Saturday, March 25, 2017

Current Competitons

International Competition for Artists with Disabilities

2016 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities

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small ICAD 2016 Summary Table

WHO CAN ENTER COMPETITON: Persons 19 years of age and older with a disability residing in the state of Arizona or one of Phoenix's ten sister cities: Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France: Hermosillo, Mexico: Himeji, Japan: Prague, Czech Republic; Ramat-Gan , Israel; and Taipei, Taiwan.


JUDGING A panel of judges will evaluate entries on the basis of theme interpretation, originality, and creativity.



First place: $500

Second place: $300

Third place: $150

People's Choice: $500

Best Photo Award: $500

A certificate of participation will be given to all entrants.


DUE DATE: October 7th,2016

PACKING & SHIPPING :Art should be well-protected for shipment and shipped to arrive in Phoenix by October 7th, 2016.
Please ship art to:
4545 N 36thSt., Suite125A
Phoenix,AZ 85018

CONTACT PERSON: Mary Jane Trunzo or Robin Baethke at 602/224-0202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

TYPES OF ART: Two dimensional watercolors, pastels, pen and ink

SIZE: Up to, but no larger than 24"x30" charcoal, mounted photography, mixed media, and computer-generated art. (60cm X 75cm), including matting. All artwork must be mounted.


Contact Us Form



2016 Entries


2016 Artist Competion Entries


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2016 Artist Competiton Winners


Winners 2016 ICAD:


Best Photo    
Moshe Shai Ramat Gan #33
Jannifer Hynes Ennis #37
Hal Riley Phoenix #24
Nada Al Rubaye Phoenix #5
Charles Rubadou Phoenix #1
Lu Christy Waites Phoenix #15
"Lee" Phoenix #39


Past Competitons


News Archive

2014 DAC Art and Photography Exhibition

Thursday, 13 November 2014

This November, the Phoenix Sister Cities Disability Awareness Committee held their International Art and Photography Exhibition and Award's Ceremony. Art and Photography was submitted by local artists and artists from Phoenix's ten sister cities around the world. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors: Transdev, Event Photography Group, Dr. Ruth Rimmer, Touchstone Rehabilitation, Arizona Clean Energy, as well as everyone who helped to make this event such a success!

Award winning artists and photographers: 

International Competition for Artists with Disabilities


1. Marieke Michelle Davis, Phoenix
2. Tang Hongwei, Chengdu
3. Kun-Feng Ho, Taipe

ICAD Exhibition

1. William Schmidt, Phoenix
2. Matthew Nguyen, Phoenix
3. Donald Dority, Phoenix

People's Chioce

Sam Qassim Al Musawi, Phoenix


International Photography Competition


1. Rob White Phoenix
2. German Ballesteros Hermosillo
3. Fernanda Ballesteros Hermosillo

People's Choice

Jay Chatzkel Phoenix

Click here to view all photographs.



2014 DAC Art and Photography Exhibition

Friday, 17 October 2014 

Phoenx Sister Cities Disability Awareness Committee Presents:

9th Annual International Competition for Artists with Disabilities and First Annual International Photography Competition Exhibit and Awards Ceremony

Date: November 7th, 2014

Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm

Awards Ceremony: 8:00pm

Location: The Warehouse 1005 Studio & Gallery, 1005 N First St, Phoenix AZ 85004

For more information, please contact Bethany or Robin 602-224-0202

Sponsored by


Press Release

Click here to vote for the International Photography Competition People's Choice Award
(Must be logged into Facebook to Vote)



9th Annual International Competition for Artists with Disabilities - 2014

Friday, 05 September 2014 

The International Competition for Artists with Disabilities is the first competition to showcase both international and local artists with disabilities. Phoenix Sister Cities is excited to offer recognition to artists who have gone beyond their disability and utilized their creative talents to promote global understanding of disabilities.

"Inclusion: Breaking Barriers...Opening Doors"

Sponsored by Transdev



An Artist from Taipei Took 1st Place at the 2013 International Artists with Disabilities Art Compeition 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

From left to right: Disability Awareness Committee Mary Jane Trunzo, Commissioner Jack Besch and Taipei Committee Chair Lin Ling Lee at Award Ceremony


Announcing the 2013 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities!

It’s that time of year again for our 8th Annual International Competition for Artists with Disabilities! The theme this year is “Celebrating Differences.” The fact sheet and application will be available soon. In the meantime, check out this brochure for more information.

The flyer with more information is available here.

The deadline for submissions is October 4, 2013. If you have questions, please call (602) 224-0202 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



2012 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities Winner Travels to Vancouver Conference

Click to enlarge

Mary Jane Trunzo and Michael Sleeseman, Co-Chairs of the Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC) Disability Awareness Committee, recently traveled to Vancouver, Canada for the International Association of Special Education’s Biennial Conference. They were joined by Al Yee, Chair of the Chengdu Committee, Mr. Chen Feng, first place winner of the 2012 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities, and Dr. Iris Drower, Co-Chair of the IASE Conference. The conference was held July 7-11, 2013 in collaboration with The University of British Columbia Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology and Special Education.

In accordance with the conference’s theme, “From Segregation to Inclusion: The Long Journey”, more than 300 practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and community members from over 30 countries around the world participated in this week-long event to exchange dialogue and explore the latest in research and innovation in the interest of promoting not only a better quality of life but also more inclusive and accessible opportunities in education for all individuals, particularly those with special needs. The IASE Conference opened with a special Reception Gala held at the Museum of Anthropology in the University of British Columbia campus on Sunday, July 7, which included special presentations and speakers, a special performance by the Tsatsu Stalqaya, or “Coastal Wolf Pack”, and a private tour of the museum.

Mr. Chen Feng, an accomplished artist and entrepreneur from Chengdu, China, was invited to the conference as a special guest after his painting won first place in the PSC Disability Awareness Committee’s Annual International Competition for Artists with Disabilities last year. Mr. Chen was recognized and presented with his award at a special dinner on Tuesday, July 9, at the IASE Conference. He shared a heartfelt speech, graciously translated into English by Eva Li of the Chengdu Committee, about the challenges and struggles he has overcome in being deaf and his journey to achieving success despite the hardships he has faced.

Another special guest of the IASE Conference was Ms. Zhao Chun Li, also known as Angel. Angel was born in a small, rural fishing village in China with Brittle Bone Syndrome and Dwarfism. As a result of her condition, she suffered from discrimination throughout much of her life and received no medical treatment or formal education. Fortunately, Angel’s determination and resilience led her to learn how to read and speak English after she was prevented from meeting President Clinton during his 1998 visit to her village because she was deemed “too disabled to be seen by a US President.” In April 2012, Angel was finally able to meet President Clinton and was invited to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative. She is now a voice for those who, like her, have suffered from discrimination as a result of their disabilities and works to fulfill her dream of building a school for children with special needs.

On Wednesday, July 10, Michael Sleeseman and Mary Jane Trunzo, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Director of the Arizona Institute for Communication and Cognitive Disorders, presented talks about Brain Injury and the award-winning work that the Disability Awareness Committee is doing to fulfill its mission statement of “promoting the equalization of opportunities within society on behalf of all world citizens, by incorporating individuals with disabilities into all aspects of PSCC programming.” Their presentation included information on the Committee’s success in building connections for the disabled community to showcase their skills and talents in annual art and poetry competitions open to residents of all international sister cities as well as through special disability themed delegations such as last year’s OT Training Workshop spearheaded by Dr. Rachel Diamant of AT Still University. The conference concluded with a closing prayer given by an Elder of the Musqueam First Nation Band.

After the conclusion of the IASE Conference in Vancouver, Mr. Chen Feng was generously sponsored by the Chengdu Committee to continue his journey in Phoenix, where he was home hosted by Mr. John Lee and given a four-day tour of the city’s main attractions by Miki Safadi and a team of interpreters. Some highlights of their tour included the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, Taliesin West, the Musical Instrument Museum, the Arizona Science Center, art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale, and dinners sponsored by the Chengdu Committee. A special celebration reception was held at Mary Jane Trunzo’s home on Sunday, July 14, in honor of Mr. Chen’s visit and to present awards to Mr. Chen and his attendant, Mr. Lu Handong, on behalf of the other Art Competition winners from Chengdu.

These events were a wonderful opportunity for building and strengthening connections between residents of Phoenix and its Sister Cities around the world, and they could not have been possible without the invaluable contribution of time, energy, and resources from the following individuals and groups: Miki Safadi, for providing transportation and sign language interpretation for Mr. Chen in Phoenix; her team of interpreters - Kajia Wen, Dawn Schoenberger, Philip Azara, Rand Rom, and Adrian de Hoyos; Mr. John Lee, Mr. Zhigang Chen, and Ms. Yayu Khoe for transportation and home hosting in Phoenix; Veolia Transportation for sponsoring the International Competitions for Writers and Artists with Disabilities; Ms. Eva Li for her amazing translation of Mr. Chen’s speech on short notice; Al Yee for his enormous help in coordinating all travel arrangements with our counterparts in Chengdu in making Mr. Chen’s trip not only possible but a huge success; Dianna Noli Hill for her assistance in coordinating; The Chengdu Committee’s assistance with the delegation; and Rick Gerrard for all of his very valued assistance in getting Mr. Chen to Vancouver and Phoenix.



The Speech

Dear friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Hello everyone!

My name is Chen Feng, from Chengdu, China, home of the Great Giant Pandas. I’m proud of my home town, which is a beautiful and warm ancient city filled with traditional culture and modern pavilions.

I am very happy and honored to be invited to Vancouver to attend the International Association of Special Education Conference, to meet and share with friends from around the world.  I would also like to thank the Chengdu Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office and the Phoenix Sister Cities Disabilities Awareness Committee for their great effort and assistance in bringing me here. The "2012 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities," organized by the Phoenix Sister Cities Disabilities Awareness Committee and sponsored by Veolia Transportation, has provided me the opportunity to stand on this stage today to meet with you.

My first trip abroad was in July 2010 when I was invited to Las Vegas to be one of the judges of Miss Deaf International. The confidence, politeness and communication skills of the contestants from different countries left a deep impression on me. I am also deaf and understand the cruelty of being born deaf. Fortunately, I have great parents and, under their loving care, I have grown up healthy and happy, and have a successful career. I would like to take this opportunity to especially say thank you to my parents. Throughout the last three decades of my life, they taught me that no matter what happens in life, I must try to look at it with an optimistic attitude, so life will become more colorful and brighter. The education from my family directly affects my life and attitude towards others.

Today I would like to share with everyone, the importance to the deaf people of higher education, entrepreneurship and a positive attitude.

We know that, in many countries, deaf people cannot get a real education. Due to the existence of many social barriers, deaf people rarely get promotions at their employment and thus improving their social status. Higher education and entrepreneurship, I think that is the best way for deaf people to improve their social and economic status. With the progress of modern society, more deaf people than ever before have the opportunity to receive higher education and government agencies have also begun to establish entrepreneurship training courses for the deaf. How to train deaf people to have a good mentality and entrepreneurial skills should become the key to quality education for the deaf.

Deaf entrepreneurs can start with small businesses. In the beginning, they will certainly encounter many hardships and frustrations, but these valuable experiences are necessary spiritual nourishment for the road to success. Entrepreneurship requires that you have an eye for perspective opportunity. After finding an opportunity, then follow it with a good business plan and market research. Through planning and research, if you can find the niche in the market or the weaknesses of the competitors, then you can just go ahead and do it!

If deaf entrepreneurs are able to form groups targeting specific areas of businesses, then more deaf people will be encouraged to join their ranks. They may join your team, or join my team. When the group grows larger, not only can it achieve social and economic benefits, but also better reflect the value of life for the deaf. I also hope that the government and the banks will provide the necessary financial assistance and policy support, so that deaf people can really integrate into society and become assimilated into the normal world.

As an entrepreneur, every time I talk to friends who are deaf, I always encourage them to follow my steps.

Years ago, I worked in special education and was an art teacher for eight years. Then one day, I suddenly thought of changing to a different way of life.

From special education to starting my own business, I have experienced huge psychological ups and downs. Being a teacher, I was well respected, felt proud and superior, and I didn’t feel that I was deaf, but as an entrepreneur it was completely the opposite. It is full of surprises and challenges, and more cruelly, it forces me to have to face the fact that I am deaf. For entrepreneurs, wisdom is not the first priority, the quality and determination is the most important. In the early days, my design studio was no more than 10 square meters; an industry novice, inexperienced, plus being deaf, resulted in low working efficiency and business orders were pitiful. With hardly any income, I was unable to pay even the rent, and many times were on the verge of closing down. The worst was being looked down upon by the customers with their doubts and sarcasm. These difficulties put a heavy mental burden on me, they also made me anxious and confused. But nevertheless, I bit the bullet, and did not give up. Chinese have a saying: “Do not abandon, do not give up.” I hope we will encourage each other. In the face of challenges, we should build up our confidence, gaining strength through failures, refuel and then refuel again. Today, I have come through the failure of my venture. My studio has experienced a ten-year growth and is now very successful. I have many customers with whom I have established long-term, stable relationships.

Entrepreneurship is a journey from having nothing to something, from being weak to becoming strong. Only after you have experience the hardship will you truly understand the meaning of entrepreneurship: to continuously strive to improve yourself, to calmly face changes and to walk step by step towards success. After you have walked, experienced, cried and laughed, you will one day forget that you are a disabled person. A life of self-reliance wins respect.

Dale Carnegie once said: “Success is 85% interpersonal relationship and 15% effort.” Due to loss of hearing, deaf people are at a disadvantage in interpersonal relationships. If you have a good personality and attitude, if you dare to venture, one day, you will overcome these deficiencies, live a happy and beautiful life. Believe that the world will be more prosperous with the emergence of deaf people elite.

Thank you for listening to my speech. "

Download his speech in pdf format


International Competition for Artists with Disabilities Award Presentation

November 2, 2012

The Phoenix Sister Cities Disabilities Awareness Committee held an awards reception for the International Competition for Artists with Disabilities, sponsored by Veolia Transportation. Presenting the awards were Mary Jane Trunzo, Chair of the Phoenix Sister Cities Disability Awareness Committee, and Barrick Neill, Vice President of Operations for Veolia Transportation.

PHOTOS: The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners accept their awards with Disabilities Awareness Committee Chair Mary Jane Trunzo and Commission Member Barrick Neill.

International Competition for Artists with Disabilities Award Presentation in Chengdu, China

May 2011

PHOTOS: Councilman Michael Johnson, Chengdu Committee member Miles Davenport and other Phoenix Sister Cities delegation members visit a classroom at the Chengdu Disabled Person's Welfare Foundation.