This photo is by Mohsen Khalili from the series Dysfunctioned Body Parts series. Khalili is part of a panel discussion on April 27 at The Reach about issues of accessibility and disability in the arts.

The Reach holds discussion on disability in the arts

Session takes place at Abbotsford gallery-museum on April 27

The Reach Gallery Museum hosts a free panel discussion titled Issues of Accessibility and Disability in the Arts on Saturday, April 27.

The session begins at 3 p.m. at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, and it is inspired in part by the life and work of current exhibiting artist Mohsen Khalili.

Khalili and and fellow artist Carmen Papalia will discuss their own experiences navigating the art world as disabled artists in a moderated discussion led by Yuri Arajs, artistic director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture.

Their conversation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Khalili is an artist originally from Iran who has been living and working in Canada since the mid-1990s.

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His artistic career has been deeply affected by a number of medical conditions that attack his organs, skin, and bones.

As he continued to work with physical tools that are increasingly failing, Khalili has embraced an esthetics of imperfection – by “making undone,” he uses his work to reflect on the universal nature of entropy, and to remind us that to have a body inherently means learning to live with failure.

His current retrospective, Remote Gardening with Dysfunctioned Tools, is on display at The Reach until May 5.

Papalia is a Vancouver-based artist and advocate 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.

Arajs joined the staff of Kickstart as artistic director in October 2015.

Having founded numerous art non-profit organizations and galleries, he has worked with and shown the artwork of hundreds of artists who live with disabilities, from the U.S., Canada, and internationally, for more than two decades.

Visit or call 604-864-8087 for more information.

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