What if you never knew what Claude Monet's impressionist masterpieces or Leonardo da Vinci's famous "Mona Lisa" looked like? As someone who with adequate vision, I can't imagine what it would be like to miss out on the visually stunning works that masters like Monet and da Vinci created, but there are approximately one million American adults who are blind and face not only daily difficulties that come with the disability but also the feeling of isolation at museums, on vacation or basically any place where those of us with vision are at an advantage.
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It's been said that once one sense is gone, the other senses become more acute. My own mother, who went deaf about a month ago, can attest to this as she has developed a more defined sense of smell and sight. But without sight, you also have to rely more on your imagination to paint a picture of what others see.
October is Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month, and the Dallas Museum of Art is hosting a series of special events to promote awareness of the ways in which people with visual impairments encounter and interact with art. The activities, including painting and other art-making classes, kick off October 1. After the jump, read more about Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month in DMA's press release.
Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month at the Dallas Museum of Art
In celebration of visual awareness and Art Beyond Sight Awareness month, the Dallas Museum of Art will have a variety of programming in October that will include a family gallery guide, hands-on activities, gallery discussions, and art making experiences, and artist demonstrations that focus on ways to experience art using senses other than vision. October is also the second annual Art in October, a month-long celebration of the Dallas Arts District.
Artist John Bramblitt, who was featured on CBS Evening News earlier this year leading a program at the DMA, returns to the DMA to lead several Art Beyond Sight programs throughout the month of October where he will talk about his process as a blind painter. He will also lead workshops that include adaptive techniques for people with disabilities. Denton jewelry designer Leslie Ligon will lead a Family Art Workshop on October 8. She is the owner of At First Sight Braille Jewelry, and she creates jewelry designs that promote Braille literacy within the blind and sighted communities. Made up of tiles that each contain a letter written in Braille, her designs won the 2010 People's Design Award from The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
For general questions regarding Art Beyond Sight programs, please call 214-922-1251 or e-mail access@DallasMuseumofArt.org. All programs are free with paid admission to the Museum unless otherwise noted. Children under 12 always receive free admission. To register for programs online, visit www.tickets.DallasMuseumofArt.org/public/.
Sightless Studio Creations
Saturday, October 1, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Art Studio
Workshops begin every forty-five minutes; space is limited.
Learn new ways of painting! Instead of using eyesight, families will rely on their imagination, creativity, memory, and sense of touch to create a unique painting. During the workshop, participants will have the chance to discuss the process of painting with artist John Bramblitt.
Family Art Workshop: How to See Art with Your Eyes Closed
Saturday, October 8, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Members free/Nonmembers $10 (per family). Class size is limited to forty people.
Reservations required; to register call 214-922-1312.
Spend time in the galleries with artist Leslie Ligon, who creates jewelry using Brailled letters. After exploring symbols and "reading" works of art with the senses, join Leslie in the Art Studio for an art-making activity.
Arturo's Art & Me: More Than Meets the Eye
Wednesday, October 12; Thursday, October 13; or Saturday, October 15
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Members free/nonmembers $10 (per pair). Class size is limited to fifteen pairs. Reservations required; to register call 214-922-1822.
Children ages 3-5 and their favorite grown-up will look at works of art together, read a story in the galleries, and do a sightless art-making activity in the Art Studio.
Meaningful Moments Tuesday, October 18, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Free with reservations. To register, call 214-922-1251 or e-mail access@DallasMuseumofArt.org.
Designed for individuals with early stage dementia and their family members or caregivers, participants will have the chance to explore works of art with their senses, have a conversation in the galleries with John Bramblitt, and experience an art-making activity in the studio.
Homeschool Class for Families: Sight Unseen
Tuesday, October 25, 1:00-2:30 p.m., or Thursday, October 27, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Members $5 per participating child/nonmembers $7 per participating child (ages 6 and up).
Class size is limited to forty people. To register call 214-922-1822 or register online.
In this program designed for children ages 6-12, parents and children will talk about works of art in the galleries, participate in blindfold activities as a family, and create a sensory work of art in the Art Studio.
Carnival of Creativity Family Celebration
Sunday, October 30, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Families can discover a wide variety of art while enjoying art-making activities in the studio, music, performances, an artist demonstration with John Bramblitt, costume contests, family tours, sketching in the galleries, and more. For details, visit DallasMuseumofArt.org/family.