Fort Wayne Museum of Art

Exhibits featuring artistic images, works and reflections of living with disabilities.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is presenting a trio of exhibitions featuring the work of artists who have forthrightly addressed, in varying ways, the effects of physical and mental disability on the creation of art. With major support provided by AWS Foundation, the exhibits on display March 11-June 11, 2017, include two solo exhibits by contemporary photographers working in the United States and an exhibit of artists from the FWMoA permanent collection.

Sharon, the photographic story of a father’s experiences raising his severely disabled daughter, meticulously traces the profound struggles internationally-acclaimed contemporary photographer Leon Borensztein faced while raising Sharon. Shown together for the very first time, this collection of more than 40 black and white photographic prints communicates the strength of Sharon’s spirit and invites us to consider the power of unremitting love.

The second exhibition, Expressions of Existence, will take its cue from art history and from the FWMoA permanent collection showcasing the work and careers of artists throughout history who have explored the ways in which their disabilities have affected their creative work. The work in this exhibit, which spans the years 1797 to 2013, is not a display of disability but an expression of all lives which are at once comparable and contrastable—synchronous but separate. This exhibition includes works by Jackson Pollock, Wesley Neal Rasko, Marie Laurencin, Chuck Close, Ginny Martin Ruffner, Andy Warhol, and Francisco Goya, among others. This exhibition’s didactic materials will be supplemented by Braille text.

Finally, the series will conclude with an exhibit of the work of Timothy Archibald and his son Eli, who has autism. ECHOLILIA is an eleven-image curation from a larger body of work that was published in the identically titled book (Echo Press, San Francisco, CA, 2010. 70 pp., 43 color plates). Taken at their home in El Sobrante, California, these primarily unstaged images intimately narrate a tense but respectful artistic and personal relationship between father and child, when the two are learning to understand the meaning of autism and the importance of awareness.

Each exhibit’s labels will be printed in font that is easy for individuals with dyslexia to read as well as presented in Braille. Planned programs for this series of exhibits include an artist talk and tour on April 8 from 10:30am-12pm with Timothy Archibald and his son, Eli, with a deaf interpreter present. The talk/tour is free with FWMoA admission. On May 4 at 12:15pm Chief Curator Charles Shepard and Curator of Special Collections Tiffany Street will lead a gallery tour of all three exhibitions, with a deaf interpreter present. The tour is free with FWMoA admission.

On April 29, a tour for the vision impaired will take place.

These exhibitions are organized by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, led by Chief Curator Charles Shepard, and Curator of Special Collections Tiffany Street. Sharon is co-organized by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

For more information visit or call the Fort Wayne Museum of Art at 260-422-6467.