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Just Me: An Asian American Artist on Disability and Mental Health

Chanika Svetvilas, interdisciplinary artist

April 17, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · A17 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Effron Center for the Study of America, Lewis Center for the Arts
Image credit: Chanika Svetvilas, What I have Learned (The Space in Between), 2020 [detail]. Charcoal, spray paint, and collage on lined paper, 3ft x 2ft. Used by permission of the artist

Chanika Svetvilas is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker whose practice focuses on mental health difference. Her work is an extension of her continued interest in using narratives as a way to challenge stereotypes in contemporary society and to create safe spaces. She has presented her work in a variety of spaces and contexts including the College Art Association Conference, the Society for Disability Studies Annual Conference, and the Pacific International Conference on Disability and Diversity. She has exhibited at the Denver International Airport, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Asian Arts Initiative, and the Wexner Center for the Arts among others. Her work has been published in Disability Studies Quarterly, Studying Disability, Arts, and Culture: An Introduction by Petra Kuppers, and A Body You Can Talk To: An Anthology of Contemporary Disability, edited by Tennison S. Black (forthcoming). Svetvilas was the co-founder of ThaiLinks, a collective that was based in New York City and promoted awareness about issues affecting the Thai American community. She also co-founded the biennial Thai Takes Film Festival. Svetvilas was born in Buffalo, NY to Thai immigrant parents. She earned her BS from Skidmore College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.

Co-sponsored by the Effron Center for the Study of America, the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab, the Program in Asian American Studies, the Keller Center, the Humanities Council, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the Office of Disability Services, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Council on Science and Technology.

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