Access as Aesthetic: Disability and Intersectionality in the Arts
June 30, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
In this conversation with Alice Sheppard and Lauren Henschel on arts, accessibility, and intersectionality, we hope to move beyond the subject of how to make the arts accessible to people with disabilities. Rather, we are interested in discussing how the idea of access informs artistic practice and creative process. We also hope to explore how the many dimensions of identity active in artmaking shape the aesthetic and experience of art.
ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided.
About Alice Sheppard:
Alice Sheppard took her first dance class in order to make good on a dare; she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship in order to begin a career in dance. She studied ballet and modern with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.
Since becoming an independent artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew in the United Kingdom. In the United States, she has worked with Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton.
As an emerging and Bessie award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging disability arts, culture, and history, she is intrigued by the intersections of disability, gender, and race. In addition to performance and choreography, Sheppard is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race and dance. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and in academic journals.
Lauren Henschel is a visual artist working primarily in 16mm film, installation, performance and medium format still photography. Her work interrogates questions around guilt, illness, disability, shame and mortality and seeks to defy or alter an audience’s expectations of what art can reveal about the experience of inhabiting a body.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Lauren is currently based in Durham, N.C. She holds a B.A. in Visual Media Studies, a certificate in Documentary Film, and a minor in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. Her work has been displayed at numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Miami Art Museum. She is currently a candidate in the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts Program at Duke University.