In 2020, DisArt and artist Oaklee Thiele began the My Dearest Friends Project by collecting stories from the disability community confronted with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the project continues, we are working to further our mission of amplifying disabled voices and sharing disabled stories beyond the scope of the pandemic. This includes shedding light on the intersectional nature of oppression and injustice, bringing into focus the experience of disability for BIPOC individuals, LGBTQ+ community members, and other marginalized groups. MDFP is now participating in ArtPrize 2021 with an outdoor exhibition at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, as well as several satellite locations.
As part of their initiative to “Claim and Rebuild” cities to be more accessible for disabled individuals, the My Dearest Friends Project has designed these vinyl stickers. They are meant to be applied anywhere that is inaccessible to someone who is disabled-- Think stairs without ramps, inaccessible curbs, poorly maintained sidewalks, and more. The stickers are meant to both “call out” the inaccessibility of the location and “call in” the location’s stewards to do better.
Image Description: White charcoal handwritten text against a black background reads “My Dearest Friends Project. Well that’s not accessible. Want to rebuild it with me?” At the bottom of the image is DisArt’s logo and Oaklee Thiele’s signature alongside a QR code that links to the DisArt website.
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