Chloe Duplessis | Legally Blind Artist | Talks  “Vibrant Accessibility” Showcase

Hi Chloe! Can you tell us your story leading up to becoming a Nationally Recognized Artist and Advocate for Accessibility Inclusivity ?

My name is Chloé Duplessis. I’m an artist, historian and speaker. I’m also the founder of Duplessis Art, a Colorado – based arts studio and consultancy that centers the importance of accessibility, equity and healing. 

In my work, I create art and immersive experiences that expand cultural capacity and build community in the hopes of eroding  the social constructs that oppress people of color and those navigating disability.

Tell us about your work in the upcoming show “Vibrant Accessibility”  in June in Denver? 

“Vibrant Accessibility” is a group show featuring artists Melanie Walker, John Bramblitt, Thomas “Detour” Evans and myself. Each artist creates accessible artwork, especially for low vision and blind audiences. 

The exhibit opens June 6 and runs through August 7 at McNichols Civic Center Building.

To view a listing of related events and dates, click below:

Tell us about the work you’re doing with the community in Trinidad , Colorado around Accessibility and Inclusivity?

I recently accepted a residency in Trinidad,  Colorado.  For the next six months, I will serve as Creative Placemaker and Program Manager for the historic East Street School, in partnership with RedLine Contemporary Art Center. 

During the residency, I will create a new body of work inspired by the rich history and culture of the region. I will also manage the on – site arts and creative development programming offered this summer.

Built in 1919, the school is on the National Historic Register, and has been converted into beautiful live/work spaces for artists and arts enthusiasts. The property also includes an on-site exhibition space, and an outdoor courtyard that will serve as the setting for an arts marketplace and festivals in the future.

As a legally blind artist and woman of color, I am well – acquainted with adversity, discrimination and privilege. 

For over a decade, I’ve worked to create art and inspired, inclusive and accessible arts  programs that mindfully promote the benefits of creative expression for all people. I look forward to continuing this work while in Trinidad. 

This mural is a creative collaboration between two artists navigating disability in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, October 2021) Artists: Valerie Rose and Chloe Duplessis

Tell us about the Holding Hope Mural located in Denver Central Market? 

In summer of 2021,  Valerie Rose and I were  commissioned by RiNo Art District and EDENS to create a mural in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Valerie Rose is a half-Deaf painter, muralist and activist who has lived in Colorado and now resides in Northern California. 

Collaborating with Valerie was such a beautiful experience, because she is deeply committed to creating art that amplifies the importance of accessibility and Disability rights.

Two years later, the mural is one of the most visited public art sites in Denver and is an active stop for several city tours.

The mural has also been featured in numerous publications, and at least once a week…I’m tagged on social media by someone in appreciation of our work.

Art informs. It elevates, and if leveraged mindfully it can serve as a catalyst for authentic connection and transformation.

What would you like folks to think about when it comes to how Denver can become more Inclusive for those who are navigating disability?

If accessibility, equity and inclusion were to become the norm, it would literally shift the foundation of our culture, and create the immeasurable opportunity for everyone to be seen and heard.

 Are you from Colorado? 

While I consider Colorado home, I was born and raised in Louisiana. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the past couple of years? 

Being selected to design Denver’s first accessible “I VOTED” sticker last year was definitely a proud moment, and having our six – year old daughter attend the press conference and make The Denver Post that week was pretty cool as well. 

But I’m most proud of the heart-centered partnerships and friendships that I’ve been blessed to cultivate. Without faith, hard work and my community – none of the accomplishments would have been possible. 

How would you describe the Personality or “Vibe” of Denver? 

Denver has an energy that is unique, engaging and vibrant.  It’s a city of opportunity and beautiful possibilities. 

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