The Look. At. Me. Project
...leveraging the power of great art to create an extraordinary space where communities come to pause and learn...and embrace the fellowship of persons with disabilities.©
|The L.A.M. Director’s Vision
Welcome. I think the clearest way to convey where we are headed with the Look. At. Me. series is to walk you through a recent conversation. I have a new and wonderful friend in Washington. Her 17-year-old daughter’s intellectual disability is compounded by physical and developmental disabilities that prevent her from seeing, hearing and swallowing. I recently asked her, "If we put an individual in front of a painting of her, what do they need to understand?" This was her response.
"I have come to believe that these individuals are 90% divine. She doesn’t know People magazine; these guys don’t know self-consciousness or maneuvering for stature or the gross penalty for flaunting cultural norms. She and they are free of all that."
She went on to explain that the power of these disabilities pulls one into that purer reality. Engaged with a person with an intellectual disability, one’s self-consciousness; one’s need to establish stature and comply with established norms all fall away. In the immediacy of this consecrated relationship, those concerns have no negotiable tender. To be with these people is to be instantly and necessarily unburdened of all that.
That was my moment of revelation. Simple, welcome, and profound. Compelling art creates a suspension where authentic self and beauty and truth can converse and reinforce each other.
My favorite word is Kairos, a Greek word for "time" that doesn't exist in English. It means "a moment in time that will never come again because of the integrity of the initiative in question, the caliber of the people gathered together, and the situational factors in place to do what must be done."
This is such a moment.
L.A.M. Project Director, 2013
Within the exhibition, attendees will interact with each painting, its strategically designed narrative by or about its subject, the sound sculpture portraying that person, and the corresponding film element. Nonprofit representatives will be in attendance and, as often as possible, one or more individuals with disabilities.Community follow-up social change:
The Look. At. Me. Customized Curriculum
Customized, Ongoing Programming within Major Art Museums
- A simple, accessible reinforcement tool for families, communities and classrooms
- Translates the L.A.M. experience into the real-world setting to which it is to be applied
- Printed and online versions of curricular tools can be created
- Activities & learning components may be added later, as appropriate
- World-class art museums across the United States and abroad will leverage each regional opening of the exhibition as the occasion to announce ongoing programming for individuals with disabilities in their community.
- Programming will include features such as free admission, special tours, art experiences, etc.