About The Founder: Tiffany Antosz
Tiffany's journey towards diagnosis, then acceptance, of her conditions, has been profound. She has spent years suffering from a myriad of painful sensory, visual, and neurological issues. In 2013, Tiffany was initially diagnosed with bilateral Chronic Retinal Detachment, a virtually untreatable degenerative condition, and then gained additional chronic conditions plus Visual Snow Syndrome, a rare brain disease. With severe photophobia, visual vertigo, as well as permanent damage to her retinas and optic nerve combined with the debilitating symptoms of Visual Snow Syndrome, Tiffany suffers from 24/7 disturbances in the form of colours, patterns, and images. Because her sight is painfully affected by light and movement, she must spend most of her time in the dark.
In 2020, she was presented with 3 months until she was going to go painfully and irrevocably blind by narrow angle closure. Her only available option was to implement a horrific treatment with no determined end date. This has brought on an invincible fight to keep the beauty that she experiences in life alive.
That was the catalyst for the creation of the Tiffany Antosz Foundation. With over 20 years as a professional creative and artist working in the event and fashion industries in Toronto and NYC married with her 8 years of lived experience as a person living with disabilities and her fire for advocacy, she established the platform to ignite this world art movement to welcome artists, organizations, companies, institutions or anyone who might want to be involved.
In December 2017, Tiffany was invited to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s “Hands Of Fire” Fundraising Gala to be the headline artist. There, she premiered Shade Tolerance, Electric Fields, and # 9. She also became a co-creator working with students from the Inclusive Design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design to re-imagine artwork at the Art Gallery of Ontario to accommodate visually impaired visitors. The AGO now has a multi-sensory tour that allows people with low vision to touch specific sculptures and listen to audio descriptions.
Since Tiffany had already begun painting within the comfort of the darkness in her home, she was looking for a way to connect with other creatives. The AGO constructed an inclusive dark space for her to participate in their painting classes in order to re-train her brain, re-engage her abilities, and re-visit her passions.
Tiffany became a client of BALANCE for Blind Adults in 2017 to empower herself with customized training and support to facilitate optimal independence and community engagement as she navigates her disability. In 2018 Tiffany joined the ‘Because of BALANCE’ fundraising campaign, providing guidance to her peers on the best strategies to develop fundraising success. Tiffany became the lead fundraiser in the first year of the campaign.
As a valued member of the BALANCE community, Tiffany provides a listening ear to her peers and the confidence to advocate for themselves for accessible resources and inclusive services. This process led Tiffany to initiate a peer support group ‘Lunch Bunch’ and created an online dating group for the blind, visually impaired, and disabled community.
In 2021, Tiffany was nominated for a Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award for her volunteer work in the Disability Community during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was instrumental to ensure that essential items were delivered to the community during the start of the pandemic and lockdown. She kept the community safe by organizing a team of volunteers to safeguard basic needs.
For the International Day for Persons With Disability, Forbes magazine spotlighted an exclusive NFT collaboration with Lachi, a New York City-based singer/songwriter, composer, producer, and Disability Advocate for the Grammys and 4 artists living with disability including Tiffany. Their NFT entitled “Bloom” is set to drop in 2022.
In June 2022, Tiffany’s painting Bioluminescence will be featured in the World Health Organization’s Healthy Planet and Sustainable Development Goals Art Exhibit at the United Nations office in Geneva.
Tiffany’s vision is to create a world where the inclusion of the Disability Community and their culture is the norm and she believes that art is the gateway to this future.
To learn more about Tiffany, please visit www.tiffanyantosz.com.