An interactive workshop series for teens who are blind, visually impaired, or interested in accessible tactile art.
About the Tactile Art Workshop series:
This interactive, virtual workshop series serves 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 three-dimensional media to create artwork that explores spatial relationships, texture and form. As participants explore the materials and creative process, they will hear from an inspiring artist who is blind to learn about their story and artistic practice. The first two sessions will take place on October 22nd and October 26th. Stay tuned for more tactile workshops in the spring of 2021.
About the workshop:
Guest Artist: Marguerite Woods
Collaborating Artist: Rishika Kartik
This session will allow participants to create their own unique bowls using air dry clay! Teens will learn molding and sculpting techniques while exploring a variety of textures and patterns to create a piece they are passionate about. The project will allow participants to consider symbolism, form, and use of space to bring their bowls to life. As students experiment with stamps, beads, and air dry clay, they will be learning about ceramics from a tactile perspective from guest artist Marguerite Woods. Marguerite is the At Large Chapter President of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, and an accomplished multimedia artist. She will be leading a dynamic discussion on her inspirational journey into the art field, her practices, and implications of the pandemic for tactile artists.
Workshop materials will be available for pick up at MCA Denver, or can be mailed if needed. The workshop will be held over Zoom and the meeting link will be sent the day before the workshop.
About the artist: Marguerite Woods
I am an African American woman. Living my life has called me to be a freedom seeker. After chasing “physical sight “ for many years and then becoming totally blind in 2008, I found myself in a very strange and scary world of blindness. I soon realized, if I wanted to go on living my life, I had to get some new skills and training which I was able to do. My renewed confidence and improved skill level allowed me to explore a plethora of opportunities. One of which took me to Trivandrum, Kerala in Southern India, where I first experienced the joy of putting my hands in the clay. I knew immediately that I wanted more experiences like that once I returned to the United States.
I had heard about Baltimore Clayworks so when I got back from India, I contacted them to ask about adult beginners ceramics classes . I received several suggestions. However, once I revealed that I was blind, all of a sudden, I started to be shuffled from first one contact and then another. I knew they were not ready for me. A few months later, I heard about a Seniors beginners ceramics class at the Zeta Pete Rawlings Center which was located close to my community. It turned out that Baltimore Clayworks, through a generous grant , was actually sponsoring the class in the community. Sallah Jenkins was their instructor. She was brave and curious enough to say yes to carving out a journey with me down the “ Road Less Traveled”. Together, we explored and discovered ways to describe a skill or technique by using hands on demonstrations and tactile representations of what was being articulated.The manner in which we used language, memory, imagination and touch evolved into a unique method to communicate a vision. I was so thrilled with what I was able to create, using the clay, that I became completely captivated. This process had provided me with the phenomenal gift of “Soothing my Soul”.
I thought about how wonderful it would be for more blind people to have ceramics workshop and class room opportunities. I began to ‘chat up” the idea with everyone at Baltimore Clayworks who would listen. Well, last October, the time was right and Acting Director, Nicole Fall said yes to a ceramics workshop for the At- Large Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland (NFBMD) for which I am President. Mia Halton and AnaMaria Economou were the two wonderful instructors ( Explorers, Pioneers) that Nicole sent . The afternoon ceramics workshop was an absolute success on every front! It was a big hit and has had a tremendous impact in the blind communiity. Other NFBMD Chapters and Divisions along with Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) have all arranged for Baltimore Clayworks to set up workshops for them, as well.
Cyndi Wish, Baltimore Clayworks current fearless leader, has been open to opportunities that include members of the Blind Community. Cindy introduced me to Robin Marquis who had the unique position of finding ways to invite and include members of the community with disabilities so they could have an opportunity to engage in the Baltimore Clayworks Experience. Robin and I brainstormed and soon gave birth to the ideas that have brought us here. I am sure that new frontiers are eagerly waiting to be explored!
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.