For those who can see, it's hard to imagine how a visually impaired person experiences art, but that's precisely what one new class is attempting to do. Beginning October 20, the Carver Community Cultural Center is offering a new four-week course that helps individuals with visual and intellectual disabilities better understand art.
Instructors Trina Bacon and Laura Salaza have designed Ceramics for the Visually Impaired as a way to experience visual artwork in physical ways. Using clay as the medium, the class helps students understand artistic elements — whether it's a certain glaze, a specific texture, or even a color — through touch. The goal, says organizers, is to give tactile learners the tools to better understand abstract concepts.
"Individuals who are blind, have visual impairments, or other disabilities that require a tactile, sensory experience are often deprived understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of art," organizers explained in a press release introducing the new class.
Following the course, artwork created by the students will be exhibited and sold at "The Color of Blind," an interactive annual art show put on in conjunction with the City of San Antonio. The new Carver Center class is very much in the spirit of "The Color of Blind," which encourages attendees to physically interact with the artwork.
Classes are scheduled on Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm in the Carver Center's ADA-compliant classroom. Entry for Ceramics for the Visually Impaired is open to individuals with visual or intellectual disabilities ages 10 and older. In order to participate fully, students should be able to function independently without assistance.
Enrollment is open now through October 19, and costs $10 including materials. "The Color of Blind" will be on display at the Carver Center beginning in September 2019.