SAIC Student Bri Beck Organizes Disability Art Showcase

Bri Beck courtesy of Sixty Inches from Center
Bri Beck (MA 2019). Image courtesy of "Sixty Inches from Center"

This April, Art Therapy student Bri Beck (MA 2019) hosted the first Disability Art Showcase and Maker-Space at Access Living, downtown Chicago's main center for independent living. Beck and the showcase were featured in an article in Sixty Inches From Center. Groups of art therapists, artists, activists, disabled people, veterans, scholars, and more gathered together to foster community and art making. SAIC alum Sandie Yi (BFA 2003, MA 2005), who is artist in residence at Access Living, was excited to welcome a new audience to the center.

Beck, a disability artist and advocate designed the program to encourage guests to take care of their bodies and minds and “to share the varied story of disability and to bring together those that are disabled and those that work within this community to further grow and define a collective voice and community.” She acknowledges there is tension between art therapy and disability culture, however this event aimed to explore modes of therapy. She explains, "There's a lot of repair that needs to be done but art can be a tool to repair many things."