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The Color of Blind, an annual interactive art show for the visually impaired and people with special needs, returns for its fourth multisensory art show March 19-20 at Brick at Blue Star during Contemporary Art Month. The innovative art exhibit is designed to help individuals experience art using other senses besides sight including smell, touch, sound and taste to perceive the various artworks.
Local artist and show curator Trina Bacon developed the show to share art and education with both the blind and sighted communities.
“I’m a sculptor so I’m attuned to the tactile aspects of art,” she said. “I wanted to include people who are typically excluded from experiencing art—the visually impaired and people with special needs who would benefit from directly engaging with art.”
Bacon, who also serves as the curator and venue coordinator for Brick at Blue Star, said that the modern approach to interactive art fits in well at a modern venue held during CAM.
The Color of Blind brought more than 300 visitors during its inaugural show in 2013. The first show was difficult to organize, Bacon said, but people volunteered time and donated products and the space for the exhibition. Every year the show has attracted more artists and more visitors. In 2015, more than 800 people attended The Color of Blind.
This year’s show features art from more than 40 artists across San Antonio including: Cat Quintanilla, Charles Ingram, James Heatherington, Cody Vance, Joan Frederick, Kim Bishop, Sabine Senft, David Anthony Garcia.
“As I curated this show, I told the artists to think about all the ways someone can experience your art,” Bacon said. “Artists love the challenge of thinking outside the box on ways to share their art with people who have been left out of the larger art experience. This show is accessible for people with special needs as well.”
For sighted visitors who want a unique art experience, blindfolds and trained guides will be available at Brick to help someone with vision experience the show blindfolded, then repeat the experience using vision.
“It’s therapeutic for sighted people visiting this show as well,” Bacon explained. “They can experience the art deeply by asking themselves, ‘Will the art feel the way I think it will, based on how it looks?’ And if they choose to go through the show first blindfolded, their favorites in the show without vision might be completely different when viewing the art afterward.”
Bacon organizes the annual show with no funding; the venue, products and staff’s time are donated to develop the show. No admission is charged, but a special raffle featuring a deluxe weekend for two will help defray the costs of organizing the show.
“Eventually I would like to establish the first art museum in the U.S. specifically for the vision impaired and special needs community,” Bacon said. “There’s one in England at the Royal National College for the Blind, but nothing here. We have the world’s first fully accessible playground with Morgan’s Wonderland, why not a museum? That would make San Antonio a model city for making arts accessible to everyone in our population.”
Experience the perception and comprehension of art using all senses, not just vision. The Color of Blind is free to the public and is suitable for all ages. The art exhibition is open on March 19, from 6-10 p.m. and March 20, from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, follow The Color of Blind on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Image:Interactive art invites visitors to engage and experience art in a new way at the The Color of Blind. Courtesy Photo, 2015.