Full Circle 2023 – Recap


Choreographer Isabelle Villacis and 2 dancers performing on stage at the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center during Full Circle 2023.

For over two decades, Full Circle has inspired audiences from near and far with the boundless creativity of the Arts Access artists. From the captivating works of fine art that adorn the gallery walls to the dance and theatre that is brought to life on stage, this event is nothing short of magic. 

When the pandemic threatened the return of Full Circle in 2021, Arts Access had to think outside the box. The world as we knew it came to a pause, but the artists never stopped creating, and their work deserved to be seen. This led us to our first virtual iteration of Full Circle, which was a great success that allowed the artists’ work to be seen from afar during a challenging time. 

This year, on November 4, the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center opened its doors for the first time in four years to a record-breaking audience for Full Circle: Reemergence. This year’s theme was a testament to the resilience of the artists who have remerged from the pandemic with their creativity stronger and more powerful than ever. 

The body of work that the Arts Access artists presented at this year’s event was impressive. The evening began with a gallery reception with more than 70 original works of art on view. Some pieces were new creations, including those by Arts Access newcomers and first-time Full Circle participants Jasmine Oliver, Richard Kozlik, Qing Tao Yu, Lloyd Decker, Benjamin Cuison, and Karen Yates. Other works were older paintings by Arts Access veterans, some of which have been with the program since its inception. One painting, “L.I.” by James Lane, was started in 2011 and completed in 2021. This work embodies the theme of reemergence, and shows how the creative process for a single piece can pause and then reemerge over time.  

After spending some time marveling at the paintings and sculpture, guests took their seats in the theater for the stage performance to begin. The show 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. 

“Like all of us, the artists had to retreat physically from the world during the pandemic. What they didn’tretreat from is artmaking, continuing to create without cessation, exercising their choice-making power.”

The performance continued with an eclectic mix of dance, poetry, and drama. Some pieces, like “It Had To Be Hero,” choreographed by Karen Yates, warmed our hearts, while others such as “Dr Who,” a play written by Christopher Saglimbene, filled the room with laughter. “Unique,” an elaborate dance choreographed by Jasmine Oliver, wowed the audience with its eight dancers and four costume changes. “Love, In Towne,” written by Meghan Forte, offered a thought-provoking commentary on mental health. All-in-all, this year’s stage show was a creative mix of themes, disciplines, and topics.  

The stage show concluded with closing remarks from Matheny’s President and CEO, Bill Kent. “…our artists not only reemerged from the pandemic, but they came back stronger and more powerful than ever. This is a testament to their positive attitude, courage, and can-do spirit.”

Reemerging after the pandemic has been no easy feat, but the Arts Access artists have continued to prove that nothing will dappen their creativity. No matter what the world throws at them, these artists will reemerge and inspire the world with their talents.

Thank you 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.

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See some photos from the event below. Check back for more photos, coming soon!

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