Arts Council
Kentucky Arts Council's 'identity' exhibit travels to Bowling Green, shows work of artists with disabilities

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 08, 2014  
Contact Information:  Emily B. Moses
Communications Director
502-564-3757, ext. 472

FRANKFORT, Ky. — An exhibit of artwork created exclusively by Kentucky artists with disabilities will open April 11 at the Houchens Gallery in the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green.

The adjudicated exhibit curated by the Kentucky Arts Council and titled "identity" includes work by 30 artists, including some who have never exhibited professionally before. Michael Dixon, of Warren County, is among the artists with work in the exhibit.

The exhibit is the first of its kind produced by the arts council to exclusively showcase work by artists with disabilities. It was made possible by a $6,000 grant from the National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to continue the arts council's work to address and promote careers in the arts for people with disabilities.

"The 'identity' exhibit allows viewers to explore the world view of Kentucky artists with disabilities," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The arts council is proud to facilitate the exhibit's installment in Bowling Green. We hope residents will make time to see this important collection of work."

Earlier this year, the arts council issued a statewide call to artists with disabilities. All participating artists had to be willing to self-identify as a person with a disability and share their perspective about how having a disability does or does not shape their personal experiences and artwork.

"There is as much diversity among the communities of people with disabilities as there is in the rest of society," said Sarah Schmitt, arts access director for the arts council. "Being an artist with a disability isn't about one thing, but each artist does have something to say; it just may not be about having a disability."

Artists with work in the exhibit are, including their home county:

  • Gaylen (Frosty) Rankin, Bourbon
  • Diane Smallwood, Boyd
  • Debra Huber, Boyle
  • Robbie Borland, Fayette
  • Tony Dunn, Fayette
  • Earl (Barry) Herald, Fayette
  • Steven Hornbach, Fayette
  • Mary Lang, Fayette
  • Rodney Wilson, Fayette
  • Carol Shutt, Fleming
  • Julie Baldyga, Jefferson
  • Terry Bishop, Jefferson
  • Adrien Brooks, Jefferson
  • Sheldon Campbell, Jefferson
  • Jack Cochran, Jessamine
  • Sebastian Duverge, Jefferson
  • Chimel Ford, Jefferson
  • Ron Graf, Jefferson
  • Hope Center for Growth, Jefferson
  • Eric Huggins, Jefferson
  • Daressie (Elaine) Laird, Jefferson
  • Thaniel Ion Lee, Jefferson
  • Donna Sherley, Jefferson
  • Billy Smith, Jefferson
  • Carol Thorp, Jefferson
  • Paul Wallender, Jefferson
  • Ronald Gosses, Madison
  • Anne Leader, Scott
  • Michael Dixon, Warren

For more information about the exhibit, visit

The National Arts and Disability Center is a program of the Tarjan Center at UCLA, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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