Full Circle 2021 Recap

Art from Afar

Artist Jessica Evans performing in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

Art from Afar

Our computers were buzzing as attendees logged on and started typing excited messages in the chat as our first ever VIRTUAL Full Circle commenced. Full Circle is always a unique event, showcasing the incredibly creative works produced by the Arts Access artists, but this year was something special, indeed! Reimagined for the first time as a virtual event, this year’s production had a lot of new and exciting things for everyone to experience.

“The individuals that come to Arts Access have a richness of creativity inside them.”

The heart of this year’s Full Circle was the livestream event, which took place on Saturday, November 6, 2021. It opened with an introduction from the Director of the Arts Access program, Eileen Murray, who welcomed everyone to the event and spoke briefly about this year’s theme. Art from Afar embodies the experience that the Arts Access artists had this past year and a half, being unable to create their work in-person as they were used to, and instead finding new ways to continue creating art from a distance. “[Art] is a way for them to connect . . . [and now] the connection is repaired.”

The livestream continued with filmed performances of dance, poetry, and drama, intertwined with footage from the Arts Access gallery. In this way, the stage show and gallery exhibit were reinterpreted into a single, cohesive film production for a virtual audience. As the actors, dancers, and the artists themselves played across our screens, the audience chimed in through a live-chat feature that was available through the livestream platform. At past Full Circle events, the artists enjoyed mingling with the audience after the stage show, at which point they could hear direct feedback and accolades about their work. With the chat feature, the artists were still able to receive those sentiments!

“So excited to see this extraordinary celebration of these arts created by some if the finest artists anywhere!”

“Bravo, bravo!”

“So excited to see everyone’s performances and art work.”

“Such joy!!”

“So much talent and creativity!”

“Bravo, great job everyone.”

The livestream concluded with closing remarks from Matheny’s new president and CEO, Bill Kent. “Arts Access is truly an innovative program that enables people of all ages that have special needs and disabilities to find their creative brilliance and be able to release it to the rest of the world.”

Beyond the livestream, the Full Circle gallery exhibit has also been uploaded to a virtual gallery space. COVID precautions still prevent us from having the gallery in the arts center open to the public, so the virtual gallery allows people the opportunity to browse the collection in a similar way, just through a computer screen or mobile device. Several of the paintings have already sold—so if you have a favorite painting, now’s definitely the time to head over to the gallery to purchase your own one-of-a-kind original artwork by an Arts Access artist!

Recreating Full Circle as a virtual event was a challenging and wonderful experience. We are so happy to have been able to bring our artists and their adoring fans and supporters together for this special biennial event. Whether or not you were able to join us for the livestream, you can still view the virtual gallery by clicking here and the digital playbill is still available to view on the event landing page here.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, supporters, staff, and of course our incredible artists for all you did to make this a truly memorable Full Circle. Keep creating art, wherever you are.

To stay up to date on all the latest news and projects from the Arts Access artists, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.

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