Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month @Recreational Facilities
The Art Beyond Sight Collaborative recognizes that art education and exposure to the arts are crucial for advancement of many key issues in the education and rehabilitation of people who are blind. Art can serve as a tool in overcoming many of the daily living issues faced by people who are blind, too.The fact that you've gotten to this page means that you're interested - now that you're here, we're sure you'll find an exiting way to celebrate Awareness Month at your institution. Just look through the options:
- Artworks of students who are blind
- Art of blind artists
- Traveling exhibit
- Touchable works of art by contemporary artists
- Family Fun - Art Making. Invite children who are blind, their families, and friends to participate in an art-making activity. Have materials sorted in different containers to assist children with visual impairments. Children whose vision is very low can be offered a raised-line drawing board that enables them to create a picture that they can later explore tactually. Children can also make their artworks on a large piece of paper taped to the surface of the desk. Look up chapter 10 in Art Beyond Sight. A Resource Guide on Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment and at the Art Making Program at school or center for the blind Chapter in the Handbook for information on art making materials and techniques.
- Invite a Local Artist who Is Blind or Visually Impaired. Have a local professional or amateur artist come in and give a presentation on a topic of her or his choice, such as the process of making art, how he or she first became interested in art, the reception usually accorded to blind or visually impaired artists. Find an artist in your community or an artist who would be interested in traveling to your event by posting a message on the Art Beyond Sight Collaborative Discussion Groups or visiting our e-gallery. It would be a great idea to combine this kind of a presentation with an art show.
- Art Exhibit. An art exhibit can take place in a large meeting room, or the artworks can be hung in a long hallway. There are many resources available to you in finding artworks to display.
- There are, for instance, traveling exhibits of blind artists' work, such as the National Exhibition of Blind Artists at www.neba.org or Art of the Eye Exhibit at Delta Gamma Foundation.
- Many contemporary artists create multi-sensory works of art, some of which are created for touch.
- Unite with a local school for the blind (see below).
See our resources page for materials to use in putting together an art show, such as a call for entries and an announcement template.
- Show of Student Art. Contact your local school for blind and visually impaired children. Invite the school to put together an exhibition of students' artworks to be displayed in your facility, and then arrange a reception for the public. If the school has a music or drama program, encourage them to perform at the reception as well, creating a multi-sensory art experience. If the school in your neighborhood has a music/drama program but not an art program, invite the students to perform at an event during Awareness Month without necessarily connecting it to visual arts, or maybe as part of a reception for a professional or amateur artist not affiliated with the school. Click here for a downloadable certificate of participation for all students whose art or performance is featured.
- Invite a Speaker. Take advantage of the interdisciplinary synergy of Awareness Month to find a researcher or professional in any of the related fields to give a lecture at your facility. Art Beyond Sight Collaborative is an excellent resource for finding speakers - post a message on the listserv corresponding to your interest to see who is available. If you have the funding, you can bring an out-of-town expert to your institution; if not, arrange a telephone conference. Local chapters of the National Federation of the Blind or the American Foundation for the Blind, colleagues from other museums, or local artists also make great speakers on a variety of topics.
- Show a Video. Videos are easy to arrange, engaging, and enjoyable. Put out some coffee and doughnuts, and gather your community to learn some things about art and visual impairment. Discuss the video and what aspects of art programming featured in the video can be relevant to your institution's mission.
List of video materials
- Workshops for Parents. ABS's Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month is an excellent time to hold a meeting for the parents of children who are blind or visually impaired to discuss the benefits of art education for their children. Describe to the parents what their children might do in school and encourage them to make art-related projects at home. Explore the issues: Can blind children draw? Discuss the cognitive research. How can art education enhance the curriculum and help children develop important skills? What are some simple activities parents can do with their children at home? How does one use a raised-line drawing board? Where can parents get the materials their children need? Do blind people pursue careers in the arts? What careers are available? The answers to all these questions are available in Art Beyond Sight. A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment. Think about inviting a speaker from one of the collaborative's listserves to this workshop.