The Open Door Gallery, located at 89 South Street in Boston showcases the works of emerging and established artists with disabilities and works to convene the community in conversations around disability, identity, and culture.  


In response to COVID-19, the Boston Open Door Gallery is temporarily closed, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy our latest exhibit, "Hymn to the Body" from Rachel Bird.  Take a Virtual Tour of the gallery with special features including introduction and insights from the artist!

Rachel Bird: "Hymn to the Body"   

From the Artist

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to me to have a body. A body that works and creates and does, and—just as often—refuses to work or create or do.

At fifteen, I fell at gymnastics practice and shattered my left arm. Gymnastics is predicated on trusting your body: knowing that your hands will be there to catch you, that muscle memory will carry you through. As a gymnast, I trusted my body. Then—in a fraction of a second—I did not. It’s been eight years of chronic pain and I am still learning to be comfortable with this body being my new reality.
Part of my process of reconciling with my own body has come through appreciating the diversity and beauty of the bodies around me and in my lineage. Drawing on—and subverting—the concept of the female nude in art, my work is both an homage to and a critique of the ways women's bodies, my own and others’, have been depicted.
Both the end result and the process of my work are influenced and informed by my body’s limitations and strengths. I combine printmaking methods with embroidery and other multi-media techniques to wallpaper the gallery with layers and layers of bodies, stitched together like clothing or sutured skin. Referencing imagery ranging from the sexual to the medical, I interrogate my own (mis)conceptions of what it means to be a woman, to be a body, and to be in pain.
Pieces of paper with black and red pen sketches of bodies and body parts are layered on a wall using small pins
Detail from "Selves Portrait"
Multiple pieces of white and tan paper in different sizes featuring balck and red sketches of bodies, body parts, and faces are layered over each other on a wall using pins.
Detail from "Selves Portrait"
A row of 10 separate images of bodies outlines are embroidered in red and black hung side-by-side to form a horizontal line on the wall
Detail from "Paper Dolls"
Approximately 30 pieces of tan paper with sketches of nude figures created with black pen on dress makers paper are hung next to each other on the wall
Detail from "Body Catalog"

This exhibit is part of the series
"Prisms: Perspectives on Hidden Disability"

Prisms: Perspectives on Hidden Disability offers artistic explorations of four artists' experiences with disability that are not initially visible to others, including learning and physical disabilities, chronic pain, and mental illness.

By considering disability with the varied perspectives shared by the exhibiting artists, a spectrum of nuanced, gorgeous, and human experiences unfolds.  In resonance with James Baldwin's declaration that "The role of the artists is exactly the same as the role of the lover.  If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see", it is with love that we share this work, invite necessary dialogue, and collectively envision a future that is more just for all.

Prisms series logo - reads Prisms, perspectives on hidden disability, March 2019 - March 2020

Exhibits in the Prisms series:

Black and white photo of girl holding doll

Tyler Cala Williams

Photo of Arielle Gray wearing a space suit made out of an old floral comforter. The artist floats upside down over a blue and purple speckled background meant to resemble space.

Arielle Gray

 "Dreams and Tings"

June 15-September 13

Heartbeat - Large zig-zagging green and yellow pattern on a field of white

Bethany Murray

"Brains are Cool..." 

September 17-December 12


Rachel Bird

"Hymn to The Body

December 17-March 12


The Open Door Gallery, Boston, is located in the NonProfit Center (near South Station), at:
89 South Street, Suite 101
Boston, MA 02111

In response to COVID-19, the Open Door Gallery will be temporarily closed beginning March 12th, 2020.  Please check our social media and website for updates.  For additional information, please email


The Open Door Gallery, Boston is located on the first floor of the NonProfit Center. There are switch-operated doors to enter the building, as well as revolving doors on either side. To get to the gallery you may take the front lobby stairs or the elevator on the right side to the 1st floor. The gallery is immediately to the right of the steps and elevator. There are accessible restrooms (with switch-operated doors) on the same floor.

ASL interpreters are available upon request for most events and gallery openings. Large print guides and audio description are available for most exhibits.

We care about your experience! Please contact if you have access-related questions or requests.