VSA Minnesota displays artwork by Minnesota artists with disabilities in a variety of locations. Some exhibits feature one artist, while other exhibits include the work of many artists. In some instances their disability directly influences their art; in other cases their disability has little or no effect on their work. In all instances, the artists are chosen because of the excellence of their work and their continuing dedication to their art form.
Our goal is to encourage these artists by giving them a place to exhibit and sell their artwork while increasing awareness within the general population about the creativity and talent of people with disabilities. Artworks displayed are for sale and all profits go to the working artist.
One long-standing art venue for VSA Minnesota is Vision Loss Resources, Inc. in Minneapolis. Its mission is to assist people who are blind or visually impaired in achieving their full potential and to enrich the lives of all persons affected by blindness or vision loss. Their offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
To be considered for future VSA Minnesota art exhibits, contact exhibit coordinator Halle O’Falvey at 612-332-3888, ext. 4, or email@example.com. Interested artists can also review and complete the Exhibiting Artwork Guidelines & Form and submit to VSA Minnesota.
Emma Erspamer & Jon Leverentz
Showing April to July, 2018
Vision Loss Resources
1936 Lyndale Ave. S.
(at Franklin Avenue)
This exhibit, part of a rotating series of exhibits coordinated by VSA Minnesota, features the artwork of Emma Erspamer of Minneapolis and Jon Leverentz of Minnetonka.
Jon Leverentz has been an artist for most of his life, using acrylic and oil paints to create his artwork. He is inspired by nature and likes painting outdoor scenery. He integrates the effects of his disabilities, including double vision, tremors and paralysis, into his art making. He imposes demands on himself as an artist, along with resilience and perseverance, to initiate works of art that present opportunities for decision, control and resolution. Since he is legally blind, he says “it takes a great deal of concentration and determination to make intuitive judgments regarding what is close versus far away. Art recreates in my mind what the world looked like before. I use my art so show people that anyone can do anything if they try.” Several discussions of his work are found in an online video (Jon Leverentz: The Soul of an Artist) and in Art Beyond Sight: A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment.
Emma Erspamer made her first serious attempt to make art in seventh grade. She creates art through painting, sculpting and whatever meets her fancy. She also loves movement in nature and wants viewers to see the visible and invisible, the yin and yang of the world around us. Having learned about color in college, she uses primaries and white to produce unique colors, brush strokes and textures in creating series-based works – vacation images, autumn-focused paintings, floral images and exploring water from waterfalls to beach scenes. She doesn’t put people in her paintings because she wants the viewer to find themselves in her work and because “I want to welcome viewers into my world, into beautiful places that I have created.”