The Creativity Expo-Brain Injury Arts

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Art! There is so much art! And there is so much joy in my heart for people who recognize that the art of people with disabilities is art worthy of putting on public display.

Last July, I curated the visual arts and music exhibition called “A Different Perspective.” The main purpose was to showcase arts and crafts of people with brain injuries in a local art gallery. Because so much of my community’s work is displayed in medical centers and rehab environments. No matter whether each artist in this show created something to be artsy, to be therapeutic, or for any other reason, I wanted an art gallery.

And look who I just came across online: The Creativity Expo! True, it looks like I’ve missed it ten years running now in New Jersey. But better late than never, I like to say.

Their URL is long, so please search on Facebook for “The Creativity Expo Brain Injury Arts” or click on the name in this sentence. Then immerse yourself in the photo albums and YouTube videos up there. I really can’t begin to describe how gorgeous and varied the work is from live music to paintings to sculpture, photography, jewelry and drawings. Exquisite stuff.

I believe this site and this show will go a very long way to helping prove the point that people with disabilities and people with brain injuries have agency, know what we want to do, and will do it when we have access. It’s not a matter of praising people for “the skills they have remaining,” which I hear a lot when people with brain injuries create or do something that other people find interesting or useful. It’s about accepting and appreciating all of us. Art provides such an amazing platform for personal expression, political arguments, explorations of pain and joy, asking questions and building community.

I’m going to start calling this event The Creativity Expo-stravaganza of Completely Awesome. And as a member of the brain injury community whose sense of purpose and connection came directly from creating art when I didn’t know what else I could do besides fail at Sudoku puzzles, I thank Vincent J. Diorio for getting this project going in 2003 and keeping it going.