Working with Learning Disabled People and Artists

30 October 2018 / 18:30-20:30

NB This event will take place at Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RF – directions.
For anyone unsure of how to find Venture Arts, meet at Castlefield Gallery at 5:50 pm to walk there; it is approximately ten minutes walk.

Over the past three years Castlefield Gallery has developed a close working relationship with Venture Arts, working with the organisation on the 2016 project Outsider XchangeS and, this year, Conversations II. In addition, Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts will have a joint stand at this year’s The Manchester Contemporary art fair. For our October CG Associates session, artists Tanya Raabe-Webber and Amber Opka-Stother and Venture Arts director Amanda Sutton will talk about what artists can gain from working with learning disabled people and artists, and vice versa.

Amber Opka-Stother is a young learning disabled artist who has recently joined the Venture Arts team as a public engagement assistant. As such she will  give a short presentation about her work and a lived experience perspective. Amber is also a Curious Minds Young Associate and sits on the Axisweb Advisory Board.

Tanya Raabe-Webber is a leader in Disability Arts and Artists Practice. She works to create her own work which challenges identity and what it means to be human in her live art portrait events. She has established ArtStudio01 with co-founder and learning disability artist Alison Picknell and together they have grown this studio collective into a thriving hub of artists developing their professional arts practices nationally and internationally. Tanya was lead project artist for Outsider Xchanges, a 2016 project undertaken by Castlefield Gallery in partnership with Venture Arts and The Whitworth which brought learning disabled and other artists together to work alongside each other.

Amanda Sutton has been Director of Venture Arts for the past 11 years. She has overseen the development of the organisation, which works with learning disabled artists from Manchester, from a small community-based group into one of the leaders in its field in the UK.

Venture Arts is a progressive visual arts organisation in Hulme, Manchester, supporting learning disabled artists to create new visual art. They believe in a world in which learning disabled people are empowered, celebrated, included and valued in the arts, culture and society.

Venture Arts, Castlefield Gallery and The Whitworth are currently partnering on Conversations Series II, a residency in which Joe Beedles, Frances Heap and John Powell-Jones will work alongside James Desser, Amy Ellison and Andrew Johnstone who are part of the Venture Arts supported studios.

Free to CG Associates members, £6 to non-CG Associates members. Tickets available at