The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Crafting My Story: Experiences of Loss, Grief and Spiritual Life

Artworks Supporters
Brad B.-Music and Breaking Bread
Karen D.-Fishing in Heaven
Anne M.-The World of Fantasy Books

September 7, 2019 – January 12, 2020

This ArtWorks exhibition addresses a global life event for all people who experience the death of someone close—grief.

As the life expectancy of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) approaches that of the general population, most individuals with IDD will outlive their parent/primary caregiver and face multilayered losses like their residence, familiar daily routine and social network.

To overcome common cognitive and communication challenges of this population, expressive arts are utilized to promote learning, self-expression, sharing, and processing of loss-related experiences and stories. University students and artists worked together to transform these unique grief-related stories into a public art exhibition.

ArtWorks is an outreach program housed in the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities at the University of Arizona’s Department of Family & Community Medicine. ArtWorks promotes community and mutual learning through creative and expressive arts interactions between adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and UA students. Together, they create a safe space for expression, connection and growth for the artists, students and community. Mutual respect and learning is at the center of every activity at ArtWorks. All members are encouraged to practice their strengths and talents.

The exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Molly Lawson Foundation.