Talk covers Carson City art exhibits

Tim Ortiz teaches art to adults living with developmental disabilities.

Tim Ortiz teaches art to adults living with developmental disabilities.

On Wednesday, the Capital City Arts Initiative (CCAI) will present a talk by artists/writers Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz.

Their illustrated talk, Shifting Paradigms, is part of CCAI’s ongoing Nevada Neighbors series and will take place at 6 p.m. at the Union’s coffee shop, at the corner of W. Proctor and Curry streets. There will be an informal reception for Donahue and Ortiz preceding the event at 5:30 p.m. No tickets needed; the public is cordially invited.

In their Nevada Neighbors presentation, Ortiz and Donahue will discuss specific works from the CCAI exhibitions, Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth in the Courthouse Gallery, and Jenny Raven in the Sierra Room. They will also provide context by tracing the recent history of artists with developmental disabilities (working in progressive art studios such as Creative Growth) converging with the broader contemporary art world and what this means for its future.

Donahue and Ortiz are the co-founders of Disparate Minds, an interdisciplinary advocacy project dedicated to increasing visibility for and discussing the work of marginalized self-taught artists in a contemporary context. Through their research, writing, lectures, and curatorial projects, Donahue and Ortiz share insight informed by extensive experience in this field as practicing artists, artist facilitators, dedicated disability rights advocates, and most significantly in building and co-managing a studio for eighty self-taught artists with developmental disabilities in Las Vegas.

Disparate Minds is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation Grant and AWB Harnisch Foundation Grant. Curatorial projects include Storytellers at LAND in Brooklyn, Mapping Fictions at The Good Luck Gallery in LA, and an upcoming exhibition at Circle Contemporary in Chicago.

Donahue is a multimedia artist and writer with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has organized and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Alaska, Chicago, Iceland, Los Angeles, NYC, Nevada, and Miami. Donahue’s project-based practice spans various narratives and media, and reflects an ongoing relationship with the transformation of found materials. Her recent work focuses on abstraction, the history of quilting, and a re-imagining of its utilitarian traditions. Currently based in Las Vegas, she is also an art handler and vocational trainer for employees with disabilities entering the workforce. Donahue is the recipient of a 2018 Nevada Arts Council Artist Fellowship and Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant.

Ortiz is a painter and writer with a BFA from Elmira College in New York. Initially trained in traditional landscape painting and contemporary Photorealism, Ortiz’s work presently reflects a commitment to the practice of painting from a minimalist perspective. Ortiz began working with adults living with developmental disabilities in 2008. He has developed art programming for Special Education and High School students with Autism, and created art-making sessions for seniors in a psychiatric hospital. He is currently a Certified Nursing Assistant and home/community-based personal care provider for adults with developmental disabilities in Chicago.

As part of their Nevada Neighbors activities, Donahue and Ortiz will speak to art students and faculty at Dayton High School and at Sierra Nevada College.

Shifting Paradigms is supported by lead donations from Carson Miller and Nancy Raven.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community planning and building for the area’s diverse adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is funded in part the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Carson City Cultural Commission, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Bank Foundation, and Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation.

For information, visit CCAI’s website at


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