Shaping Space: A Conversation of Art, Disability, and Care
On Friday, November 3rd we explored the intersections of art, disability, and care with four textile artists: Raisa Kabir, Ange Altenhofen, Francisco echo Eraso, and moderator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, in Shaping Space: A Conversation of Art, Disability, and Care. Raisa Kabir’s work addresses cultural anxieties surrounding nationhood, textile identities, and the cultivation of borders contextualized within discourse around disability, labor, and queer racialized bodies. Ange Altenhofen creates functional sculptures that are activated and transformed through interaction – touch is integral as a means to communicate meaning through her hand-embroidered braille works. Francisco echo Eraso’s work addresses issues of dis/identification, displacement, slow movement, and craft as central to his politics of care as foundational to queer-crip world building and is an organizer, educator, and consultant working towards greater accessibility for all. Each encourages us to think about the ways in which we create, hold, and shape space in the arts.
Our Holding Space series is an annual event organized by SDA’s Equity, Access, and Integration Committee, and celebrates, educates, and encourages conversation with the intent of building a healthy, active, and diverse fiber community to drive change.
*Originally aired Nov 3, 2023 via Zoom
Combining her passion for textiles and contemporary scholarship, Elizabeth Kozlowski (she/her) is now serving her sixth year as Editor for the quarterly journal, Surface Design. Kozlowski has a M.A. with Honors in Museum Anthropology from Arizona State University and a B.F.A. in studio art, ceramics from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. She has been awarded numerous curatorial residencies and travel grants including the Curator-in-Residence program at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg, Sweden, 2024; the Creative New Zealand Cultural Exchange Grant, 2019; the Windgate ITE Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Art and Wood, Philadelphia, 2017; and the Danish Arts Foundation International Research Grant in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Kozlowski lives in the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia with her partner and two cats Neruda and Cleopatra.
Ange Altenhofen (she/her) is an interactive sculptor and wearable art maker currently based in rural Iowa. She earned her MFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the recipient of the Fred Forster Fellowship. Ange's work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including galleries and museums in Florence, Italy, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Notable exhibitions in the U.S. include the Museum of Contemporary Arts Chicago, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smart Museum, the Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Hyde Park Art Center which sponsored her "Project Molehill", a hand-sewn climbing wall installed at the Cook County Administration Building in the Chicago Loop. She was also selected for the
Artlink@Sotheby's International Young Art series which featured her interactive sculptures at
Sotheby's Auction Houses in Tel Aviv, Vienna, and Chicago.
Since relocating to Iowa in 2015, Ange was selected as an Iowa Artist Fellow in 2019 by the
Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts and received a New York
Foundation for the Arts Grant and a Rauschenberg Foundation Grant in 2021. She was recently
awarded a 2023 Project Grant from the Iowa Arts Council and the NEA to support the creation
of the interactive sculpture Grotto which will be featured in the upcoming exhibition “Transform
Any Room” at the Des Moines Art Center from October 2023 through January 2024.
Francisco echo Eraso (he/él) is a disabled, trans, Colombian-American interdisciplinary craft artist, educator and access consultant. Eraso received his BA/BFA from Parsons, The New School in 2018 Visual Studies and Fine Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA in Fine Arts from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University. In 2023, Eraso has been a Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Art and Disability awardee and Call to Action Speaker for Art-Reach Conference on Arts, Culture, and Disability. He has been an artist-in-residence at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Textile Arts Center, 77Art and Art and Disability Residency. His work has been featured in Art in America and presented at Museo Antonini, Mead Art Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Ford Foundation Gallery, Westbeth Gallery, Chashama Space Gallery, among others.
Raisa Kabir (she/they) is an artist, textiles researcher, and weaver who utilizes woven text/textiles, sound, video, and performance to materialize concepts concerning the cultural politics of cloth, gendered archives, and colonial geographies. Kabir’s work addresses cultural anxieties surrounding nationhood, textile identities, and the cultivation of borders. Kabir’s (un)weaving performances and tapestries comment on histories of transnational power, global production, and geographies of labor.
Her textile works uses a queer theory of entanglement to weave discourse around disability, resisting function and the queer racialised body as a living archive of collective trauma. She has participated in residencies and exhibited work internationally at, among others: The Whitworth, Liverpool Biennial, Glasgow International, CCA Glasgow, Ford Foundation New York, The Tetley, Raven Row, and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design. She was artist in residence for the British Textile Biennial 2019, and an awarded recipient of the Cove Park Craft and Design residency programme 2019. Kabir has shared her decolonial textile history research, and lectured at Tate Modern, ICA London, the London College of Fashion, The Courtauld Institute, and the V&A London