Carmen Papalia and Heather Kai Smith, Interdependence is Central to the Radical Restructuring of Power, 2021. Risograph printed takeaway. Courtesy of the artists.
Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not?, 2018. MDO, paint. Courtesy of the artist. © Shannon Finnegan
Oct 21, 2021 - 2–7pm
Oct 22, 2021 - 9am–5pm
Hybrid event: In-person at Siebel Center for Design and virtual via Zoom

Join us for a gathering of artists, professors, students, and organizers discussing and critically engaging with disability, access, and the potential to utilize these concepts in a generative and inclusive way. 

Sponsored in part by a Arts CO+RE grant through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation; Presidential Initiative in the Arts and Humanities, University of Illinois System; Broadening Inclusion grant through the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Art + Design Visitors Series Committee; Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) at Illinois; DREAM@UIUC; and Krannert Art Museum

Registration Details

All sessions will be fully hybrid, so they can be attended in person at the Siebel Center for Design on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus or virtually via Zoom. Every session of the colloquium will have live captioning and ASL interpretation, for both in-person and virtual event attendees.

Registration is required to attend, and you can select in-person or virtual options at the following links | Register for Day One | Register for Day Two

The Shannon Finnegan artist talk on October 21 has its own registration portal through the Art + Design Visitors Series | Register for the Artist Talk

Schedule of Speakers

Thursday, October 21 | Register for Day One

2-3 pm
Cripping: Interdependence, Creativity, Access | 
An intercampus hybrid discussion about the integration and dissemination of access

Margaret Fink, Director of the Disability Cultural Center at University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)

Jorge Lucero, Professor and Chair of Art Education in the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Karyn Sandlos, Associate Professor of Art and Head of the BFA in Art Education program, School of Art and Art History, UIC

Lorelei Stewart, Director Gallery 400 at UIC

Liza Sylvestre, Curator of Academic Programs at Krannert Art Museum, UIUC


3:30-4:30 pm
Faculty Discussion
 | Faculty from disparate departments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign discuss how disability and access have informed their research and pedagogy

Clara Bosak-Schroeder, Department of Classics

Nic Flores, Department of Latina/Latino Studies

Christopher Robert Jones, School of Art and Design

Eduardo Ledesma, Department of Spanish & Portuguese


5:30-7 pm
Art + Design Visitors Series: Shannon Finnegan Artist Talk
 | Accessibility Dreams

Register for the Artist Talk

Through their art practice, Shannon thinks about how we can move towards better and more nuanced approaches to access. Instead of focusing on compliance and doing the minimum, what if we approach access creatively and generously, centering disability culture? How might we make spaces and experiences that disabled people not only can access but want to access? 

About the Artist
Shannon Finnegan is an artist. Some of their recent work includes Anti-Stairs Club Lounge, an ongoing project that gathers people together who share an aversion to stairs; Alt-Text as Poetry, a collaboration with Bojana Coklyat that explores the expressive potential of image description; and Do You Want Us Here or Not, a series of benches and cushions designed for exhibition spaces. They have done projects with Banff Centre, the High Line, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Nook Gallery. Their work has been supported by a 2018 Wynn Newhouse Award, a 2019 residency at Eyebeam, and a 2020 grant from Art Matters Foundation.


Friday, October 22 | Register for Day Two

12-2 pm 
Open Access Foundation for Arts and Culture talk | 
Carmen Paplia, Artist and Founder of Open Access and Raven John, member of the advisory committee at the Open Access Foundation for Arts & Culture

Carmen Papalia will discuss how the concept of Open Access emerged in his practice, followed by a conversation with John about what accessibility means to them and what they do at the Open Access Foundation. 

About Carmen Papalia
Born in Vancouver, un-ceded Coast Salish territory in 1981, Carmen Papalia is an artist who uses organizing strategies and improvisation to address his access to public space, the art institution, and visual culture. His socially engaged practice is an effort to unlearn visual primacy and resist support options that promote ablest concepts of normalcy.

Papalia’s walks, workshops, and interventions are an opportunity to model new standards and practices in the area of accessibility. He approaches the museum as a colonial enterprise that has benefited from a tradition of cultural violence; a platform that contains valuable cultural resources, which is marginalizing by design. His work has been featured at: The Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, New York; the Tate Liverpool, Liverpool; the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; the Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana; and Gallery Gachet, Vancouver; among others.

Papalia is the recipient of the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary and the 2013 Wynn Newhouse Award. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a Master of Fine Arts with a focus in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. His current work includes an advocacy platform based on the principles of Open Access (2015) and an accessible mobile work-space and archive that provides a context for programming about accessibility at the institutions that he visits.


2:30-3:30 pm
Curatorial Discussion of Crip* with Liza Sylvestre

An in-depth look at the exhibition and an outline of the curatorial conceptual framework of Crip* at Krannert Art Museum and Gallery 400.


3:45-5:30 pm
Student Experience Panel 

Students from UIUC gather to discuss and share their experiences on campus as students with disabilities. Participants include: Alana A., Audrey K., Shifra F., Hannah C., Nic W., Grace M.