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Art exhibit accessible to visually impaired comes to Indianapolis

Posted at 8:35 PM, Mar 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-03 20:35:31-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) to hold its fourth tactile art exhibition in Indianapolis starting Friday, March 8.

The interactive art exhibit is titled "reVISION | reEXPLORING ART, EXPRESSION & PERCEPTION." The unique exhibition is set to present works by regional artists who explore the world of art through the eyes of the visually impaired. The aim for reVISION is to transform the traditional gallery presentation to be more inclusive by having tactile, auditory and spatial experiences for blind and sighted alike.

The inclusive art exhibit was created by the regional director of VIPS, Meredith Howell, who’s daughter, Lola, is legally blind due to a visual processing disorder that takes place in her brain. Her daughter’s visual impairment prompted her to research accessibility in the arts and what she found was discouraging.

“I read case study after case study about how art patrons with vision loss felt misrepresented and under-served in the art world,” Howell said.

Most times when a blind person wants to visit an art museum, the patron must schedule a tour with a guide and gloves are to be worn. Other times, the patron may be discouraged from touching the pieces of art on display altogether.

“While I respect that art museums are trying to be accessible, the reality is that so much attention is brought to the disability,” Howell said. “I'm just trying to create a more accessible art community for individuals who are visually impaired like my daughter.”

According to Howell, all of the artwork is strongly encouraged to be touched and explored by guests. The artist statements will be written in braille and large print, as well as QR codes for audio recordings from the artists.

For sighted people who come to the exhibit, VIPS will offer sleep shades and visual impairment simulator goggles to give them the opportunity to experience the artwork by using sense other than vision.

A portion of the proceeds from artwork sold at the exhibit will go toward critical vision-specific early intervention services that VIPS provides to infants and toddlers with blindness/low vision throughout Indiana.

Patrons can bid on pieces, starting Friday, on VIPS' Facebook page.

Indiana Interchurch Center: 1100 West 42nd Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

reVISION exhibition runs Friday, March 8 - Tuesday, April 30