October marks Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month in museums and cultural institutions around the world. As part of its ongoing effort to raise awareness of disability, accessibility, and inclusion, the 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, painting, and sculpture.
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 & Blind; and the Women of Vision program, a group that has made the Museum their meeting place for the past 18 years.
The Women of Vision program represents an exceptional group of women and celebrates 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.
The Cummer Museum also provides guided Touch Tours to visitors who are blind or have low-vision. During Touch Tours, visitors are permitted to handle pre-selected works of sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection while wearing latex gloves. These tours are led by Museum Educators who also provide verbal description of objects and surroundings.
The most recent Touch Tour at the Museum welcomed 33 individuals from the Jacksonville chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. Participants on this tour exhibited authentic enthusiasm as they engaged with sculptural works in the galleries and botanical objects in the gardens. As one visitor excitedly told us, “They don’t let you do this in other museums!”
To schedule a Touch Tour or to request other accommodations, including ASL interpretation, please contact the Museum’s Accessibility Coordinator at 904.899.6002, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of your visit. Standard tour rates apply.
Mr. Michael DiAngelo in Memory of Susan A. DiAngelo
The W.W. & Eloise D. Gay Foundation
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care