Artist Link Directory

If you want to contact any of the artists please email eileen@artsaccessinc.org and we will put you in touch.

55 results

Alexander Roa

Emerging, Origami, Teaching, Visual Art

As a coping mechanism to the stress I started doing origami and other crafts compulsively. As paper was cheap and easy to come by, most crafts involved paper in some way shape or form. What was once a necessity and coping mechanism is now a hobby and done strictly for enjoyment.

I am an origami artist, I have just started to sell my work in addition to teaching.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/roaorigami

Allison Wright

Emerging, Mixed Media, Visual Art

FrameWright is a micro-enterprise owned by Allison Wright. This business is located in the restored Eno River Cotton Mill, Hillsborough. Together with her father and alongside other artisans, Allison produces one-of-a-kind handcrafted mirror frames, small ornaments, chalkboards and sells wood products made by a CNC. This is a computerized router. All these items are finished using old world techniques, as is still used by art museums.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrameWright

Angela Dawson

Emerging, Mixed Media, Painting, Visual Art

I use bold colors and fluid strokes, delineated by textures, and words that grip and hold the senses; to convey the story of my community. My paintings, books, and collages draw on mysterious and whimsical images to speak about serious subjects; and the reality of my existence… My art is documentation of the abandon of our music, of swaying hips, the clarion call for success and the strength of character that is born in pain but still the will to dance, our smile, an eternal rhythm that belies time. I am a Mixed- Media Artist because I could not choose one way to express myself. When you have read one of my short stories, books or viewed one of my collages or paintings; I hope you feel motivated, or at the very least, to inspire or cultivate a smile; you have unlocked the secret, and I have done my job.

You can see more of Angela’s work in the SOFE Art Unblocked 2021 Online  Exhibition. 

Ann Millett-Gallant

Painting, Professional, Visual Art

I am a congenitally disabled woman and survivor of traumatic brain injury. I am an art historian and disability studies scholar.

Website: www.annmg.com

Barbara Silver

Ceramics, Professional, Visual Art

The beauty of nature inspires me. I am legally blind, and love working with Clay. My work is mostly wheel throne and altered. Meant to be used as functional pottery. But I do some garden sculptures. I began losing my site about 40 years ago. The joy Of working with clay at every stage is a never ending attraction to me.

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/ChapelHillPottery

Bernard Liles

Aspiring, Illustration (Pen & Paper), Literary Arts, Visual Art

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. Drawing helps me view the world in a different way. As I go through my day I’m always seeing what to draw next.

ComMotion Dance

Dance, Professional, Teaching, Teaching Artist

At ComMotion, Community In Motion, we believe that everyone should get a chance to experience the many benefits of movement and dance. Dance fosters a sense of well-being, community, mastery, and joy. ComMotion was founded in 2018 by a cancer survivor and disabled veteran who found health and happiness through learning to dance and wanted to give that same opportunity to others in need. The organization has been steadily growing and since 2018 has taught over 350 dance and movement classes for more than 12,000 people of all ages and abilities, including military veterans, cancer survivors, seniors, kids, and people with disabilities. We have had students from preschool age to over 90 years old, and with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities.

Because our mission is to make dance and movement accessible to everyone, we bring our classes directly to the communities that we serve. Our programs are completely portable and adaptable to nearly any space, and can be taught in both English and Spanish. We have partnered with local organizations to offer our classes on-location, making it easy for our students to participate.

Website: www.commotionnc.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ComMotionNC

Devon McKnight

Painting, Professional, Visual Art, Visual Arts

This work comes out of a history of formality and a desire to break apart the structure of a system, specifically Painting. I question what makes up a painting: how it is formed, what it can be, what it can mean, where it comes from.

I consider the formal in its most basic existence, separating line, color, shape. Using these elements I arrange and rearrange, coming upon more questions within these fragile relationships. There is a lot of looking that takes place. After putting down paint, I sit and look, trying to see the forms and spaces that have been shaped and those that could be.

I try to stay in this liminal space of transience. It is a place of wonder and precarity, lines and forms falling apart, barely stable. To not know, to be unsecure in meaning, draws out openness and a welcoming of fear and doubt. There is strength in the pursuit and in the mere existence. There is energy in the endless exploration that transfers to and draws from everyday life and I hope enters the lives of those that encounter this work.

Personal Website: devonmcknight.com
Instagram: @devonairess

Diana Reed Cook

Aspiring, Painting, Visual Art

I have no formal art education but took local group lessons. Frequent moves (military family, having 3 children and horses) left little painting time. When I moved to NC in 2007, I saw acrylic painting offered at the wake forest senior center. I belong to the WFGA and franklin county art council. Low vision plus lack of organization and trapotation are things I struggle with. Painting is my God given gift that gives me much joy and hopefully to others!

Diantha Lopes

Emerging, Music, Performing Arts

I have been singing since the age of 9 in musicals. Talent shows. Weddings. Choral groups and churches in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, Hawaii, and California. I presently have end stage kidney disease and take dialysis 3 days a week but I have decisions to not let that stop me from pursuing my dream. I have let go of depression about my situation and shall continue to move forward in what I would like to do.

DJ Svoboda

Illustration (Pen & Paper), Professional, Visual Art

I am an Autistic Artist. I have created characters called the Imagifriends. The Imagifriends are special characters that I created based on the challenges that I have Faced Growing Up with Autism. They live in a land called Imagiville. In Imagiville, everyone is accepted just as they are and there is no bullying or teasing. 

The Imagifriends were created to spread and share Autism Acceptance and Autism Inclusion around the world and to help end and stop bullying and to spread the power of kindness and acceptance and to help the world to know that Autism is to be known and to be understood. 

I Use Micron Pen Size 8 for The Outline Part and I Color With Crayola Supertip Markers. 

The first image is Mupperezmo, the leader and mascot of the Imagifriends of Imagiville. He has his message right by him. I also created him to help the world to know and to understand that everyone with Autism thinks and feels and sees things and the world and life much more differently and from a very different point of view, which is why he turns his head upside down, to see things from a different point of view. 

The second image was created to help spread the great and amazing and awesome power of dreaming and believing and expecting big and that big big dreams sure do come true! 

Website: djandtheimagifriends.com

Dona Nova

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art, Visual Arts

I have always been an artist at heart, since I was very small. My creativity flows like a river, and is greatly inspired by Nature and Spiritual Consciousness. I discovered that I download a lot of my images from Source Consciousness, which makes me a Visionary or Intuitive artist. That is the reason I rarely plan my work ahead of time, I usually meditate and let my subconscious take over, and then get into a flow State when I work. My work is very spontaneous, and captures the energy of the time it was created. Currently my work includes healing energy that I imbed in it because I am also a Healer.

1. Magic Time: I am a Visionary or Intuitive artist, which means I channel much of my artwork from Source Consciousness. I’m also studying Crystal Healing and other spiritual pursuits. I like the repeating pattern of mandalas and how they show up in nature repeatedly.

2. Way Shower of the Void: This was a representation of the third eye chakra, the chakra associated with visioning and clairvoyance. The Crow in spirituality is said to be Clairvoyant, or a Seer or Wayshower. I have developed clairvoyance which is useful since I only have one seeing eye physically and that eye is legally blind.

3. Sun series 1: During a meditation I received Sun images and painted them. This was the first of a series.

Website: eclecticguru.weebly.com
Facebook: eclecticguru
Facebook Page: theeclecticguru
Instagram: eclectic_guru

Elijah Cameron

Design and Media, Digital Art, Drawing, Illustration (Pen & Paper), Painting, Professional, Visual Art

I’m a Raleigh-based trans artist drawing dark cartoons with bright colors!

I work fulltime independently creating cartoon products, work with commission clients, and self-publish my art books and original comics. I’m currently studying storyboarding through Project City classes, in my free time I enjoy inline skating at my local skate park.

Website: hadrawer4ever.com
Instagram: adrawer4ever
Tiktok: @adrawer4ever

Eliza Redmann

Design and Media, Origami, Professional, Sculpture, Visual Art

My name is Eliza Redmann – I am a sculptor, architect, and founder of Folded Poetry design studio. When a car accident upended my health, personal life, and career as an architect, I was forced to reinvent myself. I found a way to utilize my creative potential for healing by creating art. My passion to create is now driven by my changed experience of life after my traumatic brain injury. Both the function and aesthetic of my work are born out of experiencing disability.

Based out of Durham, North Carolina, my art is a child of the pandemic. This work began with the creation of simple paper form studies in the basement of my home during April of 2020.

Simplicity is both the constraint and the strength of my brand, Folded Poetry.
While headaches limit my hours of screen-time production, the bedrock of Folded
Poetry is the use of a small number of simple forms which, when created and compiled
physically, can be arranged to create complex geometries.

These geometries are inspired by persistent visual disturbances caused by my traumatic brain injury. Often when I look at patterns, they appear to swim or move on their own accord, much like an optical illusion. I seek to capture the structure of regular patterns and shapes, while adding a layer of visual information which the eyes and brain can’t quite make sense of. This disorientation is designed to challenge viewers to perceive outside of what is normal or traditional, just as I must now live, adapt, and navigate the world in new ways.

Drawing upon my architectural training and skills in craft and construction, I have
brought my work to a large scale through the creation of light-reflecting sculptures. I’ve also pioneered creations of ‘acoustical art’ pieces – works which are both beautiful and serve to make spaces more quiet and accessible for individuals such as myself who struggle with auditory overwhelm. My work pushes beyond framed pieces of art and navigates where aesthetics meet functionality.

While my work is indeed impactful as art itself, more importantly it has been the primary driver behind the recreation of my health and the reimagining of my life’s purpose.

Website: foldedpoetry.com
Instagram: Folded_Poetry

Erin Bradford

Jewelry, Visual Art

I fist learned how to make jewelry after becoming legally blind. I began with wire wrapping, moved to bead stitch and now moving towards metalsmithing. I also dabble in crafts such as flower making. I love the challenge.

Erin Reams

Emerging, Mixed Media, Painting, Visual Art, Visual Arts

I am a brain tumor survivor who hates labels. My Mom told me that I am special needs but everyone is special. I really love animals so I think it is important to keep trash and waste out of the environment. For this reason, I like to use a lot of recycled materials in my pieces. Art gives me joy because I like working with my hands and using vibrant colors. Sometimes I look at a piece thinking it’s amazing that someone created that and think maybe I can make something like it, too.

Essence B. Scott

Emerging, Literary Arts

Essence Breshanté Scott is a writer living in Goldsboro, North Carolina. A native of Mercer County, New Jersey, Ms. Scott began writing by choice when she was twelve years old to keep herself together and remain hopeful within a dysfunctional and impoverished home environment. Essence lives with autism and mental illness. She is a graduate of Nottingham High School (2009) and Mercer County Community College (A.A. Liberal Arts, 2019). Her writing has been published in the Kelsey Review, Drumbeat, Open, The Streetlight, and The Wall. You can learn more about Essence online at https://www.eoflifepublishing.wordpress.com.

Website: eoflifepublishing.wordpress.com

Gillian Fink

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

Inspiration comes when you least expect it. For Gillian, a young woman with intellectual disabilities, it all started a little over ten years ago when she was working on a giant jigsaw puzzle of brightly colored tropical fish. As she worked the puzzle she thought she would like to make a painting of the parts that she liked. Her first painting of the jigsaw puzzle turned out as she had hoped. And so her journey began.

Website: www.gillianfink.com

Jacob Clayton

Emerging, Mixed Media, Photography, Visual Art

My first and truest love is music, but I’ve always been enchanted with the various forms of artistic expression. In recent years, at the suggestion of a therapist, I have begun studying and practicing visual arts on a much more serious level. I aim to use photography and mixed media as means to communicate what it has been like living for decades as a closeted transgender man in America. Through art, I am finally able to reveal the debilitating mental illness that has plagued me my entire life. Through art, I am finally beginning to heal.

Current projects include Deprivation of Self, Portraits, which expands the vocabulary of photo-based art to challenge gender identity, expression, and expectation – from every side. And Sustained Trauma, a therapeutic journey through dissociation and the road to gather and assemble the reclaimed pieces of a life.

Website: jacobclayton.com

James Konneh Armah

Aspiring, Drawing, Painting, Visual Art

Visual Artist / Mediums: Painting and Drawing

I am James Konneh Armah, I love to draw images and I have just started doing water coloring and painting.

Janelle Bundy-Lesley

Digital Art, Drawing, Emerging, Illustration (Pen & Paper), Visual Art

I have been doing art all my life. Both my parents are fine artists. They taught me different art skills. My mom inspired me to do art by reading children’s books with pictures to me. I was always amazed by the artwork in these books to the point where I would read them repeatedly just to look at the pictures. I was so inspired by the art in the books that I would recreate the images by making my own stories with illustrations. When I started elementary school, I would continue to illustrate my projects and assignments because I enjoyed drawing so much. I was more into cartoon art, but eventually I branched off into Japanese anime style. I used traditional mediums such as pens, markers, pencils, and colored pencils to create illustrations. Eventually, I started using a program called MS Paint which was pre-installed on my family’s desktop computer. Little did I know that this was the start of my journey to do digital art and other types of traditional art.

I am an aspiring mangaka (comic book artist), illustrator, and animator. My love for art is inspired by anime and manga. Also, other forms of storytelling illustration and how it captivates the hearts of others. I wish to create these awe-inspiring characters and stories that anime artists tell in their artwork in my own style. Most of my characters are inspired by a story I made from my imagination. Sketching is the preliminary component in creating different illustrations. I use a mixture of pencil, pen, and ink. Depending on the details determine whether I choose color or black and white in my artwork. Telling a story from my imagination to produce a beautiful piece of art that appeals to others hearts is my objective.

Kaitlin Briggs

Aspiring, Ceramics, Painting, Visual Art

As an art therapist I have been involved in many studio arts… My favorite and most extensive experience is in ceramics and pottery. Uniquely, I understand some of the struggles of persons with disabilities as I myself struggle with my own loss of vision. It would be my honor and privilege to teach, be a helping hand, asset, and friend to all with an artistic interest.

 

Kali Ferguson

Literary Arts, Performing Arts, Poetry, Professional, Teaching Artist

Website: culturestorycoach.com

Karen Miller Anderson

Fibers, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Photography, Professional, Visual Art

Karen Miller Anderson received her B.F.A. from the College of the Dayton Art Institute. A former Art and Commercial Art teacher, she left teaching after being introduced to the then emerging computer graphics technology. She pursued her M.S. at Middle Tennessee State University in Engineering Technology, specializing in computer enhanced graphics. Dr. Miller Anderson enrolled in the Textile Technology Management Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles in 2001. She completed all requirements for her Ph.D. and officially received her diploma, on August 10, 2006. All of her work is signed as K.M. Anderson. Dr. Miller Anderson can currently be found in her studio working on her photography, metal-smithing or fiber-art.

Although, she has been doing photography most of her life, she also creates jewelry, often, using unusual materials such as, broken china, playing cards, tins and other media.

Website: www.kmamakesart.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kmamakesart
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kmamakesart 
Zazzle online store: www.zazzle.com/store/drmilleranderson

Kat Milberger

Drawing, Emerging, Literary Arts, Poetry, Visual Art

Kat works in poetry and drawing. You can find them on @Kat_Dust on Instagram.

Kim Tyler

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

I am inspired by colors, contrast, and the splendor of nature. I am primarily an acrylic landscape painter. However, I will branch out to other subjects and mediums, but I have always returned to interpreting beautiful skies, watery reflections, and majestic trees. Painting has been a hobby of mine for most of my life. I have had training in art both private and some classes, but it has been minimal and largely informal. I am legally blind, and my limited vision kept me from learning in the same visual way fully sighted artists are trained. Along with most of America in the 70’s, I would watch Bob Ross, William Alexander and others on television. TV worked well for me; I could get close to the screen and really see what the artists were doing with their hands, brushes, and knives. This planted a desire in me to be creative. Painting brings me personal satisfaction and joy.  I hope what I imagine I am able to convey in my work, and I pray others enjoy it too.

Website: www.kimtylerart.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kimtylerart

King Nobuyoshi Godwin

Painting, Professional, Visual Art

King was Born 1991 in Raleigh NC and diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half years old. He attended the Special Education program of Wake County School Systems and received a certificate from Leesville High School in Raleigh NC in 2012. King attended UNC at Greensboro for one year, living away from home in the college dorm for the Beyond Academics Program in 2013. King became a painter in 2013. In addition to his parents, Thomas & Yuko Taylor, and a brother Malik Nobumasa Godwin, he has many other supporters of his painting career. King currently lives in an apartment attached to parents’ home independently. He is a proud team member of the Special Olympic Raleigh Racer Swimmers and a performing member of the Special Japanese Taiko-Drum ensemble.

“My name is Nobuyoshi Godwin. I have autism. Being autistic is ok. I can see trees in my mind and talk with them. It’s blue and it’s ok. When I paint I feel good because it’s my job, and I am proud of it. I think people enjoy and think my painting is good. I like drawing animals. They are sweet. That is 4400 and purple. If I sell my paintings I can buy more paint colors. And that is purple and that is 4400.” King Nobuyoshi Godwin

Website: www.kinggodwin.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/king-nobuyoshi-godwin-art-622127161203076
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kinggodwinart

Lindsey Nall

Emerging, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Visual Art

My name is Lindsey Nall, I am a 22 year old NCSU student in the social work department, hoping to emerge as an art therapist. I have my associates in fine arts and particularly enjoy resin pour paintings, polymer clay, and creating fashion charms out of resin and clay. I have been in the arts since I was in high school and hope to pursue art throughout my entire life, as it is a personally fulfilling calling.

Instagram: instagram.com/inscensiart

Maxwell Leigh

Emerging, Jewelry, Literary Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Performing Arts, Photography, Poetry

My name is Maxwell Leigh. I am a summa cum laude Appalachian State University graduate who has a bachelors of science in psychology and a minor in sociology. I am a little bit of everything when it comes to art. My main art form is writing and world creation but I love to play with the magic of creativity, that is found in mixed media and jewelry making. I also enjoy the blessing of capturing beautiful moments in time through photography and I am a character performer and enjoy embodying movie characters, mascots, and creatures.


I am just starting my journey of finding my artistic voice; due to the arts being so inaccessible to me, for most of my life. However, with every art project, I tap into all my senses to bring to life the world, like I experience it. I want other’s to feel the rush of emotions, colors, tastes, textures and spatial sensations as they encounter my art. My world is filled with a flood of sensations at all moments in time, and while not all are pleasant, the moments that are, are filled with euphoria and I want to share that with others. I am a sensory friendly art instructor and work at two art focused jobs. At both, I work to help make the arts accessible to people of all backgrounds with a focus on disabilities.


My motto for all of my creative works is: “Glitter is always necessary except when it isn’t, which is rare.”

Website URL: glitterautist.com

Social media: instagram.com/glitterautist

Michelle Davis Petelinz

Teaching, Teaching Artist

In my career as a professional artist and art instructor, I came to the teaching of art to people with disabilities by being in the right place at the right time. While teaching children’s art classes at the Sertoma Art Center in Raleigh, I was asked to accept a 4-year old student with autism in one of my preschool classes. I readily agreed, despite having little experience with students with special needs. Learning to adapt my class content for this student and seeing him succeed sparked my interest in discovering more opportunities to present art instruction to people with disabilities. Since then, I have worked as the Artist in Residence at Wake Enterprises, conducted a month-long collage project at Life Experiences in Cary, worked on a mural project with children at Camp Friendly in Raleigh, taught a variety of mixed media art classes with the seniors and people with disabilities at Total Life Center in Cary, facilitated activities at the Sertoma Art Center’s “Sensory-Friendly Saturdays”, and staffed a number of art activity tables at events where Arts Access is featured. Among the many things I do as an artist, my work with people with disabilities brings me the most joy; I love seeing the spark of pleasure that creating something beautiful can ignite!

Website: kindredspiritstudios.com

Monique Brown

Emerging, Music, Performing Arts

Murphy McCully

Ceramics, Emerging, Printmaking, Traditional Craft, Visual Art

I’m a multimedia artist with a focus on sequential art, printmaking, and ceramics, and I love nature and natural subjects.

I also have a special interest in young audiences and character development (people and creatures), and I’m intrigued with faces. I’ve long been fascinated by my home state’s face-jug tradition, which has informed my art practice, and I have a love for comic art and graphic novels.

I hope to use my art in ways that resonate and engage, whether that’s through hands-on experience, teaching, encouragement, inspiration, or through the work and art itself. I have struggled with learning disabilities, and art has been my portal to reading, learning, growing as a person, socially, and in a college. I am a Savannah College of Art and Design alum (2016-2021), where I studied sequential art, and completed minors in printmaking, and ceramics.

The opportunity to showcase my work is an important way to represent those who discover the arts as a tool and support for facing challenges; a voice for when words fail; and a celebration of life, community, the environment, and creativity.

People say I’m persistent, loyal, and a hard worker, and I like to see the best in others. I love art, libraries, greyhounds, and the environment, and I hope to continue my work as an artist in my home state of North Carolina.

Check out my website: murphymccully.wixsite.com/mysite
Follow me on Instagram: @artbymurphymccully

Nicole Rotundo

Emerging, Illustration (Pen & Paper), Photography, Visual Art

I started drawing what I call my “circles of love” in my early 20’s. My family helped me to make them into notecards which I sell in my community. I also recently wrote a story about myself.

Nils Skudra

Drawing, Emerging, Literary Arts, Poetry, Visual Art

I’m currently doing a second Master’s Degree in Library Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. I’m a Civil War historian who writes and publishes regularly in the field. I’m also an artist and a book of my Civil War drawings will be published later this year. I do some creative writing and am submitting a poem.

Read Nils’ poem here.

Phoebe Granderson

Emerging, Mixed Media, Visual Art, Visual Arts

My inspiration for art started at 6 years old when my 1st grade teacher showed me how to make Christmas cards using a silk screen. It was at that very moment, I fell in love with art which opened the door to my creativity. When I was a teenager, I took art classes at the Saturday Art Program in New York City for three years. The drawing and painting techniques that I learned paved the way to developing my skills. The many field trips to art museums made me the passionate artist that I am today. Although I joined the US Navy after high school, my passion to draw and paint was always nearby. I continued to do art projects as a hobby for many years after military life. Creating art with my kids, crafting at birthday parties, making homemade gifts, and volunteering at art events was my way of life. During the past four years I have participated in programs such as; Veterans Art Therapy Program, National Veterans Creative Art Festival, and Operation Art sponsored by The Joel Foundation. 

I am a Christian Mixed Media artist. I love creating original artworks using all types of mediums such as: oil, acrylic, pencil, pen, resin, wood, fabric, and found objects to create an abstract 3-D effect in my artwork. My artistic inspiration is to convey a positive message through subject, color, and objects to stimulate an emotional response from the viewer. Telling a story through my art about a personal, emotional or spiritual experience is extremely important to me. I believe that God has given me a natural gift to create art. I feel connected and at peace whenever I create. Just give me a pencil, paintbrush, or even a glue gun and I am in another realm.

Website:

1.  King of Kings
More Beautiful Beyond Description
King of Kings is an original design that is handcrafted with love and precision. I created a 3-D mixed media composition using acrylic paint, Pebeo paint, and resin. The frame was made with wood, screws, and spray paint. The gold cross and frame represent the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Each stone has its own unique design which was made from broken jewelry, stones, gems, color paper, cardboard, and hot glue. The bright vivid colors that are interlaced around the canvas tells a biblical story of the unconditional love and the eternal gift that is free to all who believe. God’s glory was my divine inspiration for my artwork. It is a symbol of my faith. Jesus Christ is more beautiful beyond description.

2. Life is a Journey

Traveling Along the Seas of Life
Life is a Journey is an original mixed media artwork that I made with oil, fabric, cord, wire, stones, shells, sequence, gems, broken jewelry, assorted colored cardstock, and motivational words. We all have a story to tell that is quite unique. Telling a story about how the Lord has carried me through the seas of life is the divine inspiration of my artwork. Serving in the US Navy aboard the US Hunley when I was in my twenties begins the story. What I have learned through the years is that we may have many challenges in our lifetime, but there is always something to see, to feel, to learn, and to believe that will make us stronger. My objective is to send a positive message by adding motivational words in the sand. The three crosses on the ship and the three crosses in the water’s reflection represents God’s presence in my life throughout this journey.

3. Beach
Creating Beautiful Memories
Beach is an original pen and ink drawing on fine art paper. Going to the beach on vacation is always a wonderful time to create memories with your family that you can cherish for years to come. It is the reason I love making beach art. The word beach has shells, pebbles, and zentangle patterns to create an interesting composition. The shell in the foreground leads the viewer into the word beach, through the waves, to the birds in the sky, and to the small islands in the background. Every time I view this beach scene it takes me to a special place of mindfulness, calmness, and relaxation.

4Splash I
Fun Times at the Beach
Splash I is an original acrylic pour on canvas. No matter what the age, we all have memories of the excitement at the beach. As the waves approach, we jump, we dive, we swim, and we splash. The movement in this painting is a reminder of the joyous experiences we have when we are wading in the water. My fondest memories have been on summer vacation at the beach.

Priya Ray

Design and Media, Digital Art, Drawing, Emerging, Literary Arts, Mixed Media, Performing Arts, Photography, Sculpture, Teaching Artist, Visual Art

I became disabled from a fall where I sustained a spinal cord injury. Before I became disabled, I was a musician and an artist that was part of a DIY community. After I became disabled, I wanted to continue to be a part of this community that I had not only helped create I’ve been a part of for over 25 years. Due to technology’s lack of providing a good source for photography at the time, I began looking for other ways to create. I created paper-mâché sculptures, mixed media paintings, And drawings. As my chronic pain increased, it was harder for me to do the art I was doing before physically. By this time, Digital photography started providing a good source of taking photographs. Still, since I had begun to move away from photography, I began taking the photographs with a digital SLR camera, using macro lenses, Lensbaby lenses, and also taking photographs and manipulating them digitally.

Growing up Indian American in the United States, I have always been used to being an outsider, but I never felt as invisible as I did as a disabled person than I ever had as a Brown-skinned Woman. At that moment, I was motivated to start a nonprofit called DIYabled. The goal is to educate children and adults about disability and the importance of accessibility through art writing, video, and my presence in my community.

My big dreams are to one day create an art show in a museum or gallery called “Eye Level.” Where all the art is hung at the eye level for a person that is sitting rather than standing and create content that teaches people about disability, and it’s history

Website: DIYabled.com
Instagram: instagram.com/diyabled
Facebook: facebook.com/DIYabled
Patreon: Patreon.com/DIYabled
This Crip Life Podcast: anchor.fm/thiscriplife
YouTube: YouTube_DIYabled 
Disability on The Spectrum Documentary: youtu.be/1LdRReBIYgM
DIYabled mailing list: DIYabledEvents
Rebubble Shop: DiYabledShop. I’ve been uploading art here so if people wish to see art or buy it 

R.V. Kuser

Literary Arts, Professional

Website: kusertalk.com

Hello Friend ~
Glad you stopped by to meet me.
I was born in Pennington, New Jersey and moved to Winston Salem, North Carolina in 2009.  North Carolina makes me appreciate the word “home”.  I am a self-advocate, educator, consultant and author – in that order.  I feel connected and very rewarded when I’m working with individuals who have a learning disability because I also have a disability.  I live with autism. 
My wife, Marlene is also an integral part of my life.  She has helped me to discover my strengths, to believe in myself, and to have a greater insight into autism.  She accepts me unconditionally.

For me, writing is a way to advocate for people who are disabled.  In my latest book, “Weight A Minute – Lessons a Family Learns Thru the Gift of Autism” which was co-authored with Marlene, we tried to convey this very important message.  The novel is very relatable to everyone.  It is about the importance of family and acceptance.  The “Weights” live in Winston Salem.  The middle child lives with autism and he is the hero of the book.  The novel will provide foundations for meaningful discussions both in the classroom and at home.  

I am on a lifelong quest for ways to overcome misperceptions about disabled individuals. To let everyone know, we CAN do anything. With Marlene by my side, we give a greater insight into autism when speaking publicly and advocating.  We would love to hear from you – questions, comments or just to say “hello”. 

Rachard McIntyre

Drawing, Emerging, Mixed Media, Painting, Visual Art

My name is Rachard Mcintyre and I am an artist.  I like to draw, paint and do other forms of art.  I happen to have Asperger’s, which is a form of Autism.  I guess about twelve years ago I was diagnosed with having Asperger’s.  So it is the kind of disorder that affects the social part of a person but I don’t let it bother me. I continue to focus on art. 

Website: https://www.rachardmcintyre.com

Facebook: facebook.com/rachard.mcintyre
Instagram: https://www.rachardmcintyre.com

Rachel Penton

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art, Visual Arts

Artist statement: My paintings are essentially a visual intuitive journaling practice. I can’t always express myself with words, so my paintings do it for me. Paintings are fit in around meetings, before lunch, in the evenings; whenever I can find time to paint for 15-30 minutes. They are non-sequential in time as I do not need the processing space daily. Littered with gestural marks of play, calmness, and frustration; each painting depicts my mental state on a given day. Some days I can exhibit restraint in my markings, leaving white space & hiding myself to be more palatable to others—performing on paper as I do in life most days. Masking my neurodivergence. Other days, the paintings become chaotic and I simply cannot hide my overwhelm—I feel more at home in these paintings and less like I’m wearing a mask.

Bio: I am a self-taught abstract artist and work out of my home studio in Chapel Hill. I’m also a neuroscientist and approach my paintings with the same curiosity and passion that drove me to pursue complex neuroscientific questions. This has led to using a variety of mediums & substrates to create interesting, colorful paintings. My work is mostly in acrylic, but I also create mixed media works, involving multiple acrylic mediums as well as resin. One of my favorite ways to work is to experiment with the interaction of paint with different substrates (paper, canvas, wood, acrylic, etc.)—it reminds me of ligand-receptor binding. Most of my time is spent developing and teaching neuroscience classes at UNC-Chapel Hill, but I also make time for painting frequently. My painting process videos have been featured on INSIDER Art, Bored Panda Art, and other online media outlets. Private collections of my art are held in Europe and North America.
Website: www.brilliantaquastudios.com
Instagram: @brilliantaqua

Raeann MacDonagh

Emerging, Painting, Teaching, Visual Art

I was born legally blind and with a passion for art. I have been painting since I was a child and went on to receive my BA in the Arts and Humanities in 2014. Art for me has given my life purpose, it’s led me to success, independence, serenity, and joy. I have spent years volunteering with various organizations with the same main objective as Arts Access of making art accessible to individuals with disabilities. I am dedicated to this cause of empowering others and engaging my community through art.

Website: www.rawartists.org/raeannmacdonagh

Instagram: www.instagram.com/raeannmdart
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/RaeAnnMDesigns

Rese Cooley

Painting, Professional, Visual Art

I’m a 43 year old transman husband and proud father of two teenage girls who do exceptionally well scholastically. One attends Winston-Salem state and the other page high school. I’ve had some formal training in visual arts as a teenager in Boston . I won the NC state teenage pregnancy poster contest as a teen as well as winning the Massachusetts state school lunch logo design. I’m primarily self taught and delve into multiple mediums. I enjoy working with pastel pencils, charcoals, acrylic paint pouring, drawing portraits, etc. I also enjoy doing arts and crafts with others of all ages and levels.

Website: fb.me/nodownsjustupsartistry

Robyn Scott

Drawing, Emerging, Illustration (Pen & Paper), Visual Art, Visual Arts

I have been drawing most of my life. I graduated from UC Irvine with a studio arts degree (BA) and the Winchester School of Art in the UK with a concentration in printmaking (MA). I taught art to children for several years and now focus on sharing my pen and ink drawings with the Triangle community.

facebook.com/Robyn-Scott-Pen-Ink
instagram.com/robyn.scott.pen.and.ink

Samir Knego

Emerging, Literary Arts, Multidisciplinary, Poetry, Visual Art

Bio:
Samir Knego works in a library and listens to lots of heavy metal. He has poems, paintings, photographs, and some things that don’t start with “p” in various journals and zines and was LEVEL’s Spring 2021 Local Artist-In-Residence. Samir lives in North Carolina with a bright green wheelchair and a little black dog.

Artist Statement:
I am a multidisciplinary artist interested in disability, religion, social justice, and the intersections thereof. Being disabled myself, I am passionate about accessibility in the arts and work to center accessibility in my work and to treat access as an essential part of art, not an afterthought or burden (as it too often seems to be treated). I think this focus naturally lends itself to multidisciplinary approaches; accessibility has to be multidisciplinary because that’s the only way to account for the variety of ways of sensing/learning/being in the world. When I’m not making my own art, I’m often reading/viewing others’ as part of my editorial work with the literary magazine Decolonial Passage, and my editing experience has shaped my understanding of art to be more communally- rather than individually-focused.

Website: verydecaf.blogspot.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/samirknego
Twitter: twitter.com/SamirKnego

Scott Hackworth

Ceramics, Emerging, Painting, Sculpture, Teaching, Visual Art

I’m a disabled artist who finds joy and peace in creating artwork. Art helps me cope with my disability and provides me a connection to communities. 

Sherry Spencer

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

I am a retired RN. I discovered my love for art further after retirement. I retired early after experiencing a ruptured brain aneurysm and was reinventing myself. My good friend is an artist and we would often visit galleries. One day she said to me, Sherry; You need to start doing your own art! That was when I realized that I should pursue trying to paint. I have taken a few classes and been inspired by each new experience. Art has been my passion and saving grace.

Instagram: sherryl._spencer

Shirley Miller

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

I am 77 [years old]. Liked to do art all my life. Since my injury it’s limited somewhat. I like to paint folk art. My paintings sold in Atlanta, GA in 2006 at Sloton Folk Art. I paint animals on river rock, and canvas.

Terri Gibson

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

In 2002 I picked up my paintbrush when I toured a small festival and was inspired. I kept saying to my husband, “I can do that”. Finally, he said “well, the difference is, they are doing it”. I took that as a challenge and painted about 12 pieces. I participated in that festival the next fall and sold five pieces and received a half dozen commissions. From that point on I stayed busy riding around NC, taking photos and painting in my spare time. I worked on the road but it gave me photo opportunities from the coast to the hills. Eventually, I had a little weekend gallery of my own. I hosted several other talented painters and sculptors as well.

I stopped painting around 2008 due to my work load and life in general. In 2019 a local wine shop was seeking someone to do wine and paint classes. I led a few classes and never stopped painting again.

My health began to suffer in 2016 with new, adult onset asthma. I progressed to the 5% of asthmatics with a severe complex assortment of problems. I painted when I was able as it was one thing I could still do that was less physical. I mourned my disability and still do but my art keeps me going, inspired and full of passion to create. I love to share my work, participate in art groups online and interact with collectors.

I don’t know what I would do without my art. It’s been such a gift to me that’s kept me going as I had to quit work in 2020 and spend a lot of time alone. I hope somehow others can be inspired and will dive into their talents and passions believing it can give as much as they put into it. It can and it does!

Magnolias and Peonies was a work reminiscent of my early work where I make every brushstroke count. It’s a more formal piece that’s 100% original. Usually, my florals are impressionistic and loosely based on one or more real arrangements. In this piece I also purposely did not use pinks as I tend to go wild with neons, pink in particular. Magnolias are my favorite flowers to paint and I think they command a dignified presentation, hence, the formal arrangement.

Abandoned Homestead was taken from a  photo I took around 2002 of a home found at the end of a dirt road in Spring Hope, NC. I spent many Saturdays roaming for inspiration in the countryside. The siding by the doors was mostly gone exposing the many small slats of wood that comprised the walls. The bushes were there and weeds had grown high and wild. I had played with the hue and saturation on my computer and printed those photos long ago. One in purples and one in pinks. I used the pink photo for inspiration.

Website: Tgibsonart.com
Social Media: linktr.ee/TerriGibsonart

Terry Schupbach-Gordon

Printmaking, Professional, Visual Art

Website: www.terryschupbachgordon.com
Social Media: www.facebook.com/CatbirdPress

Statement
My effort to live gracefully within a body increasingly defined by disability requires that I redefine traditional notions of beauty, strength, independence, and fragility. Disability impacts all aspects of my life. It is part of my identity and as such is the lens through which I see the world. I create works that are intentionally beautiful and affirmative in their meaning. I am currently making a series of prints that explore visually what is “normal,” since that and the concept of “inclusivity” are fundamental to the disability experience. Water’s buoyancy lifts and supports all bodies, which is why it is a powerful metaphor within the disability community. My etchings woodcuts and artist books that are part of an effort reframe the language around disability and to address not the physicality that we do not have or have lost, but rather to speak about what we know and how we know it. Printmaking is my language, and it is cut, pieced re-assembled and sewn together much as my own life is. It is my attempt to re-imagine fragility and re-embrace a kind of strength that includes that fragility.

Narrative Bio
I was born in 1952 and grew up in Kentucky. My BFA and MFA are both from Indiana University. I taught Printmaking and Book Arts at Kenyon College from 1979- 1983, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1983- 1988. In 1988 I opened Catbird (on the Yadkin) Press in NC where we live and work today. I have been a printmaker since about 1972. I should tell you that my visual arts career is only part of what I do, and part of how I define myself as an artist, and person. I work also as a storyteller, puppeteer, co-director of Catbird Press, and as an advocate for disability issues. I was drawn to printmaking because of the expressive nature of its history. As a lover of poetry and a storytelling, I am naturally drawn to works that use both words and images. As a printmaker and book artist I work with images and language seen through the lens of disability and difference.
This small square print is made of layers of handmade papers, some with woodcuts, letterpress and some with etchings on them. There is a figure in the center in the center has its eyes closed and is surrounded by wings of insects. On the figures back is the word TOOLS and remnants of an old index with page numbers and notations that were printed in the 17th century. The colors are primarily earth tones, and there are bits of red linen thread throughout the piece. The figure has the suggestion of a wing rather than an arm on the left of its body.
Tools For Not Giving Up

Wayne Upchurch

Photography, Professional, Teaching, Visual Art

My father gave me a Yashica 35mm film camera -my constant companion from my high school sophomore year, on. I came Alive with that gift, and found my calling.

I ate, slept, and breathed photography, embracing opportunities to practice and deepen my work, through promotional photography for a community college, news photography for two newspapers, commercial and expressive photography, and finally through daily meditative photography. Along the way I have facilitated courses for beginners and advanced photography, as well as for the use of expressive writing for health and wellness benefit. I have lost/won that Aliveness along the way, but making pictures has been consistent.

I am a trained Life Coach, specializing in assisting people who live with disabilities to make the absolute most of new opportunities and growth in all areas of life, when change and opportunity are now wildly abundant. We are wired for creativity; Let’s Play!

Instagram: wayne_e_upchurch

Wesley Brown

Emerging, Music, Performing Arts

Pianist

Wiley Johnson

Emerging, Painting, Visual Art

Wiley Johnson is a 32 year-old artist from Raleigh, NC who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. He enjoyed art classes in the public schools, Achievement School, Raleigh Parks and Recreation, and Transitions Day Program. Inspiration for his paintings has come from walks in the park and various museums. He developed a passion for painting from the encouragement of an art therapist. Painting has been a therapeutic way for him to spend his time alone.

Website: wileysart.com
Facebook: facebook.com/WileyJohnsonArt
Instagram: instagram.com/wileys.abstractart

Shop Online: artlifting.com/collections/wiley-johnson
legaleriste.com/wiley.johnson