MCA Denver Teens: Self-Portrait Through Text & Image with Erin Schalk


TEEN WORKSHOP - all participants must currently be in middle or high school. Produced in collaboration with Touch & Create Studio

About this Event

About the series:

This event is part of an interactive, virtual workshop series serving as an engaging creative outlet for teens who are blind and visually impaired or interested in accessible tactile art. Each session will focus on utilizing a variety of media to create artwork that explores spatial relationships, texture and form. Each workshop will be hosted by a professional artist who is blind or experiences visual impairment, and each will share about their story and artistic practice. All workshops will take place over Zoom. Participants must currently be in middle or high school.

About the workshop:

This workshop investigates how multiple fine arts disciplines intersect and influence each other, specifically the literary and visual arts. Participants will work collaboratively to create acrostic poems and translate this text into tactile collages. Students will also learn tips and techniques for working with embossed collage papers and mixed media materials, adding unique shapes, textures, and raised objects to their text. When finished, participants will have created unique, artistic representations of themselves that emphasize the inner, more abstract qualities of human personalities.

Suggested materials:

  • card stock or paper for the base of your collage
  • glue stick
  • bump dots (like these)
  • felt adhesive letters (like these)
  • texture paper (like this)
  • Anything extra that you would like to have at home that you'd like to include in your collage (magazines, newspapers, beads, construction paper, etc)

About the artist:

Erin Schalk is a visual artist, writer, and educator who lives in the greater Los Angeles area. She graduated with her MFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017, and she has exhibited her art throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and Japan. In 2021, she was named the Artist-in-Residence for The Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Orange County, California.

Both her poetry and visual art have been published in a variety of journals; highlights include The MacGuffin, The Woven Tale Press, Parentheses International Literary Journal, Willawaw Journal, and others. Today, Schalk also is a guest poetry and visual art reviewer and interviewer for Aji Magazine.

In 2011, Schalk’s career as an educator began overseas in Okinawa, Japan where she taught visual art and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Since 2016, she has focused on teaching adults in non-profit and higher education settings, including accessibility-driven programs for individuals with visual impairments, as well as students on the autism spectrum. She currently develops, manages, and teaches the visual arts educational programs for the Braille Institute of America, Orange County.

Close up selfie of visual artist, writer, and educator Erin Schalk in front of a white textured wall. Her skin is glowing, her eyes are focused elsewhere, and she has bright red lipstick and black eyeliner on. Her brown hair is up in a loose style and one finger in gently up near her face.


About Touch & Create Studio:

Touch and Create Studio (TCS) was founded by artist Rishika Kartik with the mission to provide opportunities and outlets to the Blind and Visually Impaired Community to experience and create accessible art and develop Tactile Arts curriculum to be incorporated into regular schooling as an integral part of holistic education for the Blind and Visually Impaired.