Friday, March 9, 2012

Tactile Art

One of my favorite projects... 
Over the Summer some friends and I created and sold artwork to raise money for a young art student, Emilie, who was in a terrible accident and lost her sight.  See her story here:

I shared pictures of the artwork I made with my students when we were discussing our Summer breaks.  The 5th graders showed a lot of interest in Emilie’s story and together we created a project that could appeal both to the sighted and to the visually impaired.  It was so interesting to watch the kids experiment with blindness.  They tried to find their way around with blindfolds on and discovered the only way they could get around was by using their sense of touch.  They then made the connection that, for art to be enjoyed by those who couldn’t see it, it would have to be tactile.  (Yes, we discussed sound, which is another element that can be added to the art.)

The art project they ended up creating utilized the element of line as a way to create movement for those who were touching the art.  They also included different textures so that the artwork would offer various tactile experiences.  First, they built a line out of bunched up paper that they papier-mached on top of.  When the art was constructed, they used paint to make the piece visually interesting.  When the painting was finished, students added sand and cotton to the piece in specific places to add the texture.  The sand was colored so it became a visual element as well.

I loved when we finished this project because the kids expressed that it changed their traditional view of art, its accessibility and who the ‘viewer’ is.

No comments:

Post a Comment