Helen Keller ServicesNews

Journey Through Touch: A Tactile Art Experience

The "Journey Through Touch: A Tactile Art Experience" exhibition brought together our valued participants and the supportive community at The Art Guild.

By Helen Keller Services
August 16, 2023

The video begins showing two clips of artwork on display in a gallery with the title: “Journey through Touch: A Tactile Art Experience.”  Then an approaching view of the Art Guild front entrance.  A DeafBlind man arrives at the entrance with a sighted guide. Inside, DeafBlind individuals communicate using tactile sign language in the busy art gallery; A close up of their hands reveals the use of print on palm technique.

Then, there are several clips of attendees and participants during the opening event.  A DeafBlind participant communicates using sign language with attendees. An art therapy instructor from Helen Keller National Center welcomes guests to the event. A DeafBlind participant communicates about his artwork during the exhibit. A DeafBlind man stands with an SSP in front of artwork communicating in tactile sign language.

Kristi speaks to an audience holding a microphone:

“If you think about a tree. Look how many branches it has. Think about how those branches stretch. They stretch out! Think of those branches as opportunities.”

After Kristi, a second sequence of clips follows.  A woman feels the artwork on display and comments in ASL, “that’s beautiful.” A woman guides a blind participant’s hand to feel the tactile artwork on the wall. A Blind young adult runs his hands over artwork of ceramic alphabet letters with braille rivets. Copper sculptures, an artist’s bio and a poster are displayed on a table. A man feels around a tactile seashell collage hanging in a frame on the wall. New York State Assemblywoman, Gina Silletti, addresses the group. A DeafBlind artist communicates to the group about her artwork. Exhibit attendees interact with that artist and an interpreter.

The video then shows Chris Woodfill, of Helen Keller National Center, communicating to the camera in ASL with voice over and captions.

Chris Woodfill: “Sometimes when our participants come, it’s hard for them to talk about their journey. But the art helps them. It helps them express what they’re going through.”

The video then displays a still photograph of a participant artist and art therapy instructor, then fades to a fast, closing sequence of artwork displayed throughout the gallery exhibit.  The camera pans through various paintings and pieces of art displayed on walls, a piece of colorful fabric art (a quilt), a pair of painted sneakers, a large map on a display table, a piece of macrame art holding a decorative bowl, small musical instruments made from clay, paintings of cats on a wall with a braille and written story book displayed, and a final multi-perspective collage which displays the words “Blind is a Spectrum” in raised colorful foam letters. The video then fades to the Helen Keller Services logo, QR code and HelenKeller.org over a white background. 

[End of Transcript]

What an extraordinary occasion it turned out to be for Helen Keller Services’ art exhibit – a moment that brought together not only our valued participants but also the entire supportive community at The Art Guild’s opening for “Journey Through Touch: A Tactile Art Experience.”

This remarkable exhibition, made possible by the generous grant from Hearts PW, stands as a heartwarming testament of support for our organization. During the opening events, individuals from across HKNC and HKSB, along with local community members, state representatives, and art aficionados celebrated the expressions brought forth by our DeafBlind and blind communities. The participants beamed with pride as their artistic creations adorned the gallery walls, facilitating meaningful conversations and connections with the attending guests.

The atmosphere within the gallery was filled with enthusiasm, reflecting a genuine appreciation for these artists. Through their works, they generously offered us glimpses into their personal journeys.

We are thrilled to present an inclusive video featuring audio description, ASL Interpretation, voice-over, captions, and a transcript provided below.

This incredible exhibit runs through August 17, 2023. We wholeheartedly extend an invitation to you to experience the art in a most intimate way – by touching it.

The Art Guild
200 Port Washington Blvd.
Manhasset, NY 11030
(Exhibit hours are available at: www.theartguild.org)

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