Please Touch the Art
Please Touch the Art is a multi-sensory exhibition aimed at creating an immersive artistic experience that engages all of the senses. Not only does Please Touch the Art challenge visitors to consider how they may engage with a work of art beyond seeing, it also challenges visual artists to consider how their work engages a diverse range of audience members.
There are 52 pieces of art in this exhibition. As you navigate this exhibition, you are encouraged to take your time with each work of art. Many of the pieces tap into multiple senses including sight, touch, sound, and even smell! See how many senses you can engage with each piece. Also included in this exhibition is a humanities exhibit presenting a History of Blind Accessibility in the Arts. Please proceed up to the third floor after experiencing the artwork to experience a selection of artifacts and imagery related to over a century of innovation, adaptation, and inclusion.
Please Touch the Art invites sighted and visually impaired visitors to go beyond looking at artwork and encourages them to use their sense of touch to experience each piece. The exhibit addresses issues about the nature of aesthetic appreciation and perception of art. It also provides an inclusive and accessible experience for all visitors with the use of braille and large print gallery guides, audio guides, tactile maps, and navigational tools.
To download the gallery guide and maps ahead of time, please follow this link for a downloadable PDF (coming soon!). All of our audio guide tracks are also available for download upon request.
A message from our Curator:
“In handling these pieces, exhibit visitors are invited to feel what the artists felt when creating. Here we are made conscious of the double meaning of feeling: both in terms of touch but also in terms of emotion. Much of the work is whimsical and playful, but many pieces elicit other emotions. They are meditative, mysterious, even mournful. And this direct interaction releases other sensory qualities. The work chimes, rattles, purrs, emits music and poetry. This exhibit disrupts the typical temporality of an art exhibit. Supposedly the eye can take in an entire image at a glance, while touch requires a prolonged encounter. Visitors to this exhibit are encouraged to take their time, to take time with each piece to discover everything it has to offer." (Georgina Kleege, Please Touch the Art Juror and Curator)
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Opening Reception & Panel Discussion
Join us for the Please Touch the Art opening reception and panel discussion, June 6, 5:30-8:30pm! Experience the exhibition, touch the art, meet the artists, and take part in a panel discussion about our exhibition and accessibility in the arts.
Georgina Kleege, Curator of Please Touch the Art & Professor of English and Disabilities Studies at UC Berkeley
Sarah Stewart - Art Education Teacher, Envision, Inc (a not-for-profit that seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals with vision loss in Wichita, KS)
Ronit Minchom - Accessibility Coordinator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Maryan Amaral - Please Touch the Art Artist and Founder and Director of Aero Inc (an integrated abilities dance company in Newton, MA)
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Please Touch the Art is funded in part by Sasaki Foundation, Watertown Commission on Disability, and Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About Mass Humanities:
Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy, now simply known as Mass Humanities, was established in 1974 as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and is an independent programming and grant-making organization that receives support from the NEH and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as private sources.
Learn more: http://www.masshumanities.org
About Sasaki Foundation:
The Sasaki Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization committed to empowering communities by tackling the issue of inequity in design. The Foundation works with communities, government, practitioners, and others to support research and programs that diversify the voices involved in discussing the built environment.
Learn more: https://www.sasakifoundation.org/