Ana Carrillo's Story


Thanks to the support of the NADC Arts and Accessibility Grant I was able to advance my career by purchasing needed materials and have studio time to create new art pieces, exhibit my art and have my first solo show. With this support I have seen an increase in request to participate in other community art events.

As a visual artist my art reflects my lived experiences, cultural identity, and community. I would say my disabilities greatly influence my art. I take what I'm going through whether dealing with pain, my feelings good or bad, my frustration, everything...everything, everything, everything and put it into my creations. Not everything comes out as I expect it. Not everything is favorably by viewed upon by others. But those who understand, those that have been through similar experiences appreciate my artistic work.

Artists with disabilities have to overcome many obstacles in order to participate or create in their artistic endeavor. Depending on each individuals particular set of circumstances various needs of support are needed. For me, there are times I need the quiet space such as a studio to create in an area away from noise or triggers. I cannot drive so I need assistance in transportation just so I can participate in art workshops or art exhibits. I cannot stand or sit for prolong times so I need use adaptable items in order to create. NADC grant funds have assisted me in these ways and also assisted in presenting my work in a professional manner with matting and framing and having quality prints. I would not have been able to accomplish these things without their support.

I know that I would not have had the level of accomplishments I have achieved without the support of the NADC grant funds and their staff. I am more confident today in my art and presenting myself as an artist than I was prior to their support. I had more opportunities to complete new body of work for art exhibits and more opportunities to organize art workshops. Way more than I had prior to the years I applied to the NADC grant. It hasn't been easy. It continues to be a challenge. But with the support of the NADC grants and support of my family I feel I have reached a level of success that I didn't feel before. I never dreamed of ever having a solo show. NADC made it possible.

Through the opportunities provided to me I have been able to network with other artists in and out of the community, I have been invited to return or extend my exhibit, and have been approached in regards to participating on other larger art events. Though I find it difficult to be in the public eye and shy away from media and publicity, community engagement and participation is important in a artistic career. What has worked for me is smaller community events where arts makes an impact in the lives of the community. I'll volunteer for grass-roots community art gatherings and resource fairs. Last summer I had the honor of being the lead artist for a youth community mural project at the local housing authority resident services located in La Colonia Village in Oxnard which was entitled "Familia y Comunidad". The success of the project was not only due to the dedication to the youth and fellow artists who participated in the project but the housing authority resident service coordinator who entrusted me with the project. The next mural installment is in the plans with another group of youth in the community and of late I have been visiting other artistic communities in the Los Angeles area.