"The Chair is Not Me" Exhibition

Art exploring the life experiences and challenges of a diversely abled individual.


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“The Chair is Not Me” exhibition features poems and art from the book, “The Chair is Not Me,” written by “JJ” James Janis. This book is a collection of poems about his life experiences and challenges as a diversely abled individual. Mr. Janis originally composed twenty-one poems, eleven of which have been illustrated by artists of diverse abilities and cultures.  The collection of poetry seeks to advocate for individuals with diverse abilities through the exploration of disabilities and the culture surrounding disabilities, the human condition, life on Pine Ridge, and communication.

Art can be viewed March 2 – 31 in the Matthews Opera House gallery. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm.

A reception for this exhibit will be Friday, March 11 from 5 pm – 6 pm and will feature a poetry reading and Q&A time with the author. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

The themes explored by the poetry and art featuring in this exhibit include:

  • Society’s perception of diversely abled individuals and diverse cultures.
  • Necessary assistive devices and processes that assist, but also unintentionally diminish.
  • The impacts of labeling.
  • The lasting effects of genocide on a society.
  • Perception of the world through a child’s eyes and imagination.
  • The joy of freedom.
  • Communication and the importance of one-on-one interactions.
  • The humor found in the duality of human kind’s predispositions.
  • Identity.
  • Nomadic qualities of an individual with disabilities.
  • The acceptance and normalization of individuals with disabilities.
  • Forgiveness of past transgressions.


Date and Time:


Thursday, March 31, 2022


10:00 am - 5:00 pm






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