Disability Studies in Art Education (DSAE) Column: Feb/Mar 2022

NAEA News Feb/Mar 2022

The columns for this issue of NAEA News were written prior to the 2022 National Convention. As such, you may find information about Convention sessions and references to past occurrences in the future tense.

Only days before the NAEA National Convention, the DSAE Interest Group would like to acknowledge the several presentations about disability studies and disability justice. Please join us at the following:

J. T. Eisenhauer Richardson and Lori Esposito, Crip Re-Worlding and Transgender Embodiment: Trans Feminism, Crip Theory, and Disability Justice (livestreamed and in-person). Thursday, 3/3/2022, 9:00–9:50 am. Hilton/Regent/2nd Floor.

(DSAE hosting graduate session with other Interest Groups) J. T. Eisenhauer Richardson, Lori Esposito, Kayleigh Kozyra, What Curiosities Guide Our Research? Envisioning Future Connections Between Researchers in Social and Critical Theory. Friday, 3/4/2022, 1:00–2:20 pm. Sheraton/Bowery/Lower Level.

Alexandra Allen and Timothy Smith, Artmaking as a Lens of Disrupting Ableism in Art Education. Friday, 3/4/2022, 2:00–2:50 pm. Hilton/Gramercy West/2nd Floor.

Karen Keifer-Boyd and Kelly Gross, “Indigeneity and Disability Justice Art” Exhibition K–12 Curricula. Saturday, 3/5/2022, 3:00–3:50 pm, Hilton/Murray Hill East/2nd Floor.

Timothy Smith, Cripping Art Education and Dismantling Ableism in the University. Thursday, 3/3/2022, 1:00–1:25 pm. Hilton/Sutton Center/2nd Floor.

Alice Wexler and Mira Kallio-Tavin, Disability Justice: Expanding the Traditional White Field of Disability Studies. Saturday, 3/5/2022. 1:00–1:50 pm. Hilton/Murray Hill East/2nd Floor.

Disability Studies in Art Education Interest Group Business Meeting. Saturday, 3/5/2022, 9:00–9:50 am. Sheraton/Central Park East/2nd Floor.

Disability Studies in Art Education Master’s and Doctoral Awards. Saturday, 3/5/2022, 11:00–11:50 am. Sheraton/New York Ballroom East/3rd Floor.

The 3rd International Conference on Disability Studies, Arts & Education

October 7–9 marked the 3rd International Conference on Disability Studies, Arts & Education. This year was the first time that the conference was entirely virtual.

The conference focused on how contemporary art, art education, and research intersects disability and anti-colonialism, and how the pandemic has fore-fronted social justice in disability studies and art education. During the conference days we examined the global meaning of disability justice and anti-colonialism in the arts, activism and education. The 3rd DSAE conference brings together researchers, students, teachers and members of the disability community. The conference comprises all art forms, as well as different contexts of education, such as primary education, artist education, and public pedagogy. (from conference portal,

Some of the highlights were the three keynote speakers: Petra Kuppers presented her new book in her presentation, “Eco Soma: Disabled Artful Living in Diverse Communities”; Olivia von de Weid presented “On Skin’s Surface: Poetics and Politics of Blindness in Brazil”; and Ewie Erasmus presented “‘Happy to Be Me’: Thoughts on (Dis)Ability and Connection.” The invited panel consisted of five artist–scholars: Alex Dolores Salerno, Raisa Kabir, Bani Amor, Yo-Yo Lin, and Pelenakeke Brown. Their work is situated in decentering colonial knowledge and the impact of colonialism on the body and the land. The solutions embedded in their work are highlighted by the need for affordable access to technology, health care, education, and scholarship, along with intradependency and cross-conversations.

Excavātion: An Archival Process, Denniston Hill, NY. Photo credit: Vladmir Radojicic

During the exhibition, Indigeneity & Disability Justice Art, the artists engaged in disability issues and challenged the hierarchical nature of colonialism and its policies on Indigenous populations. The featured artist, Kevin Quiles Bonilla, is an interdisciplinary artist born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, whose “work explores ideas around power, colonialism and history with his identity as context” (see image of Bonilla’s work below). Russian-born independent scholar and artist Marina Tsaplina also featured her work, which “examines anti-colonial and anti-ableist thought, research, and practice through puppetry animation. She creates participatory spaces to help awaken the deep connections between land, bodyminds, imagination and healing” (see Tsaplina’s work below).

The art exhibition and guides to facilitate art education encounters can be found at

Kevin Quiles Bonilla, While You Dried in The Sand (Out of the Blue), 2021. Custom print on beach towel, 38.5 x 77in.

Marina Tsaplina, Illness Revelations: The Bodies of History/Medicine. Image of Marina Tsaplina from

Column by: Alice Wexler

J. T. Eisenhauer Richardson, DSAE Chair
Associate Professor, Arts Administration Education and Policy, The Ohio State University. Email:

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