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One picture in four frames shows a cardboard house with the front opened, revealing a smaller home and giant sun inside.

Inclusive “Today is the Greatest” exhibit opens at NIAD Art Center

on October 4, 2023

Inside of a tiny house, there is another tiny house, showcasing the two houses in the artist’ life: the one she lives in, and the one she dreams of. 

This is an artwork that Richmond artist Erin McCluskey Wheeler will be showcasing at the “Today is the Greatest” exhibition, which starts at the NIAD Art Center Thursday and runs until Nov. 17.

“Dollhouses, anything in miniature, travel kits, and wearability were all things that seemed delightful to me and pleased my inner child,” said Wheeler, who has titled her work “Traveler’s Home.”

Wheeler is among 71 artists featured at the exhibition, said Jamie Walsh, curator and founder of Quickest Flip Magazine, which promotes inclusion by featuring the work by artists with and without disabilities. 

Though the main goal of this exhibition is to promote inclusivity in the arts, the audience will not be told which artists have disabilities and which don’t. 

“This will be a unique opportunity to have their artists be seen by this new community of people,” said Walsh, adding that the artists represent nearly 40 progressive studios across the country. “It’s really good to start creating this like a network and to see programs that don’t know each other before starting to support each other.”

The opening reception is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. A talk with the curator and artists is scheduled for 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All the presented artworks will be available for purchase. 

“This event is historic,” said NIAD Executive Director Amanda Eicher. “Getting to see NIAD artists really engage in critical discussion with their peers through art is one of the best ways for us to use our gallery to give artists voices and a platform.” 

Wheeler is among the local artists excited to engage with artists and learn about their work. 

“I really like the wide range of materials used by all the different artists in the shows,” Wheeler said. “There’s a lot of color and there is so much to see.”

A parallel exhibition, “Can’t Wait for Tomorrow,” started Saturday at WAVE Collective in San Francisco and will run until Oct. 28. 

A list of participating artists and centers at both exhibitions is on the NIAD exhibition page

(Top photo by Erin McCluskey Wheeler)

Oakland Museum showcases NIAD designs: ‘It’s very validating for the artists to see their work recognized in this way.’

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