The Disabled and Art: lives and works of selected Ghanaian physically disabled artists:a case study

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Many people who have distinguished themselves in many subject areas have been documented and publicized. In the field of Art, brief biographies of some artists have been publicized none of whom is physically disabled from Ghana. Some disabled artists in Ghana exhibit a lot of rich knowledge and practical skills which have not been written down and may be lost after their death. It was the pursuit of this researcher to contribute to the documentation of selected disabled artists’ lives and works to serve as a resource material for art education. Through qualitative research, an enquiry was made into the following issues related to the practice of art by selected contemporary physically disabled artists:(a) demographic information, (b) nature of art work (c) techniques of art production, (d) conceptualization of art, (e) management of tools and equipment, (f) handling of media for art production and (g) description of works. . These fourteen physically disabled artists were interviewed using traditional face-to-face method. Besides, analysis of selected works of art by these artists was done. Since it is important for art educators to present a diverse representation of artists, materials, and processes in the classroom, examples of physically disabled artists and pictures of some of their works are provided for young students. The results of the research largely confirmed that art could help one acquire a job irrespective of one’s age at a certain level with minimal training. Furthermore the results confirmed that the disabled artists produce artworks to solve problems of the society. Finally, the study also reveals that their products portray their emotions, their personal nature, ideas and philosophy. It is recommended that more physically disabled persons should learn an aspect of art as a trade since art provides varying types of employment for disabled persons.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy