Riva Lehrer Contributes to New York Times

“Circle Story #10,” a 2003 painting of poet and essayist Eli Clare.
“Circle Story #10,” a 2003 painting of poet and essayist Eli Clare. Courtesy of Riva Lehrer via the New York Times.
Publication Date: 
August 9, 2017

Artist, educator, and curator Riva Lehrer (SAIC 1993–95, Painting and Drawing) was this week's guest columnist for the New York Times' weekly "Disability" series. Drawing from her own experiences with spina bifida, a condition where the spinal column fails to fuse to the spinal chord in utero, Lehrer explains some of the work she has done to reshape disability culture. Through portraits of people with disabilities and other stigmas, she reframes subjects as something unexpected, charming, and exciting. As a drawing instructor in Northwestern's Medical Humanities program, she teaches students to think of bodies, not as objects or conditions, but fully dimensional people with fully dimensional lives and stories. To learn more about Lehrer's contributions to disability discourse, read her piece "Where All Bodies are Exquisite."