Back from the World; Part One

September 11 – October 31, 2023
Welcome Gallery

Resident Artist Ivan J. Felder III

Twenty years ago, I wanted to be an artist. I loved to create, and found myself hoping to be able to expand my artistic practice beyond the studios and classrooms of my secondary school. Life had other plans, however, and I chose to move away from my creative pursuits to focus on greater responsibilities. Now, two decades later, I have been given the opportunity to once again experience artistic growth and initiate steps to continue my creative journeys.

Over the past six months, I have had the opportunity to create works that allowed me to explore different facets of self-expression, filtered through access to paint, fiber and clay.

From this opportunity came this collection of works, titled “Back from the World ; Part One”. They represent a reawakening of artistic praxis and mediums that I feared I had lost forever. The artworks present themselves slightly askew, their imperfections unconcealed, their seams visible. Outside gazes often bring the questions of “why” or “what” the odd components of the artworks mean. In these works, these components serve as an extension of my lived experiences as a disabled artist, where the “why” and “what” of my odd components often do not yield satisfying answers. Thus, the pieces exist, as I do, as they are. Through their existence I find a commitment, my commitment, to imbue the joys of artmaking into my everyday.

About the Residency:

Main Line Art Center’s Residency for Artists with Disabilities provides local, emerging artists with space to work, mentorship, resources to create original artwork, and a public space to exhibit their artwork. Intended to help destigmatize disability, the residency promotes artists’ contributions to the Greater Philadelphia arts and culture landscape and provides a public platform for unique perspectives and connection.