WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The artists are back! Friday marked the 2023 opening of two exhibits at the Envision Arts Gallery.
Envision is a nonprofit headquartered in Wichita and is a leading service provider for people who are blind or visually impaired. Their mission is to provide opportunity and inspiration for individuals that are blind and visually impaired through employment, education, outreach, research, and programs like the art gallery.
“I entered the program doing like a night workshop. it was more therapeutic, so I felt like I was able to release things that I had bottled in, and I was able to let it out on the art,” said artist Ciara McCaughy.
One of the exhibits, GOLDEN REPAIR, is in honor of Black History Month.
“To honor Black History Month, this group of artists has taken the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which is a technique known as ‘GOLDEN REPAIR’ used in repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer as a philosophy to treat the breakage and expose its damage as opposed to disguising it to be something it is not,” reads the Facebook event page. “Metaphorically, this technique is a way for these artists who are Black and Disabled as a way for them to examine the many parts that make them who they are and to honor each part as not being ‘broken’ by life’s experiences, trauma, and heartache but pieced together by each account and desire that makes each life uniquely whole, worthy, deserving …beautiful. Poems and written word statements accompany this body of ceramic artwork and examine the raw emotions of what it means to be Black and Disabled in today’s society.”
The exhibition, which is open until March 31 in the Patricia A. Peer Window Gallery, features McCaughy, along with Laridda Murphy and Brandon Murphy.
“It means a lot to me to know that we are represented as African American people, and we’re still standing strong and moving strong and representing,” said Laridda. “My piece represents what we’ve gone through over the years as African American people. As we all know, this is Black History Month, and so my piece represents what we’ve gone through, a lot of shattered places. A lot of tough times, but in the end, we come together. We come together. This represents coming together in peace. There’s a lot of cracks and crevices, but we stand strong, and there’s a lot of peace. Break down walls and come together as one.”
“[My] piece represents us as a people — our strength, our fragility, our ability to create. We sometimes forget that there’s strength in weakness and weakness in strength,” said Brandon. “Life can be hard. Like stone. There are times when we will get broken by life, but just like this piece that’s put back together, we’ll still rise in the end.”
“[My] piece means a lot to me. I put a lot of emotion into it. Being black and disabled in society, we get overlooked. A lot of people see us as being blind and incapable, but we’re capable,” said Ciara. “This bowl represents all the things and the words that were said to me. It broke me in those moments, but I was able to pick myself back up and piece myself together and keep on moving.”
The other exhibit, “Wrap Cross Repeat,” was created by two artists from the Envision Drive program. The artists are blind and have intellectual developmental disabilities. It will be up for the next three months.
Envision is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. downtown in the historic Union Station area, 801 E. Douglas, Suite 106.
To learn more information about Envision, click here.