Erin Narloch, Curator of Education, Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI
Woodson Museum -Sculpture Garden Touch Tour 2:37
We’re very fortunate at our museum that we have a sculpture gareen. Being in North Central Wisconson our weather is severe in the wintertime, and working with our curators, we have come to the conclusion that we can access our sculpture garden by touch with visitors without the use of gloves. I approached the curator of collections to talk about the used of gloves. Having watched the disability resource video, as well as in the Resource Guide, we’re going to talk about the difference between using vinyl gloves and cotton gloves. She looked at me and said, “Erin, what these Wisconsin winters do to these sculptors is not even comparable to what hands would do to them; by all means they can just use their hands.” The way in which we engage with these sculptures, we lead touch tours through the sculpture gardens. Our sculptures are in varying sizes. We have a hippo that lies on the ground and his name is Heavy Weight
, and everyone is welcome to touch -- especially our youngest visitors love Heavy Weight
. So we use each sculpture in the garden for touch, talking about texture and shape and the temperature of sculpture. One of the pieces in our sculpture garden that is a favorite among all visitors, sighted and blind, is our Deborah Butterfield Horse Kua
. We have found that on touch tours with blind visitors almost all of them have experience with horses, and the way that Kua
’s head bends down, it's a very approachable sculpture. Following looking at Kua
, we sat down at a table underneath a tent set up in our garden to make art. We used Wiki sticks to do some line drawings, and it was amazing to me the types of creations that were made. They understood the concepts of depth and proportion in a horse because the horses were better than a horse I could draw and it was just a really energetic moment.