Where Art & Disability Meet

Portland, Oregon
July 5, 2011

There are very few people who walk through life without some form of
oppression.  *A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art*, an art project
slated to show in July, illuminates this in a unique and vibrant way.
 Catherine J.H. Miller, artist and curator, has put together a show at
PRESENTspace gallery that will provide a window to this broad terrain of
human life.  Using Braille, ASL interpretors and descriptors, this will be
the most accessible art show in Portland. The Oregon Women’s Caucus of Art
is a major supporter of this because it explores the intersection of
contemporary art and disability, and proves the art world can be made
inclusive.  The centerpiece of this project is an art show featuring 37
works of art including paintings, sculpture, literature and performance art
created by artists with and without disabilities.  A writer’s workshop,
artist talks, literary readings, an ADA celebration event, and activities
for young audiences will be included.  There will be elements of hipness,
humor and cutting edge art.
Ms. Miller, who is legally blind, speaks with a passion and enthusiasm that
is infectious.  Following the exhibit, she will create a book featuring the
artists and works in the exhibition and offer her theories on contemporary
arts and disability.  Ms. Miller says, “The book and the exhibition are not
the product, or art object, of my project. Art is something less tangible
and more powerful. The ‘art’ is the conversation that the visitors and
readers will have in the gallery space and beyond. It is the interaction
between the arts communities, the disability communities, and the wider
community around words like ‘disability art’, ‘disability pride art’, and
un-named areas of artistic practice.”

Heather Zinger’s photography project Endure will be shown, which was
inspired by her sister’s struggle with MS.  The artist tied a a skeleton to
herself for one week to make the burden of living with a chronic illness
visible.  Carmen Papalia will show many pieces, including a video where he
navigated an urban space with a 14 foot mobility cane.  Yulia Arakelyn will
perform a wheelchair dance.  Artists Emelia & Jody Ramey, authors of The
Autistics’ Guide to Dating, will present new essays.  National and regional
artists will show and read work that is imbued in some way with the the “not
so secret” sense that we are all fragile and resilient at the same time.

Currently, Ms. Miller is seeking support for the project through the largest online pledging source for artists. To purchase
tickets to the pre-opening party and support this project please
visit:  HYPERLINK” **

Ms. Miller was born and raised here in Portland and is a 2008 graduate of
the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her work with this show will have
lasting and national impact on how art can be presented.

*A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art* exhibition will take place at
PRESENTspace, 939 NW Glisan in the Portland Pearl district from July 7th
through July 30th 2011.

*The Somewhat Secret Place Calendar of Events:**

*This week!!!*
*July 6, 6 pm – A Somewhat Secret Place **Post* *Hanging Party: A Preview
for Donors: *Invitations to this event will go to all those who have donated
$50 or more to the show through Kickstarter or the OWCA.  It’s a chance to
meet the artists and curator and purchase artwork in advance of the public.
*Tickets are still available if you want to donate – contact*

July 7, 6 pm – A Somewhat Secret Place First Thursday Public Pre-Opening
Artist Carmen Papalia will give a talk from 6 to 6:30 and then the show will
be open for those on the First Thursday walk to have a peek. *A free event!*

*July 9 – A Somewhat Secret Place Grand Opening*
Noon – 2 pm – The Grand Opening starts off with a participatory workshop
facilitated by Write Around Portland, where participants can find
inspiration in the intersection of contemporary art and disability.  *A free
event but limited to 80 people.*

*6 – 9 pm – Grand Opening Night Reception* features one-time, original
performing artists and author readings.  American Sign Language Interpreters
will be there as well as descriptors for the visually impaired.   It
promises to be the most accessible and hippest art opening in Portland
history.  *A free event with refreshments!*

July 14, 6 – 6:30 pm – Artist Talk with Andrea Rosselle, installation artist
and sculptor, whose work explores the imposition of the medical object, and
experience as a medical body, upon the act of every day living.  *A free

July 21, 5 – 6 pm – Artist Talk with Eric Ferguson: “A Wobbly Line: from
Improv to Ink and Back Again.” *A free event!*

July 26, 7 – 9 pm – ADA 21ST BIRTHDAY PARTY! The Americans with Disabilities
Act turns 21 and we are throwing a celebration to mark it.  There will be a
panel discussion on its impact, then the birthday bash with cake and drinks.
 *This is a ticketed event.  Invitations are sent to Kickstarter donors, and
at the door tickets are $21 for 2.  For discount tickets, check out A
Somewhat Secret Place Facebook  page.*

July 30, 12 -2 pm – Artist Talk and storytelling with Joy Corcoran to engage
children of all ages to explore the creative lives of people with
disabilities. *Children must be chaperoned.  A free event!*

*July 30, 6-9 pm A Somewhat Secret Place Closing Party*:
A performance by Ellie Charpentier and several author readings will
celebrate the conclusion of the exhibition.  The after-party will be a great
opportunity to mingle with the artists, writers and organizers.  *A free
event with free refreshments*

For more information or to schedule an interview,

contact Catherine J.H. Miller at  HYPERLINK “mailto:” *