Without Labels

JUNE 20. 2021 – AUGUST 20.2021

Vanessa Hernández Cruz, Murray Siple, A Laura Brody, David McCauley, Jack Page, Mariam Paré , Allen J. Lewis, Robbie Teasdale, Rose Adare, Emily Tironi, Ellen Mansfield, Seema Shah, Lisa Merida-Paytes, David Isakson

𝗜𝗞𝗢𝗨𝗜𝗜 𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗡 is an annual online group exhibition of artwork created by both disabled and non-disabled artists worldwide.  Artists who practice in a variety of mediums or discipline at various stages in their art career submitted work in response to a disability-centered theme. This year’s theme Without Labels explores the interwoven influence of labels in disability and culture.

Disability labeling has the potential to cause individuals to be singled out and even ridiculed. Labels can also define and artificially limit the way that an individual may think of themselves, and perhaps inadvertently push others to lower their expectations of an individual once they are labeled with a disability. While in retrospect, labeling perhaps helps groups of individuals who have disabilities in common form a group identity. Labeling may also provide access to proper accessibility and support. The goal of the open is to activate social movements, educate, inspire, and evoke change within the arts and disability communities.

Seema Shah
More Underneath


Laura Brody sculpts for the human body and its vehicles. She developed and curates Opulent Mobility, a series of exhibits that re-imagine disability as opulent and powerful. Her art has been shown at ACE/121 Gallery, Brea Gallery, the Charles River Museum of Industry, Westbeth Center For the Arts, California State University Northridge, Gallery Expo, the Dora Stern Gallery at Arts Unbound, and The World of Wearable Art. Ms. Brody works as a professional costume maker and designer, an artist, and as a teacher. She is passionate about reuse, sustainability, and re-imagining disability.

Brief Description of Work: My works draw from the history of art: the flowing shapes of Art Nouveau, the embellishments of the Victorians and the line quality of Klimt and Schiele. These sculptures are conceived with a commitment to social justice and are inspired by the spirit of scientific discovery. They are meant to encourage conversation and to inspire radical rethinking of the meanings of disability and adaptive aids.


Murray Siple attended Emily Carr College of Art and Design in the early 1990s, majoring in experimental film and video. After college, he pioneered extreme sports filmmaking as a director, but after a bright start, a high-speed car accident left him a person with quadriplegia. In rehabilitation, drawing was his salvation and his pathway back into art. He wrote and directed “Carts of Darkness” (NFB) and has recently established himself as an accomplished painter. Murray’s work explores themes of fear and darkness, night terrors colliding with inner turmoil. As an artist with a disability, Murray thrives in environments that are not accessible, which are the basis of his creative process. Brief

Description of Work: Murray has often heard of the Gulf Islands “magic.” He admits that the islands are filled with incredible natural beauty, however, that splendour is juxtaposed and even dominated by the destructive power of human beings. He finds it shocking that the Gulf Islands are still logged, in 2021 and that the Crofton pulp mill, which holds the worst pollution and safety record in Canada, is still in operation. The farm animals disappear, fed creatively to visitors. More painfully observed is the number of Salt Spring Island locals with cancer. Murray still believes in the magic, but he is not going to let it blind him.


Vanessa Hernández Cruz (she, her, hers) is an emerging Chicana disabled dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, poet & activist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, she received her Associates Degree in Dance from Santa Monica College. She is currently a candidate for the B.A in Dance Science from California State University Long Beach. In 2020, her dance film “Nycto-Eternity” won The Dance Cinema Award from Frostbite International Film Festival and was recently screened for The Midnight Film Festival in New York. In 2018, She won first place in the Global Citizenship Research Symposium: Dance & Disability in Santa Monica College for her dance film “Grey City”.Vanessa’s choreographic work has received the award for Cultural Diplomacy for Innovation in Choreography from Ballet Beyond Borders in 2019. Her lifetime aspirations are to continue to perform, choreograph, create, and to continue to pave an easier path for future disabled artists through her activism.

Description of Work: DNA – Disability Not Ability. This is a experimental Dance film that encompasses poetry, dance and scenic artwork. This piece is a deeply personal work that dives deep into my journey as a disabled dancer and owning my disability identity. One of the greatest moments of my life was reclaiming disability as my identity, culture and honoring its history. DNA is comprised of three parts: Decoy, Glitch, and Roots. Each chapter draws elements from my dance training over the years which includes ballet, modern, & hip hop. My poem is broken up into those three chapters that displays my dreams, my mental health, and ultimately my strength in reclaiming disability as a part of who I am.