GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A local protest artist will display her work outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum during ArtPrize, drawing attention to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the disabled community, which saw significant loss.
Oaklee Thiele’s installation is called My Dearest Friends. The project started with Thiele’s poem of the same name. She published it on Instagram and encouraged others with disabilities to respond with their own thoughts. She got hundreds of responses from all over the world, which she then illustrated to bring the stories to life.
Those illustrations will stretch across 25-foot banners outside the GRAM. You can also follow the project online to see all of the submissions and illustrations.
The GRAM partnered with the disability arts organization DisArt to stage a disability pride rally, but it has been canceled due to an increase in the highly transmissible delta variant of coronavirus.
ArtPrize 2021 will run Sept. 16 through Oct. 3.