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What Disability?!?

An exhibition in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

December 3-19, 2021

December 3rd is annually recognized as International Day of Persons with Disabilities by the UnitedNations. The theme for 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward aninclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” 

Outsiders and Others will celebrate the occasion with an exciting, diverse exhibition of artworks byartists who identify as living with a disability. 

In response to a "call for artists" we received submissions from all across Canada and the UnitedStates, which is reflected in the exhibition. And because we received such a great number of applications, the exhibition will encompass our main gallery at 716 East Hastings Street.

What Disability?!? exhibition features 16 artists, some of whom are formally trained with anextensive exhibition history while others are self-taught and have never shown their work before plus everything in between!

These artists are: Athena Cooper, Georgia Couver, Kelly Farrell, Yaho Fiwchuk, Doug Heal, Troy Lindstrom, Ellen Mansfield, Mike Levin, Aaron Miller, Sabrina Murdoch, Seema Shah, Margie Smeller, Emily Tironi, Yasabelle Vautour, and Bart Vulliamy.

For more information about International Day of Persons with Disabilities visit:

The exhibition

Please note that prices do not include shipping and handling costs.

Email us at for a quote. Include your mailing address. 

*Also note that some artworks are prices in US dollars and some are in Canadian dollars. This is because we have artists from both countries in the exhibition. 

Ellen Mansfield_Eyeth Day.jpg

Ellen Mansfield

The Eyeth Day

12” x 12”

Ink, pastel, acrylic, on canvas


"By celebrating the sign language and culture of Deaf people, I can affirm our unique ways of being in the world."

Kelly Farrell -Fishing Boat.jpg

Kelly Farrell

Nova Scotia Boat Fish

12” x 15” framed


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"I love painting and taking photos with my camera. I paint what I see. Places I have been and things I have done, what makes me happy or laugh or things I hope to see. I love hot weather. I love Florida and palm trees. I love painting houses, especially all the homes in L’Arche Antigonish. I love showing my paintings to everyone, especially family and friends. "

Doug Heal - Masters of the Universe.jpg

Doug Heal

Masters of the Universe


Digital image on aluminum 

First edition 1 of 1


"I take images from the past and like a visual DJ, remix what I find, bringing into the present new works of art that I hope can be enjoyed far into the future. 

No matter what some may see as our disabilities, we are all masters of our universe."

Bart Vulliamy - Untitled2.jpg

Bart Vulliamy

Tracks 3

16” x 20” framed


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"As an autistic person, it is important for me to bring aware and education to the reality of neurodiversity. Through education, and getting to know the individual, we can break down the stigmatization of autistic people and other misunderstood disabilities. "

Mike Levin_edited.jpg

Mike Levin


20” x 16” framed

Ink on paper

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"I have a permanent mental health disability that interferes with my life. When I’m not being interfered by it, I love to paint and draw which usually comes as a strong push to get things done. I am mostly self-taught but have recently gone to Art School. I have exhibited mostly with other mental health clients since 2006, though I have had a few shows outside this paradigm.  Disability is a strong word, however it doesn’t influence me; it is me and I’ve learned to accept the battles that I have to win or walk away alive and pumped to get back into living: which is usually in a form of painting and drawing for myself. 


I did a series of late to do with the construction boom; like the rush and accelerated rate of which it is evolving our city, my hope is that I have reflected that in some way. "

Margie Smeller - Hot Dog Nun Surrounded By Dessert_edited.jpg

Margie Smeller

Hot Dog Nun Surrounded by Dessert 

Mixed media 

17” x 21” 


Margie Smeller is a seasoned visual artist, having honed her craft over many years working on commissions at home, exhibiting her work in solo shows and as part of a collective with the Artists’ Gallery in Frederick, MD. She has also been a member artist at the Scott Key Center (Frederick, MD) and Art Enables (Washington, DC). Margie loves writing poetry, often in tandem with her visual artwork. She draws inspiration from a vast array of sources, including pop film and National Geographic. She is also a talented athlete, competing in varied sports including skiing and kayaking. Margie has been an artist at Make Studio in Baltimore for about a decade. She lives in Mount Airy, MD. 


“That’s what I wanted to be when I grow up in my dreams as a artists, novice. A Fashion Nun clothing Line. Special Olympics sports in my own Art work Love Friends and Family.”

Ysabelle Vautour Rockstar, 2020, 8.5 by 11 inches, Gouache.jpg

Ysabelle Vautour


9” x 12”

Gouache on paper

Contact gallery for availability at

"I started out making art for myself as a kind of therapy so a lot of the art that I have been showing was not intended for an audience. This year’s artist in residence theme was looking inward-looking outward. I choose to look at disability in the media. Looking outward is the media portraits and looking inward is my personal reflection on it as a person with lived experience of disability. 


I have an art journal where I collect ideas for themes and patterns. I use it as part of my artistic process. I love to learn and chat with artists. I find I can generate ideas just with conversation. I am fascinated with collaboration I think it's so magical when it all comes together. 


I used to work as a crisis intervener. I learned that we all want to feel understood, heard, and seen and that most people have a hard time saying what they mean and an even harder time talking about their feelings and experiences. 


I agree with Carl Jung that loneliness isn’t the absence of people; it’s the inability to express what’s important to us. As an artist, I am interested in people’s personal experiences and the things that haven’t yet been defined. What aren’t you talking about because no one is asking? I gravitate towards disability arts. I think innovation is what we need for accessibility to truly work. I want us to think about accessibility differently, and what better to explore that than through art. 


My visual impairment affects the way I see light and colours. I am very sensitive to light. Its changing reflection affects my mood. Because I can’t see colours, I am more interested in a person’s energy, and what lies inside waiting to be expressed.


I have always been fascinated by faces and what feelings they convey, and how I feel while I paint them. It’s a silent dialogue as one minor stroke can change the expression on someone’s face completely. I paint intuitively, allowing space for what is about to surface. I often feel like it’s my job as an artist to be an active listener to what’s going on at any given moment. 


My creativity takes many forms: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, poetry, improv, and partner dancing, specifically swing and blues."

Georgia Couver 1 Wednesday Addams Selfie in Chinatown.jpg

Georgia Couver

Wednesday Addams’ Selfie in Chinatown 



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Georgia Couver is a Chinese-Canadian, queer woman on the Autism spectrum who continuously explores the concepts of Asian sexuality, Queer disability and Goth Punk-Femme through her multidisciplinary arts in music, painting and dance. Couver loves to play the violin and other multiple string instruments, while writing musical compositions for burlesque productions, including a few short films and theatre productions. Her interests are (exotic) pole, aerial hoop and parkour.


"Wednesday Addams’ Selfie in Chinatown is a 36x36 acrylic painting that depicts of Chinese deities from Tu’er Shen (God of Homosexuality) to Magu (Goddess of Longevity), Monkey King, Guan Yin and many others from Chinese folklore, strolling down on the streets of Chinatown Vancouver, blended as “ordinary humans” witnessing human nature, while Wednesday Addams is unexpectedly taking a selfie with deities in the background. To me, Wednesday Addams was one of the most iconic characters from the Addams’ Family, who taught me to be myself without anyone’s permission, and who I grew as a goth teenager. Instead of the typical, pale white skinned Wednesday that we all knew and grew up with, I wanted to depict her as an Asian goth girl who still embraces her authentic self, flaws and all. Throughout my years living with my parents and watching Chinese historic/mythic television shows, such as the Monkey king, I used to believe that deities lived amongst the humans, instead of just idols. Nowadays, while learning more about my disability and heritage, stories worth thousands of years give the power of not only imagination, but also cultural appreciation through storytelling. It made me think of the phenomenon of legends and values that have been passed on for generations, despite where you are. It also shaped tremendous identities for queer, Chinese Canadian, disabled peoples, like myself."

Yaho_Fiwchuk_Circle Meshed Edges_2020_AcrylicAndInkOnCanvas_16inx20in.jpg

Yaho Fiwchuk

Circle Meshed Edges

16" x 20"

Acrylic and ink on paper

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"I am a self-educated struggling artist- I started Art School but got sick and couldn’t finish (I have a mental illness and diabetes). I work when I’m not psychotic although traces of psychoses are found in some of my work which makes it very personal, as well as original. I try to avoid contact with the contemporary art scene to avoid being influenced that way."

Aaron Miller_edited.jpg

Aaron Miller

The Colourful Sound of Silence

20” x 30”

Acrylic, oil paint, lacquer, on canvas


"This painting is a re-creation of one of my art pieces from four years ago. It was stolen so I re-created it. It’s an abstract version of David Draiman‘s face from their version of the Sound of Silence originally done by Simon and Garfunkel, highlighted with blue and red."

Support Aaron is Dead

Sabrina Murdock.jpg

Sabrina Murdoch

Spring Bear

16” x 20”



"My name is Sabrina Murdoch.  I am a disabled senior living in a care home. Since moving into a care home I’ve taken up painting.  Expressing myself through painting has helped me greatly as I suffer from anxiety and depression. This pandemic has made me feel secluded, with no physical contact with my family or friends. It has almost driven me to the edge, and felt like I have been confined to my room for the last fifteen months.  

I do not have any formal training in art.  I learn as much as I can from books and various websites.  Painting has become an immense joy for me in these hard times. I immerse myself in my painting which makes my mind calm.  When I am painting I only think of what I’m painting, nothing else.  I like to use bright colors which cheer me up. 


The walls in my room were brown and looked like a hospital room.  I decided to brighten up my living space with happy images using acrylic paint directly on my walls. People in the care home loved my work and asked my to do more acrylic paintings on the windows to cheer up other residents in the home.  I had never painted on windows before.  It was a bit of learning curve but, the unit that I am living on, is now covered in my artwork.  I’ve received a lot of compliments about how cheerful the hallway is looking.  My greatest compliment came from a lady who chose not come out of her room for a very long time.  She came out into the hall to see my work, smiled and asked me to paint her a teddy bear."

Athena Cooper_HintOfGold.jpg

Athena Cooper

Hint of Gold

8” x 8"

Acrylic on canvas

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Athena Cooper is a professional artist and therapeutic arts practitioner based in Calgary, Canada. Her artwork is strongly influenced by her love of the vibrant colours and interplay of light found in stained glass.

Born with the rare genetic disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (aka ‘brittle bone disease’), and a wheelchair-user since the age of six, the images Athena creates appear as though they have been passed through her own glass-like nature to become windows into how she sees the world.

troy lindstrom.jpg

Troy Lindstrom


18" x 12"

Digital print


"The #NotA series was created to confront implicit bias targeting people with disabilities. As an artist, I want people to view these illustrations and ask themselves, “Is this how I think when interacting with a disabled person? Are my thoughts negative ones such as fear, revulsion, or pity?” Viewers can then recognize the bias that creates those thoughts, and confront those thoughts, and confront it internally to change how we are seen. Bias again people with a disability is still accepted and that must change. This series is an effort to start a dialog about the disabled and how we are seen in Canada."

Seema Shah


1. In the Fog - mixed media collage on matchbox - 1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) -

2. Untitled #1 - mixed media collage on matchbox - 1-5/16” (h) x 2” (w) x 3/8” (d) -

3. I Had to Scrape Cobwebs From My Face - mixed media collage on matchbox -

    1-5/16” (h) x 2” (w) x 3/8” (d) - 

4. Untitled #2 - mixed media on illustration board - 2-1/4” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) 

5. The Past Lingers - mixed media collage on matchbox - 1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) -

6. A Landscape of Disappearances - mixed media collage on matchbox -

     1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) -

7. Alone? - mixed media collage on matchbox - 1-5/16” (h) x 2” (w) x 3/8” (d) -

8. The Dust Remains - mixed media collage on matchbox - 1-5/16” (h) x 2” (w) x 3/8” (d) -

9. Trapped - mixed media collage on shipping tag - 1-3/8” (h) x 2-3/4” (w) -

10. It’s Hard to Explain - mixed media collage on wood block - 1-3/4” (h) x 1/2” (w) x 5/16” (d) -

11. Diptych of Despair - mixed media collage on paper  (mounted on foam core)

      1-3/4” (h) x 1-1/4” (w)  [each] - 

12. Grief Hides in Plain Sight - mixed media collage on matchbox - 

      1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) -

13. His Memory Turned a Corner- mixed media collage on matchbox - 

      1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) - 

14. Hide It - mixed media collage on shipping tag - 1-3/8” (h) x 2-3/4” (w) - 

15. Hidden #1 - mixed media collage on wood block - 1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

16. Hidden #2  - mixed media collage on wood block - 1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

17. I Can’t Anymore - mixed media collage on shipping tag - 1-3/8” (h) x 2-3/4” (w) - 

18. Over Time - mixed media collage on wood block - 1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

19. It’s Still There - mixed media collage on wood block - 3/4” (h) x 3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) -

20. A Complex Picture - mixed media collage on wood block - 1” (h) x 1” (w) x 1” (d) - 

21. It’s Easy to Lose the Path - mixed media collage on matchbox - 

      1-3/8” (h) x 1-7/8” (w) x 1/2” (d) - 

22. Heading South - mixed media collage on wood block - 1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

23. Stumbling on the Past - mixed media collage on wood block - 

      1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

24. She Had Forgotten Something Important - mixed media collage on wood block

      1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

25. I Don’t See the Point - mixed media collage on wood block - 1/2” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 5/16” (d) - 

26. Some Days - mixed media collage on shipping tag - 2-3/4” (h) x  1-3/8” (w) - 

27. Disconnected Fragments - mixed media collage on wood block - 

      5/16” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) x 1/2” (d) - 

28. Untitled #3 - mixed media on illustration board - 1-7.8” (h) x 1-3/4” (w) - 

29. Not Every Piece Fit - mixed media collage on wood puzzle piece - 1” (h) x 1-1/2” (w)  -

"I’m a Vancouver-based self-taught artist. My work in this exhibition is a collection of very small mixed media collage pieces, including some 3D pieces using items such as matchboxes and wood blocks. The collection is displayed in a wooden letterpress drawer. Each piece was created independent of the others and tells its own story. However, as I work intuitively, expressing aspects of my inner experience, some naturally surfacing common threads connect the pieces.

The exhibition theme, What Disability?!?, made me think of the societal disbelief and inaccurate assumptions many individuals with invisible disabilities face. The display drawer is meant to be an interactive, hands-on experience of looking beyond the surface, where viewers pick up a piece and gain a different and deeper understanding of it on closer inspection. For many of the 3D pieces, multiple sides must be viewed in order to get the “whole picture.” "

Emily Tironi_TheSoldier.jpg

Emily Tironi

The Soldier

6.5” x 6"



My works are a celebration of the disabled experience and the disabled body. I often use surrealism, bright colors, and humor in my work to challenge societal norms and stereotypes regarding disability. I believe bringing this perspective to the general public and society is important and use my experience as a disabled person and education in Disability Studies to enhance and inform my work. I use a variety of materials, such as gel prints, tissue paper, books and magazine images, to create contrast while still uniting the work through color and layering. The process of using different mediums and putting separate parts together to create a new whole strengthens the messages of the work.

Please note that prices do not include shipping and handling costs.

Email us at for a quote. Include your mailing address. 


*Also note that some artworks are prices in US dollars and some are in Canadian dollars. This is because we have artists from both countries in the exhibition. 

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