Artist Ketra Oberlander began painting at 40 after losing her sight to cone dystrophy, a rare genetic disorder. Motivated by a desire to express how her diminished visual perception influenced her relationship with the world around her and to open a dialog on intersectional aspects of minority communities.
Internationally recognized for her artistic vision, her work graces corporate and private collections; feature films Side Effects, Broken City and Dead Man Down; and TV shows Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Body of Proof and Person of Interest.
Two unique events shape Ketra’s fine art career. Founding Art of Possibility Studios (2008-12) as a for-profit company licensing art and design by physically disabled artists Ketra worked to bring relevant imagery to a mass audience. The business had initial successes but market pressures on new ideas following the global economic collapse overwhelmed the company’s ability to reach profitability. “Closing Art of Possibility broke my heart,” Ketraflatly states.
Then in 2015, her studio work stalled during a 7-month home renovation,Ketra’s imagination alighted from seeing demonstrations of home laser cutters. “I am done with rectangles,” she asserts. No longer constrained by stretched canvas and canvas boards, her paintings were liberated from traditional forms.
Celebrating that transition in her current installation HOMO IDENTUS: Just people. Like everyone else Ketra examines disability in community and identity as a response to hegemony. The show runs through August 13 at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA.
The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News, WLIU, KGO News, DECOR Magazine, MORE Magazine and dozens of licensing and quilt trade press and consumer publications have introduced Ketra’s work to a broad audience.