IKOUII OPEN 2021: Selection Committee Announced

The Ikouii Creative brings together a Selection Committee comprised of unique perspectives and expertise in the field of art to review, select, and ensure an exhibition of fresh diverse talent. We are honored to have the committee involved and cannot wait to announce the exhibiting artists for this year’s Ikouii Open. The committee will select work from artists globally that responds to this year’s disability centered theme, titled: Without Labels.

The Ikouii Open is an annual online group exhibition of artwork created by both disabled and non-disabled artists worldwide. The goal of the open is to activate social movements, educate, inspire, and evoke change within the arts and disability communities. Artists who practice in a variety of mediums or disciplines at any stage in their art career are encouraged to submit work in response to a disability-centered theme. The Ikouii Open will include all art forms and genres. Art submission deadline is May 30, 2021.

The Selection Committee includes Yuri Arajs, a working artist who has dedicated much of his practice to advocating for fellow artists, including artists who live with a disability. He has founded and ran a number of arts organizations and art galleries in the US and in Canada over the last 20 years, including as former Gallery Director of Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts and Outsiders and Others in Minneapolis, and Executive Director of newly launched Outsiders and Others in Vancouver, BC. Yuri is also an accomplished artist, holding three degrees, including a Master of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work is in both private and public collections.

Kait Blake is the Administrative Director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, a Vancouver BC Canada based non-profit that supports and promotes professional artists who identify as living with disabilities. While she is not an artist, she is a consumer and lover of all things art and has been since early childhood! Kait is passionate about equity, accessibility and inclusion in the arts, and society in general. Kait lives with severe depression & anxiety, learning disabilities and chronic pain; She is vehement about breaking down the stigma associated with disability, and most specifically mental illness.

Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter also known as Purple Fire Crow, is an award-winning Internationally known African American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disable, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, Producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disable, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival. He has lectured across the U.S. including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts. Hunter serves on the boards of Dance/USA, DCARA, BABDA and councils for CalArts Alumnx and Intrinsic Arts.

Jenna Reid, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture

Also serving on the committee, Jenna Reid is the Artistic Director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture. She is a fibre artist who works primarily with the practices of quilting and natural dyes as a way to engage with activist-based aesthetics. Jenna’s studio work explores inter-institutional violence informed by the histories of queer, feminist, Deaf, disability, and mad movement organizing. With a studio-based PhD in Critical Disability Studies at York University, Jenna’s teaching and research specializes in the emergent field of Mad Studies. Jenna has published in The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Canadian Art, Intersectionalities: A Global Journal of Social Work Analysis, Research, Policy, and Practice, Journal of Progressive Human Services, and Studies in Social Justice.

Ikouii Founder Aleatha Lindsay will also serve on the selection committee. Lindsay is an Atlanta based award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, independent curator, disability advocate, and published author. She is a graduate of Georgia State University, Russell Sage College, as well as Savannah College of Art & Design where she holds a Master of Arts in Creative Business Leadership. She has held curatorial and leadership roles at several arts organizations in the metro Atlanta area including Kudzu Art Zone – Art Center and Gallery. Deaf from the age of 2, she has a lifelong passion for inclusion and accessibility in the arts. Her work has been purchased by collectors nationally and exhibited in Atlanta, New York, Spain, Morocco, and Norway.

IKOUII OPEN: Without Labels will be installed online at Ikouii.com and open virtually to the public on Sunday, June 20, 2021. The opening will feature a Live Virtual Reception and Artist Talk hosted by Nupur Sachdeva, International Artist Liaison of The Ikouii Creative.

ABOUT THE IKOUII CREATIVE The Ikouii Creative is a disability-led organization committed to providing opportunities and support for artists with disabilities as well as transforming cultural institutions into an engaging and meaningful space for all visitors. The Ikouii Creative serves artists worldwide, in countries including the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Israel, and India. The organization offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to amplify its impact in the arts sector.

Press & Sponsor Inquiries: Contact General Manager, Lisa Hamilton at 404.642.3525 or info@ikouii.com

Header image: Yuri Arajs, Outsiders and Others; Kait Blake, Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture; Antoine Hunter, Urban Jazz Dance Company