"Accessible Art" exhibit presents sensory artwork
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum was packed Tuesday evening as the new “Exceptions: Accessible Art” event took place. However, looking at the art in the exhibit was only a small part of the experience.
“Accessible Art” was hosted by Exceptions Journal, a student organization.
The journal has a goal of bringing artwork to those who lack visual ability to see it.
Artists take that opportunity to explore new mediums that senses other than sight can interact with.
Exceptions also worked with MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and a number of professors in order to put on the event.
Professional writing junior and managing editor of Exceptions Katie Grimes said Accessible Art was done in an effort to promote awareness of accessibility issues.
“We just wanted to create an exhibit with MSU students that was also accessible to everyone across the visual ability spectrum,” Grimes said. “So whether you’re blind, have visual impairment or you’re visual, everyone can enjoy it.”
Grimes also took time to show the different ways in which the art could be perceived.
“We have the poems displayed in Roman characters on the tables. But then also ... when you enter, there’s a table you can get a packet from with all the poems in braille,” Grimes said. “The poem’s in large print. We also have QR codes on each of the tables which you can listen to the poems in audio recording.”
Grimes added that everything in the exhibit was decorated by students.
She said students wrote poems in class with professors.
After they were written, those poems were given to an art class and that separate class of students created paintings inspired by the poems.
Some students even recorded their voices reading each poem to accompany the artwork inspired by it.
One of those artists was studio art junior Colin Murray, who created a representation of a brain MRI for his art piece displayed that evening at the museum.
Murray explained that he took an MRI of a brain and translated the different colors from the MRI into textures to represent each different color.
He used a variety of materials to make his exhibit both visual and textural so visitors, whether or not they could see the piece, could enjoy it in similar ways.
Murray said that he changed his project the day before it was due in to create a better texture and flow.
He added that it was particularly difficult trying to balance the artful expression while maintaining an accurate textural feel.
“The hard part was trying to make it not like a science project, not just a box to put your hand in, but really something that you can feel and get different emotions from,” he said.