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Disabled Artists to Watch

A gold frame holds a rainbow bonsai tree, with a white background, painted by Kelly Johnson. The frame sits on a wood surface. The wall behind it is watercolor flowers in many colors.
Rainbow Bonsai by Kelly Johnson

Disabled artists, like disabled folks in other areas of life, are often underrepresented in the media despite having quality work. Art is not only a form of self-expression, but in a way, a truly accessible form of it- artists can utilize unique methods to create masterpieces. When art by disabled folks is brought to the forefront, the disabilities often get left behind, despite being a true piece in an artist's identity. Did you know Van Gogh had epilepsy? You can read more about it at Frida Kahlo was also disabled. The fine arts museums of san Francisco website discusses Kahlo's construction of identity and intersectionality, addressing her disability (which many believe to be Spina Bifida). These are just two of many disabled artists creating works we should know of, as

well as living with disabilities we should know about.

So, in honor of #disabilitypridemonth, we at A Squared are so excited to support and uplift some incredible disabled artists. We'll be holding a few giveaways, shedding some light on INCREDIBLE works, and featuring some awesome disabled artists.

First up is Kelly Johnson (@iamkellyjohnson on Instagram), based in Kansas City, Missouri. Kelly is a painter who sells watercolor, oil, and acrylics on Etsy and through Instagram. Kelly also does commissioned work, and has courses on Skillshare. We found Kelly scrolling Instagram, and I instantly fell in love with Kelly's prints and watercolor art. I went to follow Kelly's account, and of course already was because I had previously been inspired by the art! Kelly's Instagram bio says it all: "Painter, full-time weirdo, and color fanatic" (Kelly Johnson, 2021). Kelly is very open about living as a disabled person, and shares those experiences both on Instagram and TikTok (Kelly can be found on TikTok at peachyqween33). Kelly a phenomenal artist, but also a super cool person. Recent posts on Kelly's Instagram show dancing, goofing around, and heartfelt messages. Kelly also has an lengthy highlight reel with free art tips on Instagram, and shares both art and personal stories often. Kelly's Etsy shop features a vast array of beautiful works, and can be found here:

The image on this page is one of Kelly's masterpieces- a watercolor print of a rainbow bonsai. Working with Kelly, we've commissioned a piece that we will be giving away next week from our Facebook page and Instagram- make sure to follow us to enter!

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