In collaboration with the Cultural Equity Incubator Gallery, Open Door has opportunities to showcases the works of emerging and established artists with disabilities and works to convene the community in conversations around disability, identity, and culture.  


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"


The Cultural Equity Incubator, Boston, is located at:
15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103
Boston, MA 02210

Please email for more information about hours and upcoming exhibits at the Cultural Equity Incubator


The Cultural Equity Incubator is on the first floor of the Midway Artist Studio Building.

Please enter the building through the front door where there is a lift (dimensions: 36" by 54"). Once you reach the main floor take a left down the hallway, Studio 103 is right past the media lab, with the Incubator door on the right.

There are two gender neutral and accessible bathrooms on the first floor, nearby the Cultural Equity Incubator entrance.

Please note: there are push buttons on the doors to the bathroom but not to the Incubator itself. Incubator community members are happy to support with the door, please knock, or call, for our attention.

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

Access information for the Open Door Gallery in Worcester.