s planned inclusive book and exhibition project will create an international conversation that will show that artists and writers with disabilities are capable of expanding what is considered fine art and the common understanding of art history. Ms. Miller says “perhaps this project will even shake previously held ideas of what disability art and disability pride art means.” The book will feature works showcased in the above-mentioned exhibition and will be produced and published through a partnership with Memwar Publishing in Canada. Please learn more about our publisher at http://www.memewaronline.com/about.html.

This project started in May 2010 as an individual art project of Catherine J. H. Miller and co-creator Lisa Grgas, as a sort of concept, or rather a wishful question: “Would it not be useful to have a more holistic look at inclusion in all areas of artistic practice?” What grew from that small question is many people coming together for possibly the first time. Today, the OWCA stands proudly as the primary collaborator and supporter. Additionally, since the beginning of this project many organizations (such as Oregon Office on Disability and Health at OHSU) have partnered and sponsored this project along with local art community members such as Mark Woolley (who will be handling all sales of work in the exhibition). Please go to our donors list to learn more about our supporters.

The project title comes from the thought that disability and impairment is not talked about in the arts in all the places where it is clearly apparent. It is that location that is “the not so secret place” for Ms. Miller. The title is a sort of tip-of-the-hat to Dubuffet’s “Art Brut De Foyer” where the use of the word Foyer was an attempt to incite the ideas of an inviting place to gather.

“My book and the exhibition are not the product/art object of my project. The product or ‘art’ is something less tangible and more powerful.  The ‘art’ is the conversation that the visitors and readers will have in the gallery space and beyond.  It is the interaction between the arts communities, the disability communities and the wider community around words like ‘disability art,’ ‘disability pride art’ and un-named areas of artistic practice.”

-Catherine J. H. Miller

Artistic and Project Director/Fine Art Curator
OWCA Subcommittee Chair: A Somewhat Secret Place Exhibition

9 Responses to “About”

  1. I am an artist with disabilities. I learned of “A Somewhat Secret Place” speaking with Heather at Utrecht Art Supplies. Her description made this sound rather intriguing. I noticed while perusing the website that the call is for artists who are residents of Oregon. I am a resident of Vancouver, just over the river. Am I able to submit work as well? If so, is there a limit on the number of submissions? And… am I able to submit in more than one category?

  2. Anyone wanting differently formatted apps should email asomewhatsecretinfo@gmail.com to request the documents.

    I do need web help to find a better/easier way to do this. So if anyone would like to volunteer to help with the development of this blog please email the above email address with your phone number, best time to reach you and time that you are able to volunteer. I will call you ASAP

  3. Met you one night on the street car headed to the Pearl…I am not an artist, but would love to help where I can…This is a neat project to bring to Portland.

  4. My name is: Le Quang Linh was born in: 1985.
    I myself am a disabled, I am currently living at the address, 249, Tran Phu (Ha Tinh City). Disabilities, speech and Travel Training is not like normal but, overcome pain, depression and despair, I jumped deduoc of a meaningful life to the art nguoi.Toi with big aspirations TB is shown confided his and others like her through the paintings. My paintings are rated as happy, and bright ideas hidden impressed the viewers.
    Art was helping me up, with the leader of a passionate love life
    I was, trying to rise up in life, find joy in viecve competition.
    With the help and encouragement of people I sent some paintings exhibition participation: In 2003 my work involved a corner town of Fine Arts Exhibition IV North Central area in Thanh HoaThang 8, 2006 I work the Festival of Fine Arts exhibition center in northern Ha exemption TinhThang 12, 2006 I participated in the picturesque market ‘Alaxan – Victory pain achieve first prize” in August 2011 have seasonal work fun art exhibition center in northern Quang exemption BinhThang 11 2011 field visit special prize competitions, pictures of people with disabilities to the Association for Development of Quang Binh people with disabilities ( AEPD
    But the other picture has yet to be introduced and I do not know at all.
    Through reviewing the information on carrying the mirror I know there are many disabled people
    know beyond fate, composing the art of painting value, for
    ChiHuynh Sam has created many beautiful paintings from his legs, his hands curled. Desire access to knowledge has led her to private school even though every click, legs hurt negligible. She was Vietnam Economic Times awarded the woman to touch the heart of Vietnam. Ms. Le Ngoc Giao Thuy painting with my left hand only, after losing his right hand, but she has found joy in life drawing portraits on the streets of Saigon. Behind the portrait sketch feats is a story of courage rise of female artists phe.Khi brutal but has lost his right hand, she must suffer the tudau Stage set everything by hand, from rice, washing, sweeping … Because of poor parents injured, and so did not want to live anbam become a burden for families struggling to assign start Stage set to make a living painting.
    Kannan from Karishma was born in 1991 in India, is an amateur painter, Down syndrome. 2008, from Karishma family moved to work in Vietnam. During this time had learned English from Karishma with Cyndi Beaumont teacher. Fortunately, she Cyndi Beaumont is also an artist, drawing from Karishma should always thus. As its name from Karishma – in Hindi means “miracle” – painting as a miracle was not attracted to girls with Down syndrome may focus on drawing, because people with Down syndrome are difficult to focus on any something.

    Her drawings are experts rated as “full of the generosity with bright blocks of color, thehien a pure heart filled with love and nature.”
    Drawing from Karishma’s magic to bring the message to many people with Down syndrome and many defects tatkhac, said: “I can, you can, we can” – anyone can draw in any circumstances.
    Hien has been polio, with the help of his sister Li had practiced drawing and income for life lo tuviec painting.
    Vinh Duc Anh Chu paralyzed people. But Germany has decided to pursue a passion for drawing and painting and became his teacher chuphong foreign cereals classes Vinh city (Nghe An).
    I think if there is some way be able to organize an exhibition of paintings voiquy people with disabilities nationwide, probably gives us a useful playground, will create conditions for organizations and individuals thethuc committing the charity for people with disabilities.

    find sponsors to make an exhibition about people with disabilities I was living in 249 Le Quang Linh – Tran Phu Street – Ha Tinh email address: lequanglinh12@yahoo.com

  5. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
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