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Arts & Culture

Go See The Art Exhibit That You Don't Actually Have To See To Enjoy

A new Art Exhibit opened downtown, but unlike most, you really don’t need to see it to appreciate it. It's presented at VIA Transit headquarters in the beautiful old International and Great Northern Railroad Station on the near west side. When I got there, a pair of curious kids wandered around through that art installation, one that takes up most of the first floor.  Ava Valdez was blindfolded and brother Noah led her through the exhibit called The Color Of Blind. I tagged along.

“Is this the part where there’s the face?” she said.

“I know, we’re not touching the face. This is the big feathers” said Noah.

They were having to deal with matters of trust--being led around blind-folded can be a bit scary--and having a very good time exploring. To get the lowdown on what the show was about, I spoke to VIA's CEO Jeffrey Arndt.

"It’s a specific art show that was designed for those people who are visually impaired or may be totally blind. It invites the public to actually touch the artwork, as opposed to a typical museum which says ‘please do not touch.’”

The exhibits ranged from fabrics hung on the wall to sculptured busts to modern art objects. And they all had different textures. The varied textures is a major aspect to the exhibit.

“They’ll be invited to touch that. We want them to touch that." He noted that using the sense of touch told people different things than just using the eyes did. "The difference between alabaster and marble. It’s amazing, those differences that normally we wouldn’t be able to experience in a museum because we wouldn’t be allowed to touch those pieces.”

The Color of Blind exhibit can be seen Monday through Friday from 8 in the morning 'til 5, until August 21st. It was installed at VIA to highlight the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. What would that have to do with what VIA does?

[It was] “An act that influenced public transportation, making it available to all people within the community.”

A table by the entrance holds brochures and a bunch of blindfolds to encourage visitors to try and see the art how others might see it.

For more go here