UCCS GOCA121 film and panel discussion to explore disability and the arts

Daisy McConnell, GOCA, (719) 255-3504, dmcconne@uccs.edu Phil Denman, UCCS, (719) 255-3732, pdenman@uccs.edu

Colorado Springs, CO. — The University of Colorado Colorado Springs Galleries of Contemporary Art will screen two short films that explore the topic of disability and the arts and host a panel discussion at 7:00 p.m. June 26 at GOCA121, 121 S. Tejon.

Two films will be screened – an excerpt of the “Invisible Voices” documentary and “Half as Common” by Mimi Cave. “DOCUMENTATION” is an exhibit that features subjects and artists addressing issues of ability. GOCA has invited prominent Colorado theater and visual art voices to the table for discussion about inclusion and the arts.

Over the past fifteen years in Colorado theater companies have lead in both projects that invite participants of all abilities and, as with Denver’s award-winning PHAMALY, exclusively casting actors living with disability. UCCS’ Theatreworks worked with renowned writer and theater director Ping Chong to Colorado Springs to stage the first “invisible Voices” project in 2009.

“DOCUMENTATION” artists Bill Starr and Matt Chmielarczyk address disability through their work in the current exhibit. Bill Starr has for the past 22 years photographed dancers, actors and musicians while living with a debilitating autoimmune condition. Matt Chmielarczyk documented his daughter’s life-changing surgery over a period of eight months, inviting the community in to this intimately difficult period in their lives and directly experiencing disability through the process.

Panelists include photographer Bill Starr, Matt Chmielarczyk’s partner Sarah Hope, Cyndi Parr with Dragon Theatre Productions, Randy Dipner with Meeting the Challenge and UCCS THEATREWORKS, and GOCA staff. Dipner will lead the panel discussion following the screening of the two short films.

About the exhibit: “DOCUMENTATION” features the work of three Colorado-based photographers – Matt Chmielarczyk, Bill Starr and Andrea Wallace – and their compelling personal narratives.

GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation. By featuring world-class artists, hosting artist and expert talks, and offering meaningful events, the gallery engages UCCS students, faculty, staff and Pikes Peak Region community members in contemporary culture and life.

For more information, high resolution images or interview requests, please contact Daisy McConnell, director, Galleries of Contemporary Art, dmcconne@uccs.edu or (719) 255-3504.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 36 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 9,800 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.