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Clovis Community College Art Exhibitions: March 2023: Erin Schalk

March 2023 Exhibition: Erin Schalk

In this March exhibition, Erin Schalk examines the individual and societal perceptions of disability-both visible and invisible.

Tuesday, March 14, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Clovis Community College AC1 Art Gallery

About Erin Schalk

Erin Schalk

Erin Schalk

Erin Schalk is a visual artist, writer, and educator. She graduated with her MFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 and  has exhibited her art throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and in Japan.  Schalk’s artwork and writing have been published in a variety of literary journals. Today, Schalk teaches at a non-profit organization where she creates accessible visual art and creative writing programs for adults with visual impairments. 

Schalk's works online
​​Erin Schalk

Marleena Barber (Featuring Erin Schalk's portraits)

Instagram: @elschalk

LinkedIn: Erin Schalk


On Art and Diverse Abilities

Artist Statement

Through a series of photographs and corresponding poems, artist Erin Schalk examines individual and societal perceptions of disability – both visible and invisible – and poses the questions: How do ideas of ability and disability impact a person’s life experiences? How much of the ‘impairments’ or ‘deficits’ often associated with disabilities hinge upon societal preconceptions, misunderstandings, or imposed limitations?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Schalk's son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the early stages of diagnosis, a professional psychologist explained to Schalk that upon closer evaluation of her son, she began to see "all of the cracks under the surface." In those first painful moments, Schalk recognized how far we need to go to understand and support disability -- not as an ironclad list of immovable and negative diagnostic criteria -- but as a way of interacting with the world that comes with inherent gifts.

Each individual photographed in this exhibition, including the artist (Erin, chronic auto-immune dysfunction), and the artist's son (Brendan, ASD), experiences some form of disability according to the criteria outlined by the ADA. Additional artists featured include: (1) Mona, a professional dancer with visual impairment, (2) Marleena, a vocalist with albinism, (3) Okja, a visual artist with total blindness, (4) Kylie, a visual artist and poet with visual impairment, and (5) Stephanie, a professional commercial artist with visual impairment.

Schalk highlights a combination of the following: physical features, expressions that reveal aspects of each artist's personality, daily challenges, and significant abilities that exist because of disability. In so doing, she comments on the immense power of human perception -- asking the viewer to briefly see the world through each individual's eyes.

Below is an Audio Tour of the Exhibit.

Monday March 13, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on Zoom

Meeting ID: 839 321 6917 
Passcode: 009940

Writings by Schalk

Petigru Review: Farewell, Mr. Garcia - Novel Excerpt by Erin Schalk

Willawaw Journal: My Mother’s Coat - Poem by Erin Schalk

Parentheses Journal: Ages - Poem by Erin Schalk

Believing is Seeing: Helen Fukuhara - Written by Erin Schalk:

Take a Free Online Poetry Classes in April with Erin Schalk

  • Ziggy Stardust Poetry Jam w/Erin Schalk: 

Friday, April 7th from 1:00 - 2:30 PM Pacific Time, Please register here.

  • Write Short Poems w/Erin Schalk

Tuesday, April 11th from 3:00 - 4:30 PM Pacific Time, Please register here.

(Eye) Contact by Erin Schalk

I didn’t notice them

but see now

your pupils,

irises dart


across my 

forehead, the steep

of my cheekbones



Flame flash behind

your eyes, soaking

In the thoughts behind mine — 


Then lifting,

leaving, like the shadowed

glimmer of stars, just


in orbit.

Erin Schalk Video Media

Audio Tour of Exhibition

QR code for Schalk Art Tour

Mona hair in motion

Mona's Hair in Motion by Erin Schalk

Marleena Blowout Cane

Marleena Blowout White Cane by Erin Schalk

praise poem for a body saturated

Praise Poem for a Body Saturated by Erin Schalk


This guide has been created by the CCC Librarians in support of the Clovis Community College Gallery Exhibitions.  It is intended to provide students and our community with resources about the concepts on display and related to the exhibition.  If you have any questions, please contact Alicia Diaz Wrest, Librarian

Please note, we may add resources to this page throughout the month.  Please check back regularly for updated information.