Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

January 26, 2014

Happy News

Dear Readers,

This project started when I became curious as to why there seemed to be no clear understanding of disability in the fine arts while there seemed to be no lack of disability in actual art works.

First, in 2010, I put out a call to artists and writers.  In 2011, with the support of many volunteers and the OWCA, we put on an art show.  At that exhibition there was work by people with and without disabilities.  There were also readings and performances.

Two years later I posted the seeds, on this blog, for a book.  It was a long manuscript in its entirety. I chose not to post the ready for print PDF version which was designed universally to be accessible to the most people possible. It was incomplete without an audio book or proper coding on images for screen readers to read.  At that time, I thought the printed book would have a audio CD in it, but now I am considering other options.

Today I am happy to say that I have refocused on writing the book.  I will be editing it into a book that is one-fourth the length.  Sadly, most of the featured artists and writers from the show A Somewhat Secret Place will be cut and in their place I shall explain a framework for how we can think of disability in all areas of art.  That is everything from how we respond to art that contains the sensation of disability (lived, seen and felt) to how we talk about an artist with a disability whose work does not have anything to do with their disability. I have done this in what I have written so far but I know I can push it.

I would love to have more funding to be able to sit and work on it 24/7.  However, I do not think that will happen anytime soon.  So it may be a while before I post a finished work for download.  I am thinking around this time next year.

Also, I am back in my studio and thinking once again about painting. But my work with this topic and project is not over. TEDx  Concordia University Portland has asked me to be one of their 2014 speakers.  I have said yes.  I cannot tell you too much now, but the talk will have something to do with the appendix of the book.

Speaking of the appendix, in the summer of this last year I was able to speak with Mr. Oliver when he visited Portland, so now I have a few things to add to the appendix.  The story has continued.  The spoiler is that there is a very happy ending.

I plan on redoing some of this website to make it clearer what the show was and who supported it. I will be taking down a few pages that I no longer need. I think that many people wish that this was an ongoing project and many are sometimes confused by page content and layouts. If you like to work on websites and want to help, feel free to contact me through this blog.

Thank you to all of my loyal subscribers and followers on facebook and twitter for continuing to support me in this project. It has been nearly 4 years now.  It has been fun. That is so only because of all of the people who have been there supporting me through each stage. Thank you.


Catherine J. H. Miller

July 29, 2011

ADA 21st Birthday Party

Dear Friends.

Thank you to the Riot! for organizing this super fun event that took place Tuesday, July 26th.  It was so fun working with Yoshi and Jamie. We had about 30 people attend, eatcake, drink

bubbly and enjoy a wonderful discussion guided by John Agusta.

I received this picture from our raffle winner, Serenity Ebert (left) who won the ADA symbol piñata I made only hours before the event.


Catherine J. H. Miller

Image caption: Serenity Ebert (left) Catherine J. H. Miller (right)

July 29, 2011

Next Event! Free and for Kids! 7/30 Noon-2


By Joy Cocoran, Photography by Jim HIll

Saturday, July 30th, at noon, artist and storyteller Joy Corcoran will engage children in the art of storytelling and the stories we can find in art.  “Feeding Your Dragon” uses fantasy to explore human variation through the use of sight, sound, touch and imagination.  Joy will encourage children to have a conversation about disability as difference and how to feed the dragon we call fear inside of all of us.  Children will experience a variety of communication styles including American Sign Language (ASL) and braille. Children will be allowed to touch Joy’s fabric sculpture called Shared Vision — a blind goddess, Iris, and her seeing-eye dragon, Aurora. This is a part of A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art which takes place at PRESENTspace Gallery at 939 NW Glisan.
Children accompanied by an adult are welcome.  Cookies and tea and soy, rice and almond milks will be served.

— Joy Corcoran

July 26, 2011

Gallery Hours on July 26th

3:30 pm-6:00 pm

Tonight we have an event in the gallery from 7-9 pm.

Please join us on Tuesday, July 26th from 7-9 pm to celebrate the 21st Birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as part of the A Somewhat Secret Place exhibit. Spotlight, in association with The Riot, is sponsoring the event, which will include a conversation centered on how the ADA law, universal design, inclusion and access impact the everyday lives of people with disabilities. Cake and beverages will also be served.

This is a ticketed event. Advance tickets are available, two for $8, by going to the A Somewhat Secret Place Facebook page. The day of the event tickets will be two for $21, suggested donation.

Bob Joondeph – Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon

Dean Westwood – Director, Center on Self-Determination at OHSU

Kristi Cule – Self-Advocate, member of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities and Self Advocates as Leaders

Meghan Caughey – Artist, Senior Director of Peer and Wellness Services, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare

Elesia Ashkenazy – Chapter and Outreach Coordinator, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

ASL interpretation will be available.

Ticket info:
(No one will be denied entrance for lack of ability to donate.)
Tickets at the door W/ FB RSVP BEFORE July 26th:

Tickets at the door day of event:

You can buy tickets at the gallery for $8 before July 26th.

Ticket purchases are considered donations. Donations for this event help us to afford the food and drink for this event.

Those who pledged to our Kickstarter at the $25 of more level will receive entrance for themselves and a guest, with no need to RSVP on FB.

July 23, 2011

Saturday July 23rd Change of Hours

Just for today our hours will be 11:00 am-4:30 pm. See you Monday!

July 19, 2011

Designed by Jim Hill of Working Class Press

July 14, 2011

Andrea Rosselle: HEM ME IN

Artist Andrea Rosselle writes:

“Dear Friends:

This Thursday, July 14th at 6:00, I will be giving an artist lecture as part of a group show I am in this summer. The show is called “A Somewhat Secret Place” and is currently at 939 NW Glisan in the Pearl District.

This show contains work by disabled and able-bodied individuals whose work deals with issues of disability. The show hopes to bring about conversations surrounding the role of the disabled in the art community.

My current work explores the imposition of the medical object, and experience as a medical body, upon the daily act of living. My artist lecture, Hem Me In, will be a dialogue about the medicalization of the human body within visual culture, and the role of the body as a medical object.

The show is in PRESENTspace, which is a “pop-up” gallery; a gallery which occupies unused spaces around the city. 939 is a commercial space, so don’t be fooled if you come to the address and find an alternative space- we are there just find the right door! 939 (next to 937 whose number is prominently displayed) is on the corner of Glisan and 10th.

Have a wonderful week! –Andrea Rosselle

*There will be an ASL interpreter. Please avoid bringing scented items into the space. “

June 20, 2011


We did not reach our Kickstarter fund raising  goal, and that means no money for our show:(

So we have created a new Kickstarter!!! Our new goal is $1,800, which is the minimum amount we need to cover the gallery rent. Our budgetary needs are much greater. This new Kickstarter goal does not cover insurance, printing, installation of the show, catering, artist stipends, chair rentals, nor wages for staff.

If we do not reach our new goal we will not receive any of the pledged money, Kickstarter Backers will not be charged and we will not receive any money for our exhibition.

If you have pledged to our old Kickstarter we are requesting that you switch your pledge to our new Kickstarter:

Thank you for your continued support and goodwill.

June 17, 2011

The artists, writers and performers of A Somewhat Secret Place

Who is to be represented at the exhibition?

Since this project began, this has been the question on everyone’s minds. Now we know!

Last night we held a fundraising event at my home and we announced those accepted to be in the show.

We are blessed to have the art of:  Andrea O. Rosselle, Carmen Papalia and A.J. Iving, David Kidd, Erik Ferguson, Evan Shefleck, Gavin Eveland, Gwenn Seemel, Heather Zinger, John Kelting,  Joy Corcoran, Molly Garmire and Pat Krishnamurthy.

During the nights of the 9th and the 30th we will enjoy the writing of: Arwen Bird, Carmen Papalia, Charles King, Howard Edelman,  Jody J. Ramey, Emilia Murry Ramey and Nathan Say. Writers will only read once, so please do keep up on the developments here and on our twitter and FB for the dates and titles of readings.

From 6-9 pm on the 9th, guests will enjoy a performance by Carmen Papalia and A.J. Iving and a dance performance by Yulia Arakelyan titled “My Birth Place: Part 1.” Yulia does not typically perform in art spaces so this is a unique setting for her dance.

During the night of the 30th Elie Charpentier will not only perform the work accepted into the show, but she will play a full set. We hope that you will stop in for the music and stay for the art and conversation.

June 4, 2011

Cool Event!

Hi Friends,

I want to tell you a little bit about The Portland Blind Cafe™ where I periodically work as a blind host in the dark.

The Portland Blind Cafe is “An Award Winning Community Awareness Concert & Dinner In The Pitch Dark!” But it is much more. It is blind and sighted staff and volunteers getting together to make a community building dinner. I have worked as a server and host for the past two Portland Blind Cafe dinners.
This is the third Portland Blind Cafe, and I have to say is the best. The past two nights have been very fun. During the past two nights, I have danced with our cook,  a volunteer, another blind host Jim Jackson and the president of the OWCA. In between dances, I have enjoyed guiding people in the dark, teaching them how to eat and learning about my fellow servers’ blind experiences.
The creator of the event, Rosh, is a big supporter of this project and he himself even pledged in the name of the Blind Cafe. Also, The Portland Blind Cafe is letting us (the OWCA) collect donations for A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art.

The event travels from city to city. They will be back in October for the fourth Portland Blind Cafe!!!!!!!!

Please see info below,


Last day!!! June 4th 2011
@ Tabor Space/Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church
5441 Belmont Ave.
In beautiful South East Portland, Oregon
6:30PM Check In / 7PM Seating

“What a wonderful event – we had a lovely evening last night at The Portland Blind Cafe. You and your team did an excellent job, food was delicious, music touched the heart, and the sense of community created in such a small space of time was remarkable. Thank you!”

– Moira | Portland Blind Cafe Guest (from last night June 2nd)

Come Dine & Experience A Concert In The Pitch Dark!

The Portland Blind Cafe is a mind bending/heart opening experience where the audience will dine, particpate in a Q & A with their blind wait staff and enjoy a concert of orginal music by Rosh & One Eye Glass Broken…all in the pitch dark!
A delicious vegatarian meal will be prepared with love to delight your senses by Portland’s own Chef Ivy Entrekin and our lovely volunteers.
Your heart and mind will be opened as you embrace the poetry of Rick Hammond, celebrate and explore spacial awareness & darkness with Gerry Leary, while indulging in ‘unencumbered music listening’ without the distraction of visual conditioning, social etiquette & your cell phones!
This is NOT just a another dinner in the dark…it’s a community experience where people connect, learn and grow from working together to participate in something greater than themselves. The Portland Blind Cafe is designed to help you feel more alive, awake, present and connected to your world.”