The Working Lives and Career Paths of Visual Artists with Disabilities: An Exploration of their Experiences in Establishing and Maintaining Professional Practices

By Susan Maley.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The working lives of artists is a burgeoning area of international research. However, there has not been an investigation into the lives of artists with disabilities and what of their experience is unique and what is shared with other artists. Visual artists are the largest percent of practicing artists in both Australia and the USA and there are now a number of professional artists with disabilities practing from whom valuable knowledge can be gained.

Keywords: Working Lives of Artists, Artists with Disabilities, Arts and Disability, Supporting the Arts, Career Paths of Artists with Disabilities, Working Lives of Artists with Disabilities, Social Policy Implications for Supporting Careers of Artists with Disabilities

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 7, pp.183-190. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.706MB).

Susan Maley

Doctoral Student, Social Policy, University of Queensland, Australia

Susan Maley is completing the research phase of her doctoral thesis on The Working Lives and Career Paths of Australian and American Visual Artists with disabilities. Her background includes work in disability research and arts and disability. She began her work in arts and disability as a researcher at the Oregon Institute on Disability and Development and continued it as the Artistic Program Director for Arts in Action, the South Australian Arts and Disability organization. The primary focus of her work there in 2003-04 was the High Beam Festival of Disability Arts, the Southern Hemisphere's leading disability arts festival. In conjunction with the festival, held in May 2004, she coordinated and chaired an international conference, Ideas and Innovations: Disabilty Arts and Culture. In 2005, she began her doctoral studies, exploring the working lives of practicing, professional visual artists with disabilities and the challenges and oppportunities involved in their practices. This research involves interviews with artists in the US and Australia on their perceptions of the pivotal events in their working lives and their most significant career strategies.


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