Dyptich (two side-by-side portraits) of Caleb Guidry, Matt & Julie Guidry's son with Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Let’s Re•Focus, One More Time

Before we officially close out our 2020-21 fiscal year, our 15th year and one that has been like no other, I want to revisit Re•Focus, our online portrait exhibit closing June 30, just one more time.

One more time to experience stories that often go unheard.
One more time to let our compassionate curiosity be unleashed.
One more time to look through and beyond the thin veil of disability.

Thankfully, we do hear stories from the disability community more often than when Upstream Arts began its journey 15 years ago. 

Unfortunately, we rarely, if ever, hear stories about or from the diverse intersectionality within the disability community, stories about people like our son. 

Caleb doesn’t look like most people.
Caleb doesn’t move through the world, nor engage with others as most do.
Caleb is a non-traditional communicator.
Caleb and I have never had a typical conversation. 

Caleb still has the need to play. 

Play is exploration within a set of prescribed structures, and most, if not all, of human interaction falls within this definition. Small talk. Joking and flirting. Meeting someone for the first time. Negotiating. Discussing. Bantering. Debating. Reminiscing. They are all forms of play, and are easiest when we are free from stress. 

Most people never get to see Caleb’s playful side because he lives with a certain level of anxiety when he is in social settings, especially unfamiliar ones with unfamiliar people. For those outside  his small circle of family, friends, and the staff who care for him 24/7, Caleb can seem distant, serious, and unengaged.

So I invite you to watch, with curious intention, the video of Caleb at play, as well as the other 12 videos in Re•Focus

Discover the playfulness evident throughout the exhibit.
Recognize yourself in the stories.
And Re•Focus your perspective of the disability community.

ReFocus: A Photo Exhibit logo

Our Re•Focus exhibit runs online through June 30. Click here to view or share.

Read more of Matt’s In Small Moments here.