Saturday, March 14, 2009

Visually impaired artists

They are artists, but for this group of individuals, there is one distinct difference between them and others: they each have some form of vision impairment. An exhibition is being showcased at the Horton Gallery from Feb. 26 to Mar. 26, with pieces of art created by individuals from the visually impaired community.

The show, named Creative Vision: An Exhibition on Vision and Perception, was accompanied with a panel and luncheon of some of the artists was held before the public opening.

Artists present were: Scott Nelson, Charles Blackwell, Pete Eckert, Alice Wingwall, and Kurt Weston.

Nelson, discusses differences of perception; one person with sight would perceive only what they see, but someone else would be able to see with thought: the idea of what something is.

One of Nelson's work, entitled Eyenatomy of a Defect, is the readout of Nelson's eyes that show the damaged and healthy areas of his vision. Along with the diagram are depictions of possible accidents related to vision impairment. He explains that this is a way of conveying his condition and how he had a fear of vision related accidents.

Nelson states the purpose of his work as a curator and artist as "A remedy to correct the misperceptions about the visually impaired."?

Jan Marlese, Horton Gallery curator, and Nelson had met 20 years ago when the artist was discussing his Art of the Eye show, and became the catalyst that helped Marlese change her major from psychology to Art Administration. Marlese was finally able to parallel her own version of Nelson's show by bringing these artists together.

Pete Eckert, a photographer who has complete vision loss, described how perceptual vision, and how subjects can be misinterpreted or mismatched, and how he prefers to be the optimist.

"I don't give up." stated Eckert, "Just because you hit something that's hard, don't give up. There's always a way around anything."

Charles Blackwell, who contributed 3 pieces of ink on paper work, is also a poet. He described one of his influences as being jazz music, an interest that has been in his life since he was young. ?

Blackwell attended jazz shows, and using what he remembers from those shows and the sound from the music, and created the pieces on display. The shadowed figures and vibrancy of colors emulate the sound that Blackwell heard and conveyed what he saw in his mind to his viewers.

Alice Wingwall, who contributed mixed media pieces as well as drawings, does not see visual impairment as a negative. Like everyone on the panel, she is an optimist, and sees this as a way to create the work showcased. She described when she lost her sight, she gained vision, and she doesn't want to stop.

Wingwall states that, "The camera is now my eye, and the film is in much better shape than my retina." noting her transition from one eye to another.

Wingwall's 3-D mixed media entitled Framing by Word and by Chair and Aileron: Dog on the Wing have elements of both the English language and Braille. This is so that both the visually impaired and the physical sight community can both enjoy the pieces, but in different perspectives.

Kurt Weston, a photographer produced a series of self-portraits encompassing the different losses one must face with visual impairment.

He says that even though he has a disability, it frees up limits and helps illustrate personal vision.

Weston stressed the importance of community, and how being associated with groups gives support for each other.

Marlese states that, "Vision exists beyond physical capability to see." Meaning that the visually impaired can still make art.

Those visiting the exhibition will be impressed and inspired of this triumph over physical adversity, and that all it takes is to have the drive.


Post a Comment

<< Home