Traveling art exhibit makes its first stop in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A nationally judged art exhibit that showcases the work of young artists with disabilities is currently making its first stop in Columbia.

'Electrify!' features artists 15 between age 21 and 25. Although all the artists have disabilities, the director of MU's Museum of Art and Archaeology, Alex Barker, said the exhibit focuses on the art, not the artist. 

"In a lot of ways, disability isn't the main thing," he said. "It's a series of things, and all of it means is a form of difference, a form of diversity." 

None of the artists share a disability. One has dyslexia, another has Tourette syndrome and another has skeletal dysplasia. 

Barker said the artists have a unique perspective on the world we live in.

"They have very different life experiences, and they interpret the world in very different ways as a result," he said. "It's exciting to see the different ways that plays out on canvas, in photographs and three-dimensional art." 

'Electrify!' has traveled the country for 16 years and this is the second time it's made its way to Columbia. It will be on display at MU's Museum of Art and Archaeology until March 18. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, it's open from noon to 4 p.m.