William A. Newman from "The Nest" Series featured at Smithsonian's International Gallery.
By Cathy Carter
The world's largest festival celebrating the arts and disability is underway in Washington.
The International VSA festival features dance, music, theater, and visual art. Events are happening city wide and feature everything from a deaf dance troupe from China to an indie rock band from Australia who's members have intellectual disabilities.
Local artists are involved too. William A. Newman is a professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He says he lost a lot when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but he gained something too.
"Humility is what one learns from this process of being this perfect person to somebody who becomes disabled," says Newman.
The artist's Palisades studio is equipped with a special easel that he can operate with foot pedals and remote control.
"We go out of our way to find these ingenious inventions, and any strategy or any way that we can possibly conceive to get to something and do it as well or better that anybody else," he says.
Newman is among the artists featured in the contemporary art exhibit, "Revealing Culture" opening Tuesday at the Smithsonian's International Gallery.