SPARK 2016 Disability Art Festival Wrap Up

SPARK 2016 was as dynamic as ever… with five juried exhibitions across Calgary, satellite shows at the University of Calgary and a jam-packed closing reception with three guest speakers. Below are some highlights of the Festival in relation to In-Definite Arts’ artist participation. To read a fuller account of all festival activities please visit the SPARK 2016 webpage here.




Quick links:

  • Listen to IDAS artist Michael Robertson’s live recording promoting the SPARK Disability Art Festival on CBC’s the Homestretch here.


SPARK Highlights at In-Definite Arts:

For SPARK’s 7th year of presentations, In-Definite Arts was proud to co-present an outstanding showcase of visual art in all media by Canadian artists pan-disability. From IDAS the art of 40 individuals was juried into the Festival, representing a total of 50 pieces of art, or over 30% of all accepted work. Other SPARK art came from individual artists and agencies in Calgary, Edmonton, Beaumont and Cardston in Alberta, as well as Creemore Ontario. Organizational partnerships included: Artistic Expressions, the Calgary Association of Self Help, Chrysalis, L’Arche, the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, Options, Prospect and Studio C. SPARK art by IDAS members was featured at the Alberta College of Art and Design, Arts Commons, Loft 112, Studio C and the In-Definite Arts Optimist Gallery.


SPARK’s festival dates ran from November 28 to December 2, and also included 3 keynote speakers who were showcased during the Closing Reception at IDAS on December 2. In-Definite Arts was especially proud to support member artist Tony Goodison to share about his art career during this event. After months of practice and with the support of IDAS’ Artistic Director Roxanne Taylor, Tony spoke upwards of half an hour about the importance of art in his life, as well as the powerful ways that he is using art to build inclusive communities. Tony received CARFAC fees (fees deemed in Canada to represent fair payment for the professional services of visual artists) for this valuable discussion. All three keynote speakers (Tony Goodison, Mary Salvani and Shawn Belanger) were filmed and their presentations can be watched on youtube here.


Finally, In-Definite Arts was pleased to partner with the University of Calgary for SPARK 2016 to help produce a collaborative exhibition titled “Creative Growth”. For this show, 30 In-Definite Arts artists paired with students from the U of C to create jointly rendered drawings. The resulting works “document how taking the risk to trust another in the creative process leads to meaningful growth for each artist” (Jennifer Eiserman, Associate Professor, Department of Art). In-Definite Arts is excited to grow this partnership with the University in the coming year.





To learn more about the SPARK Festival, or to apply to exhibit your work or be a part of SPARK next year, click here.

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