March 9 – June 8, 2024

While media representation is becoming more inclusive, people with disabilities are still reflected infrequently. When they are, they’re often treated as unrealistic tokens: subjects of charity or inspiring heroes for the non-disabled. Art Enables artists consider this dynamic in “Talking Heads,” a new multi-media group exhibition. Larger-than-life faces made by the artists hang in the gallery, many inspired by favorite celebrities, characters from movies, and historical figures. These lively portraits confront the viewer with their bold physical presence and with words: QR codes alongside the works link to audio recordings of celebrated media personalities voicing quotes from Art Enables artists. Journalists, news anchors, podcasters, and authors relay the ideas that occupy the artists as real people in a world that often overlooks them as such. The diversity of the fifteen “talking heads” and their accompanying words directly reflects the artists’ diversity of thought and experience, denoting a richness not commonly ascribed to this community in mainstream culture. With well-known voices sharing their concerns, we aim to create a small reality where this representation–its complex, insightful, challenging facets–commands attention. Still, while the appeal to engage surrounds the viewer, they must take action to hear or read the words on offer. As in the world outside the gallery, whether they do so remains a choice – the opportunity to learn and listen a standing invitation.

Contributing voices: Jamelle Bouie (The New York Times), Lorenzo Hall (WUSA9), Ron Charles (The Washington Post), Kat Chow (journalist and author), Elahe Izadi (The Washington Post), Tony Perkins (NBC4), and Martine Powers (The Washington Post).

Artwork by Maurice Barnes, Duane Blacksheare-Staton, Jacqueline Coleman, Charmaine Jones, Mike Knox, Toni Lane, Paul Lewis, Raymond Lewis, CeeJ Maples, Vanessa Monroe, Eileen Schofield, A.T., Nonja Tiller, and Imani Turner

With quotes by Jay Bird, Mara Clawson, Jacqueline Coleman, Jabari Cooper, Mike Knox, Toni Lane, Peter LoBrutto, CeeJ Maples, Vanessa Monroe, Eileen Schofield, Imani Turner, and other anonymous Art Enables artists

Gallery hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Add to Calendar 20240608 America/New_York 2204 Rhode Island Avenue, NE Washington DC 20018 Talking Heads