Reception: January 20th, 8 - 10pm, 2011
At the UAS +15 Gallery
This winter, get up close and personal with two Calgary artists/peers who share a unique connection at the In-Definite Arts Society.
Brad and Diane are both artists with developmental disabilities who are committed to taking risks, pushing boundaries, and challenging (mis)perceptions about disability. They are also best friends who inspire each other to try new things inside the art studio and out in the community. Sometimes their practice is one of co-authorship, while at other times Brad and Diane choose to work independently, using visual artwork to tell their stories and to express themselves creatively.
Together, Brad and Diane’s artworks celebrate the many talents of artists with disabilities. Their visual legacy, marked by a unique relationship as friends and peers, speaks to the indefinite creative potential of all people.
-- Roxanne Taylor, Exhibition Coordinator, In-Definite Arts Society
In-Definite Arts Society
In-Definite Arts promotes opportunities for artists with developmental disabilities to express their identities and uniqueness in a supportive learning environment. Valuing respect, diversity and inclusion, In-Definite Arts serves as a venue where creative minds come together to explore new approaches toward contemporary visual art practice.
We're Better Together, Brad McCaull and Diane Heemskerk:
A Celebration of the Arts of People with Disabilities.
Artistic expression provides a vehicle of communication that disafirms stereotypes of adults with disabilities as removed from having a “voice”. Through the process of art making, themes emerge of dreams, memories, life experiences and emotions that are expressed with a combination of sensitivity and complexity. Societies that foster and teach the creative process to adults with disabilities embrace the individuality of each artist. As a result, artists with disabilities develop their own lucrative art practice full of impressive and expressive art forms.
The exhibit “We're Better Together” is the collaborative pairing of artists Brad McCaull and Diane Heemskerk. They are long time friends that encourage and nurture each other in their visual art practices. Heemskerk is often the visionary for their collaborative works, while McCaull encourages the collaborative process through his drive to stay on task. They are currently creating a large scale fibre art project, a rug hook diptych, to be completed sometime in the next few years.
McCaull's art practice features exotic landscapes and buildings reminiscent of a Mediterranean colour palette. They feature his desires and dreams of travel. He incorporates a range of brushstrokes that evoke a sense of volume in his paintings. His urban landscapes depict a hub of excitement with crowds of people on streets and sailboats in sea ports.
His art practice also explores three dimensional art forms. Utilizing his vibrant colour scheme, McCaull's fuzed glass pieces dynamically illustrate abstract geometries and organic patterns and forms.
Heemskerk has an art practice that revolves around large scale detailed works. These offer her challenges and a sense of accomplishment. Themes of the Alberta landscape and memories of her family's homestead emerge through her chosen media of fibre art and painting. Stylistically, her works are noted for their colourful vibrancy and often incorporate bands of coloured, multi-textured wool in her original latch hook designs.
McCaull and Heemskerk's studio practice is based out of In-Definite Arts Society, a large meeting place that encourages and facilitates enjoyment in the arts for people with developmental disabilities. The In-Definite Arts Society studio offers a large, friendly visual arts program brimming with vibrancy. The society fosters respect, determination, inclusion, and creativity in a celebration of the arts and themselves. The staff of practising artists instruct participants in the areas of woodworking, painting, drawing, fibre arts, ceramics and sculpture. It is here where the art collaboration began and flourished between friends McCaull and Heemskerk. Through the encouragement and support of In-Definite Arts Society, Brad McCaull and Diane Heemskerk are celebrated artists winning numerous art awards and exhibiting across Alberta in group and collaborative efforts, and most recently McCaull has exhibited in Santa Monica, California.