6660 Manasota Key Road
“The Creative Language of Accessibility”
with Hermitage Fellows Shannon Finnegan and Chella Man
Friday, February 10 at 5:30pm
Hermitage Palm House (Parking at 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223)
Registration is required. $5 per person.
From alternative text to technological advancements, artists across mediums are elevating solutions designed to provide accessibility for all. Join two cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners in this field: Hermitage Fellows Shannon Finnegan and Chella Man. Both multidisciplinary artists defy genre and call attention to facets of daily life unexamined by many through their visual, performative, film, and written works. Shannon Finnegan explores how “Alt Text,” a tool designed to improve internet accessibility, can become poetry and Chella Man shares his experiences directing, writing, and co-producing, “The Device That Turned Me Into A Cyborg Was Born The Same Year I Was,” set to premiere internationally this spring in collaboration with Powerhouse Museum and Nowness. Come see, hear, and connect with what you might be missing as these creators share work and insight.
Hermitage Fellow Shannon Finnegan is a multidisciplinary artist. Some of their recent work includes Anti-Stairs Club Lounge, an ongoing project that gathers people together who share an aversion to stairs; Alt-Text as Poetry, a collaboration with Bojana Coklyat that explores the expressive potential of image description; and Do You Want Us Here or Not, a series of benches designed for exhibition spaces. They have done projects with Banff Centre, ARGOS Centre for Audiovisual Arts, the High Line, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Nook Gallery. Their work has been supported by a 2018 Wynn Newhouse Award, a 2019 residency at Eyebeam, and a 2020 grant from Art Matters Foundation.
Hermitage Fellow Chella Man is a 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, trans-masculine, Jewish, and Chinese artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Lacking representation where he grew up in central Pennsylvania, he decided to be his own. The motto: “Be your own representation” would become a pillar of his teachings. Before accessing the language and resources to express his experiences, art was a loophole, as language was never a prerequisite when creating visuals. He now uses a wide variety of mediums, gravitating towards whatever will best translate the message he is centering. In addition to his art, he has published his first book, Continuum, with Penguin Random House, stepped into the film industry as a director and executive producer for projects such as Trans in Trumpland and The Beauty of Being Deaf, holds talks internationally on the intersections of art, disability, queerness, race, and healing, launched his own clothing with Opening Ceremony, signed on as a columnist for Condé Naste’s first queer publication Them, signed as the first Deaf and trans-masculine model with IMG Models, and was cast as a superhero within Warner Brother’s DC Universe, Titans. He hopes to continue pushing the boundaries of what it means to be accessible, inclusive, and equal in this world.