Access Gallery, an inclusive art program in Denver, exists to amplify the voices of its artists. It’s out of this mission that the “I Am..” campaign was born; to celebrate artists of all abilities during national Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
The Gallery’s Graphic Design class developed the campaign. Amy Siegel, the class teacher, kept the artists’ and designers’ voices at the forefront of the campaign. To foster accessibility through the campaign, they ran each design past the artists and designers.
March is also the month of photography in Denver. So, artists chose to incorporate the rare pictures of people with disabilities.
The campaign focuses on showing who people are, in their full complexity, rather than solely focusing on their disability.
Access Gallery built the campaign to empower people with disabilities. Artists chose the design to also provide people with disabilities the opportunity to define themselves.
Access Gallery started planning for the campaign with Developmental Pathways even before the pandemic emerged. As the conversations progressed and quarantines began, they realized the more traditional elements of a campaign like freebies or in-person events wouldn’t work. So, they came up with the concept of an online campaign.
One thing led to another, and the campaign resulted in a multimodal approach, including Billboards, social media posts, personalized posters, and Zoom backgrounds. Access Gallery even added an intern to their team to help with digitization.
Midst the design process, artists gained valuable skills through their work in standard graphic design programs. As economic opportunity is a vital goal of the Gallery, they hope this development of skills will increase future contract work for their artists.
Access Gallery is excited to continue working with artists to create impactful and meaningful art, not only for fun but also to create a sustainable social enterprise.
The Gallery is becoming a type of design shop where people can go for their design needs and where their artists and designers can pursue their artistic dreams and generate income.
Visit Access Gallery at 909 Santa Fe Drive in Denver and check out their newly designed Digital Design Studio and Art Studio, designed by world-renowned architectural firm Gensler, as a pro bono project. To learn more, visit accessgallery.org.