Half of Trendsetters would like to see more representations of people with physical disabilities in entertainment—not just for the sake of being politically correct but rather to accurately reflect the culturally varied society in which they live. While content creators have some catching up to do in this area, the art world is leading the way by offering experiences tailored to those with visual impairments.
PLEASE TOUCH THE ART
The co-owner of Cantor Gallery in LA, Sam Cantor, was inspired to produce an immersive art experience accessible to the visually impaired after co-directing a documentary with blind artist George Wurtzel. The “Please Touch the Art” show at the gallery features interactive sculptures, paintings with braille poems across their surface, 3D replicas of famous paintings, and more. The gallery donated 10% of proceeds to the Academy of Music for the Blind, which performed during an opening reception.
A 3D scanning and digital reproduction company in Canada is using its in-house scanning technology to create 3D replicas of artwork that can be felt and experienced by consumers with visual impairments. The digital copy produced by Verus Art is evaluated for accurate representation of color, texture, and brushstrokes before being printed using hundreds of layers of paint. The company partnered with the National Gallery in Canada to provide 3D replicas of certain paintings to improve the museum’s accessibility to the vision impaired.
The Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, India featured a special program called SENSES with the aim of being inclusive of and accessible to all. The festival partnered with art access consultant Siddhant Shah, whose goal was to give differently abled visitors an enjoyable and engaging experience with art. SENSES included tactile representations that guests with visual impairments were encouraged to feel, as well as braille books and signage. Shah also hosted a blindfold photography workshop during the festival.