NewView Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art are teaming up to create the “Creative Visions” program, offering art classes to blind and visually impaired children and adults. The program is funded by a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The “Intro to Clay” class has already started, and is led by Janet Massad. Adult participants are learning a variety of hand building techniques to create functional and sculptural clay pieces. Classes will take place on Thursdays, now until April 25, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive.
In a second adult class led by Cindy Mason, participants will learn about and create acrylic paintings. These classes will take place on Thursdays, May 2- May 30, at 3:30 p.m. at NewView Oklahoma’s headquarters at 501 N. Douglas Avenue in Oklahoma City.
The youth class, “Start with Art,” will be led by Joni Derr, and offers blind and visually impaired students the opportunity to explore a variety of art media and to create their own artwork. “Start with Art” classes take place on Saturdays, April 20- May 18, at 11:00 a.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
“NewView Oklahoma is thrilled to work with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to make the arts accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals,” Lauren Branch, president and CEO of NewView Oklahoma, said. “All too often, art museums have little to offer someone with a visually impairment. With a little creativity, we can ensure that the arts are accessible to all members of our community.”
The partnership between the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and NewView Oklahoma began with art tours and classes for OWL Camp, a camp for blind and visually impaired youth that NewView Oklahoma hosts each July.
“Following the success of the Museum’s involvement with the OWL summer camp in 2012, we have expanded our offerings to the visually-impaired community by launching visual description guides, tactile tours, and the ‘Creative Visions’ series of art classes” Chandra Boyd, the Museum’s senior associate curator of education, said. “This access allows individuals with low vision to experience exhibitions and art creation in a way that has traditionally been reserved for sighted individuals.”
To prepare for upcoming classes, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosted a special art tour for individuals with a visual impairment. The tour featured tactile and verbally descriptive tours of the museum exhibits. Program artists and museum staff also participated in a workshop to familiarize themselves with blindness through experiential activities at NewView Oklahoma’s low vision clinic
NewView Oklahoma – formerly Oklahoma League for the Blind – is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1949 with a mission to empower people who are blind and visually impaired to achieve their maximum level of independence through employment, rehabilitation and community outreach. For more than 60 years, NewView Oklahoma has been a life-changing source of hope and empowerment for Oklahomans living with blindness and visual impairment.
Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Address: 415 Couch