Art News

Largest Festival of Disabled Artists Opens in DC

By: Brett Zongker,
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON, DC (AP).- Jesse Higman’s paintbrush isn’t a brush at all. With limited mobility in his hands because of a car crash 27 years ago, this Seattle-based artist created a method all his own. To control his colors, Higman built intricate tables with weights that bend his wooden canvas. Then he carefully pours pigment and water on the surface and watches them swirl to a small hole. The paint is like light being sucked into a black hole in space, he said. Left behind is a design he calls “Bone Orchid.” “I think of it like I’m playing with nature on this tabletop,” said Higman, 42, who has been in a wheelchair since age 15. His table and the painting went on display Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution as part of the world’s largest festival of artists with disabilities. While Higman had wanted to focus more on fine art after working for years in the music industry, the idea of joining the 2010 International VSA Festival in Wash