Isabell Villacis

Artist Isabell Villacis at work in the art studio at the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

“I just want everyone to know that if you have a dream, go for it!”

Isabell is a creative and versatile abstract painter, writer, and choreographer. She has been creating art most of her life and is happy to share her talents with others. Across all of her artforms you can see her compassion and love for all people. Isabell calls upon her observations and experiences to create insightful pieces to help anyone navigate the travails they face in daily life.

Isabell is known for tackling complex social issues in her work, especially with her writing. She is not afraid to speak from the heart about things that have happened to her and those around her. Also reflected in her work is Isabell’s love and acceptance of all people in their uniqueness as individuals. This is vividly displayed in her writing when she takes on social issues that hurt and divide people, such as bullying and mass shootings. She unabashedly gets to the root of social problems in her written works and pushes toward solutions with love and conviction. Her advice includes serious self-examination when necessary. Isabell also writes pieces of self-help in the form of meditations.

Isabell is also known for her intricate abstract paintings, such as the one she completed last summer which included meticulously placed found objects embedded into the composition. As with her writing, Isabell’s paintings are infused with meaning. Each element symbolizes or speaks to something important to her or to the message she is trying to convey. In the studio, she always does as much as she can by herself to create her art and then directs the facilitator for everything else. Isabell has tried almost every tool and material available to her in the studio and sometimes brings in her own supplies when she wants a specific look.

As a choreographer, Isabell creates mesmerizing dances that flow across the stage, such as her piece Moments in Love. Her dances usually feature elegant and colorful costumes that accentuate the movements and focus the emotions of the piece. Isabell’s choreography has been performed many times at Arts Access’ biennial Full Circle event as well as a few other venues, such as the 2017 Somerset County DisABILITY Services Fair (skip ahead to time code 5:30 to see Isabell’s performance).

In 2018, Isabell proudly added modeling to her list of creative talents when she started working with Norwegian photographer Lene, founder of See Me Too. Lene’s work is about empowering minorities and redefining how the mainstream media portrays people with different abilities. She hopes to change some of the social and cultural perceptions of people with disabilities. Isabell later wrote about the experience and shared a portion of that essay on stage at Full Circle 2018.

Isabell has been featured in a few articles about Arts Access and our events over the years, including one written recently by Sandy Josephson, Adults with Disabilities Discover Unlimited Artist Talents. In that article, Isabell shares her thoughts on the Arts Access Program and what inspires her.

Isabell’s work has been showcased at many venues over the years, including Grounds for Sculpture and Kean University, and has frequently been featured at Full Circle. Her writing has been included in Writes of Passage, the first collection of poetry and prose by the Arts Access writers. Isabell is also currently working on organizing all of her written works to be made into different books to reach out to those who need solace and guidance.

Isabell is a truly inspiring voice in the Arts Access Program and we are so proud to have had her creating art with us for almost a decade! To stay up to date with what Isabell and all of our other artists are achieving, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.

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