By Jayna Hintz, Curator of Education
Woodson Art Museum.
“A Taste of Life Without Sight,” 1-3pm, Saturday, October 19, is part of a worldwide educational campaign during Blindness Awareness Month. The Woodson Art Museum has offered Art Beyond Sight programs since 2006 and in recent years expanded its offerings to better serve participants. An Art Beyond Sight program is offered for individuals with low or no vision during each of the Museum’s changing exhibitions. Various activities are designed to encourage experiencing the visual arts with other senses and often include verbal descriptions of artworks, sounds, music, movement, scents, tactile drawings, objects to touch, experts on related subjects, and hands-on art-making experiences.
The Art Beyond Sight program has provided Museum educators planning the programs opportunities to meet and connect with community members. Joan Wagner has been an invaluable collaborator in the Art Beyond Sight program since its inception. Joan is a partner at Blind and Visually Impaired Services LLC and works to provide assessment and training for individuals with blindness and visual impairments in north-central Wisconsin. Joan helps identify, connect, and transport program participants and brings her enthusiasm and expertise to the Museum’s programs.
Transportation is an issue for many community members with low vision or blindness. Kathy Zoern, a regular Art Beyond Sight participant, is a strong advocate for public transportation. She recently flew to California and spoke to 800 people at a conference about the importance of public transportation. She also volunteered to lead a station at the Museum’s “Taste of Life Without Sight” event discussing why the visual arts are important to her and others with vision loss.