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  • Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 21:05:33 +0200


The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery kicked off Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month with the museum's "ORLAN: The Harlequin Coat" exhibit as the focus. “The Harlequin Coat” is an installation work by French artist Orlan. Using the patchwork motif characteristic of harlequin as a metaphor for the fragmented, multicolored, multilayered performance of the human signature, she questions identity and every defining aspect of being human – gender, ethnicity, religion, beauty, physiognomy, and even physiology itself. It is her most collaborative work to date, involving, at different stages, artists from the worlds of fashion, design, film, and technology.

The Orlan exhibit is set up as a round-chair discussion forum, which invites visitors to sit and discuss art. In January 2011, this exhibit will host another Art Beyond Sight Awareness Round Chair Discussion. The discussion will address blindness in correlation with the visual arts. Participants will be encouraged to sit in chairs that are part of the exhibition. The chairs were designed by Philippe Stark in the style of Louis the XV; they and their placement in the artwork create a democratic forum for discussion and debate.

"In a nutshell, this is really what the museum is trying to do," said Daniel Veneciano, the director of the Sheldon Museum, in regards to the Orlan exhibit. "Bring in art that provokes conversation."

According to Sarah Baker-Hansen, public relations and marketing manager of the Sheldon, Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month has made it a goal to provide the blind with tools to experience visual aspects of life. "We've been working with the Lincoln blind and vision-impaired community to make the museum more accessible," Baker-Hansen said. "Some blind volunteers have been working with the Orlan exhibit, and we'll have some programming early next year based on what we've learned from that partnership."

For further information on the exhibit, visit http://www.sheldonartmuseum.org/exhibitions/current_exhibitions.html

Lithuanian Library for the Blind, Vilnius, Lithuania



The Lithuanian Library for the Blind organized the 5th LAB’s Tactile Book Contest. The library received thirty-eight tactile books, most of them made by second-year graphic design students from Vilnius Technology and Design College. One book with illustrations on swell-paper was made by a group of professional artists and painters composed of Odete Abromaviciute, Diana Raudoniene, Virginijus Kašinskas, and Asta Jonaityte. Another book, a sewn one, was made by folk artist Lina Norkiene, who is a teacher of crafts at the Vilkpede’s Social Services Centre in Vilnius. The books are organized according to their medium: some are made with cardboard in the style of appliqué, others with textile or using the “BrlPaint” software (created by Sergejus Mechas) and embossed on Braille paper, and finally with swell-paper. The results can be seen at http://labiblioteka.lt/FN.HTML

The authors of the best tactile books were awarded diplomas and presents. The books are on exhibit at the library until October 31. Visitors who are sighted are encouraged to close their eyes and feel the surface.

Text by Laura Juchnevic, administrator, and Audrone Gendviliene, tactile book contest coordinator. Translated from Lithuanian by Audrone Gendviliene.

Access Advisors Open House and Disability Arts Festival

de Young Museum, Goldengate Park

The Museum’s Open House created an opportunity to demonstrate every-day accessibility at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. About four hundred people attended the festival, which featured works by artists with low vision; performances by Maia Scott (see photos by John Spicer); touch tours; art-making activities; and Art Slam, which consisted of a non-juried slide show of work by artists with disabilities.

For more information on programs at the de Young Museum, please contact Tish Brown at tbrown@xxxxxxxxx or call 415-750-7645

Maia and Selma

maia scott as Blob

Performance artist Maia Scott as the Blob

Performance artist Maia Scott as Mother Nature

Literature Corner

Viviane Sarraf, Author

Museum Rehabilitation: Cultural Inclusion Policies through Accessibility

Published in March of 2010, Vivian Sarraf's “"Museum Rehabilitation: Cultural Inclusion Policies through Accessibility” is based on the her masters theses. The text analyzes the relationship between museums and people with disabilities through an examination of the practices and theories that are designed to improve cultural actions and inclusive programs. It also investigates accessibility and inclusion concepts in relation to museums and cultural mediation. Sarraf evaluates the success of various museum programs through first-hand accounts from both directors of public and private museums and cultural institutions, and the target audience--people with disabilities. The book is available from Amazon.com and other international bookstores.

Side Notes:

1. For people who called during the Telephone Crash Course on Monday, Erin Narloch from the Leigh Yawkee Museum, WI mentioned you could find the speakers’ papers from the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education online, below is the link:


2. Recordings from some of the Telephone Crash Course sessions will be soon available on our Itunes site. Meanwhile, you can always log in and check Art Education for the Blind’s verbal description of various artworks and New York City landmark. To download Itunes, go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

Once you are set up, go to Itunes Store and type “Art Beyond Sight” into the search engine on the top right of the page and you should reach our page. Enjoy!

3. Reminder: If you haven’t already done so, I do hope you’ll make sure your museum is registered on www.projectaccessforall.org. It’s free, it’s easy, it takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and you and you alone control the content and can update it as often as needed.

4. Don’t forget to check the Calendar of Events to see what other Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month participants are doing to celebrate: http://www.artbeyondsight.org/change/aw-calendar.shtml

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