The Museum’s Art Beyond Sight programs provide specially designed art education and art-making experiences for individuals who are visually impaired: including touch tours of the Museum, classroom outreach to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and Women of Vision, a group which has made the Museum their meeting place for the past 18 years.
This program represents an exceptional group of women who celebrate the communicative power and beauty of the visual and literary arts. During monthly visits to the Museum, the program’s participants record their memoirs, write expressive poetry, explore the Gardens and Galleries, and create art using paint, clay, collage, and printmaking. This artful program serves as a vehicle for personal reflections, a symbol for the transformative nature of art, and a model of accessibility for the community.
October marks Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month in museums and cultural institutions around the world. In contribution to the effort to raise awareness of disability, accessibility, and inclusion, the Cummer Museum displays its annual exhibition of artwork from the Women of Vision program during this month. Installed in the Museum’s Art Connections area, the show is open to the public and features works of printmaking, ceramics, and for the first time ever, photography.
In August, the Cummer Museum received the Community Asset Award, presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at their annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference, is a tremendous validation of the of the many years the Cummer Museum has been working to ensure access, through its exhibitions, programs, events, and classes. This award recognizes the achievements of those who continually demonstrate success with access initiatives, improving accessibility in their organization, city, state, or region, and marks the Museum as one of the premier providers of accessibility programming in the country. Each year the Kennedy Center honors a select few arts administrators and organizations whose dedication has resulted in the advancement of inclusion of people with disabilities in the cultural arts and whose efforts serve as an example to all in the field. Women of Vision is one of the many programs for which the Cummer Museum was recognized.