A First Look Back at Day of Arts for All 2019

This was it! The big day when everyone came together to celebrate artists with disabilities, the 11th annual Day of Arts for All. I was no stranger to the excitement myself, having been on both sides of the event (Both as an artist in 2014 and this year as social media manager.) So, the first thing I wanted to do was check out a new event: The 90-Minute Art Challenge, to see how every artist was adapting to the challenge.

I went down the hall and talked to some of the artists who were drawing a woman on a big throne. One artist Quinn Kelley, said he draws because it's fun and adapted to the challenge by saying: “I just try to get the basics down and then fill in the details later.” Several artists I talked to, including Matt and Cassie who were there for the challenge, responded similarly, though each was bringing their own style and techniques.

I saw another 90-Minute Challenge artist, Matt. He was wearing a white paint-covered suit and his boxed in section had a Roomba robot with brushes working on the floor. I was fascinated, so I asked him what inspired this technique. He said this was “basically an attempt to recreate my physical therapy routine, and also to show that anyone can do art.” He had some injuries that resulted in him not being able to use his hands, and so here he was lying down on paper in a paint-covered suit, stretching and doing whatever he could do to make art. Anyone can make art definitely seemed to be the theme of the night, and it was fun to watch the artists create!

Wide angle image of 90-minute art making challenge

*Image above is the 90-minute art-Making Challenge in action. Includes crowd members seated and watching as artists work in the background. A model sits in the center on a red throne.

I had a ton of fun at Day of Arts for All, and this is only the first post of many that I'll post about AEO. In addition, I'll be spreading out my posts to highlight specific moments from Day of Arts for All, like this one about The 90-Minute Art Challenge. New posts will include group activities, and spotlighting artists, groups, and people who attended Day of Arts this year. And yes! My favorite art pieces!

More to the point, I was very moved to see all these people come together to both support artists with disabilities and create art. I've often said of myself that I am who I am both because of and in spite of my disability. I felt that especially tonight as I gathered with artists and looked at what they had done, and with such speed and grace.. It was truly an honor to be there. More to come later this month!