Personally, I think you should go for it. Like you said, the piece you want to enter could help other people to not be bogged down by labels and to know that it's okay to just be themselves. It's an important message and art is a very powerful tool of communication.
Surviving and sustaining yourself as an artist is hard enough. If that offers you another venue to display your work, I say go for it. You're not denying anyone else that opportunity by feeling you're not "that handicapped." Submit and let the judges decide. I'm pretty sure they're not going to require a physical determination of your eligibility.
CarynSKA- I think I'm going to. Thanks for your input. It does help.marquisdgore- Oh believe me I know th hardships of being an artist, but also the satisfaction of the creativity gives me. I appreciate you saying, "go for it". But I don't think you are getting where I'm coming from. I'm not worried about how handicapped I am or if the judges will determine anything. I don't know how right I feel within myself entering my work into a handicapped show because I don't want to make my work about being disabled or fall into a catagory of me being a handicapped artist. I just want to be me and let my art speak for itself. My life isn't about my handicapp where many people with my issues make it theres. I'm actually thinking way to far ahead because I might not even be picked for the show anyways.
Listening to you search for words to say why you feel ambivalent about submitting to the exhibition, I kept thinking that you meant you didn't want your handicap to define who you are, that you feel some handicapped people do let themselves be defined by their disabilities, and you were concerned that entering your paintings might define you as disabled. The distinction, I think, comes in the difference between the statements "I am a disabled person" and "I am a person who has a disability." The first statement defines the person in terms of the disability, while the second defines one attribute of a person.
I like your site. Thanks! Here is a true story of mine in return.I BROKE THE TABOO WITH A TATTOOLisa Nicole Lopes had premonitions about her own death, but she wasn't able to avoid it, despite the early warnings. I feel that I can relate to her, but I dealt with similar suspicions (of my own) differently than she did and I, unlike her, am here to tell you what I did to survive my first encounter with The Reaper.Lisa Lopes was better known as Left Eye (a nickname that a boyfriend gave her because he said that her left eye was lazy). She was one of three singers in the 80's band TLC. Her premonitions about her own death and subsequent untimely demise are well documented, because Lisa and a crew were filming a documentary in Honduras during the time. Left Eye Lopes spoke on film about her omen, and again after a car that she was riding in had run over and killed a young boy. She lamented that the spirit that killed the boy was actually aiming for her but had missed.Lopes paid for the little boy's funeral and did what she could to comfort the lost lad's family. Apparently Left Eye was right about the spirit that haunted her, because a month after the boy's death, Lopes died in a car crash (in Honduras). This time she was driving. Lisa was the only one in the vehicle that was wearing a seat-belt, but she died... and everyone else survived.After hearing a story like this, some would say that it was Lisa's time, and that there wasn't anything that she could do to avoid it. Had I not gone through a similar situation, I might agree. But since I did, I don't.There was a time when I felt like (my) death was close to me. I ignored the eery feelings for awhile, chocking them up to pessimism, but eventually I faced the strengthening force, first by admitting to my self that it existed. Left Eye got this far, but recognizing spirits isn't rocket science for god's sake. You have to fight shit like this, not freeze like a deer caught in the headlights!I FOUGHT MY TABOO WITH A TATTOO.It was 1986 and I was in Davenport, Iowa, when I finally decided to face the Reaper before he faced me. Since the Reaper has no face, I'm speaking figuratively.I was sitting on a bar stool when a fellow came in asking if anyone wanted to get a tattoo. We chatted, and before too long I was the customer that he was looking for. We left the bar and went to a little garage space that he tattooed out of. The scene was totally unprofessional, as far as tattoo shops go, but since I was a carny (carnival guy) it wasn't anything new to me. I stopped the artist from apologizing for the place and we got down to the business of picking something out to tattoo on me.There wasn't a lot to choose from, no walls of colorful flash or volumes of designs just a single, thinly filled, loose leaf binder. Having never wanted a skull tattoo, I surprised myself by selecting one with a black rose between it's teeth. "That's the Black Rose Of Death tattoo," the needler told me. "Perfect," I proclaimed! "It's just what I need to fight the reaper. Put it on my left arm where I can keep my eye on him.¨I believe that the left represents the spiritual side and the right represents the physical side, so my tattoos are placed accordingly. One month later, in Chicago, I was stabbed (in the heart and stomach) to death. The doctor that saved me, said that I have a new birthday and... I still have that tattoo, too.
Hey, La Roo. Your battle is pretty significant. Labels are so hard, they're hard to live up to, hard to shake and hard to be comfortable with. I get so caught up being "mum, wife, nurse" that I sometimes forget who "me" is. Can only imagine adding handicapped in there and the label becomes huge. The way I look at it is if you like the tone of the competition and you like the work you are submitting then the only label that applies is "quirky artist" Good Luck!
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