[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Blessing Vera, Vatican Museum, photography, architect, Silhouette Artist, commercial

Lisa Yayla fnugg at online.no
Tue Jul 19 11:20:53 UTC 2011

The half blind painter was born 1980 in the dusted satellite town, 26km 
outside Harare (Zimbabwe, Southern Africa).
He lost one eye at 18 months.
His Grandma raised him in Chitungwiza and at the age of 17 he spread his 
wings to find the meaning of life, as he saw it through one eye.
Working for a security company in his teens, he observed many 
interesting facets of everyda...y life and began to take a serious 
interest in capturing his observations in the form of drawings.
In 1998 his talent overcome him and he enrolled at the National Gallery 
of Zimbabwe were he studied art. The B.A.T. (British American Tobacco) 
funded his studies until end 1999 at which point BAT withdraw because of 
political instability.
1999 - Young Artists Exhibition, Gallery Delta, Zimbabwe
2000 - Young Artists Exhibition, Gallery Delta, Zimbabwe
1999 - Final year exhibition, (National gallery Zimbabwe)
2003 - One man exhibition (The heath, S.A,)
2005 - Crossroads exhibition (Peter Gallery SA)
2005 - Exhibit at Chris Tugwell Gallery SA
BLESSING’s art is primarily to be found at various galleries on the 
famous South African Garden Route, Western Cape. BLESSINGS works of art 
has found its way all over the world.
He currently works on commissions by various private art collectors.


Lytro is Coming!
The greatest technological invention for
visually impaired photographers
since autfocusing cameras?
Shoot first, focus later technology!


think I have sent this once before but sending again - slide show with 
great pictures and wonderful commentary

Audio slideshow: Photography by blind people


Blind builder
After his eyesight was snatched away from him by an illness, an 
architect channels his passion and his knowledge to a crusade that now 
benefits persons with disabilities.
MANILA, Philippines — Professions in the field of fine arts like 
architecture, interior design, industrial design, and advertising 
require a lot of visual perspective, from conceptualizing to actual 
drawing and planning.
This is why it is almost impossible for visually-impaired individuals to 
engage in these professions.
But once in a while, there is always someone who stands out to be an 
exception to the rule.
Love for architecture
Jaime Silva is an architect. He is also blind who may not be designing 
houses or buildings right now, but still largely contributes to the 
profession he is most passionate about.
A member of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Silva, 
chairman of the organization’s Accessibility Committee was recently 
awarded Outstanding Professional of 2011 by the Professional Regulation 
Commission (PRC).
Silva was recognized for his efforts in advocating for the Accessibility 
Silva and his twin brother Tomas was born with congenital glaucoma, a 
condition that damages the optic nerves and often leads to blindness. 
His glaucoma was worse than his brother’s and over the years, Silva's 
sight deteriorated.
But even though his eyesight was slowly fading away, Silva was not 
discouraged to take up Architecture in college. His love for this fine 
art blossomed when, as a young boy, he would watch the construction of 
houses in their community with much fascination. He knew from then on 
that architecture was his dream profession.
“I’m lucky that my parents allowed me to take up Architecture despite my 
poor eyesight. They knew that I really liked it. If you don’t go for 
your passion and your dreams, you’ll regret it that’s why I pursued it,” 
the 61-year-old architect shares.
In college at the Mapua Institute of Technology, Silva’s eyesight 
continued to worsen. He would wear extraordinarily thick eyeglasses to 
help him through the course. He was also often bothered by constant 
headaches, a common symptom of glaucoma.
Nevertheless, Silva graduated and eventually passed the board exams for 
architecture. He designed his first project, a small resort in Batangas, 
afterwhich he was hired by a big architecture firm to be part of many 
projects such as building residential houses in exclusive subdivisions, 
hotels, and other structures. He also started building his own family at 
this point.
The Crocker Art Museum presents “The Ultra Sensory Tour” for visually 
impaired individuals on April 15 at 3 p.m. Listen to rich descriptions, 
smell spices, and touch different fabrics during a multi-sensory tour of 
the museum’s permanent collection. This program is recommended for 
visitors who are blind or partially sighted. Free with museum admission.

Visually impaired student to stage photographic exhibition

AN AYRSHIRE woman who suffers from a serious visual impairment is 
staging a photographic exhibition to illustrate how she sees the world.
Student Linda Howard, 38, has no central vision as she suffers from a 
rare form of macular degenerative disease known as punctate inner 
choroidopathy, PIC.
But she is determined to make people aware of how she sees the world so 
Linda borrowed a friend’s camera to take snapshots of how the world 
looks through her eyes and the resulting pictures will be on show at her 
exhibition to run at Irvine’s Harbour Arts Centre gallery from April 1 
to April 17.

The movies are descriptive - audio technology offers detailed narration 
of programming and movies for the blind or visually impaired - and the 
fashion shows consist of students who come into the Lackawanna Branch of 
the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind to help entertain.

Commercial photographers helping the disadvantaged
March 12, 2011
A visually impaired photographer features in a brand new TV 
advertisement for the latest Nokia camera phone. Gary Waite, a 
photographer from Croydon stars in the advertisement as he wanders 
around Blackpool taking photos with the camera phone. Waite unearthed 
his talent for photography with the help of charity PhotoVoice. 
PhotoVoice was set up to empower disadvantaged communities across the UK 
and the world through photography. The charity works with amateur and 
commercial photographers from Leeds to Lebanon on various projects that 
highlight and capture the plight of disadvantaged communities.
Waite participated in the Sights Unseen project for the charity teaching 
visually impaired and blind people sensory photography techniques. Waite 

“I’ve been taught to use my other senses to take pictures.
“For instance, hearing and smelling the sea air and the sound of the 
roller coaster then, like every photographer, taking as many shots as 

PhotoVision’s project manager Matt Daw commented on the power of the 
Nokia commercial:

“[It] shows that as well as finding photography enjoyable and rewarding, 
blind and partially sighted people can take fantastic photographs and 
share their unique perspective on the world with others.”

Daw added:

“Gary, and other blind and partially sighted people, experience the 
world in no less vivid detail than anyone else; it is just that senses 
other than sight naturally take precedent.”

PhotoVision also works with commercial photographers from Leeds and 
around the UK, who offer their support, be it through supplying 
products, sharing their knowledge or using them for as their 
organisation’s charity of the year.
Blind photographer star of TV ad filmed in Blackpool Gary Waite said he 
used his hearing to time the roller coaster shot

Audio slideshow: Photography by blind people

A blind photographer is the star subject of a new TV advert for a mobile 
phone company filmed in Blackpool.

The commercial showcases Croydon photographer Gary Waite capturing the 
resort in its glory using a Nokia camera phone.

He said: "I've been taught to use my other senses to take pictures.

"For instance, hearing and smelling the sea air and the sound of the 
roller coaster then, like every photographer, taking as many shots as 

The 49-year-old, who lost his eyesight 10 years ago due to a hereditary 
eye disorder retinitis pigmentosa, has only recently discovered his 
talent for taking pictures.
IPhone app helps the blind identify US bank notes
US software vendor Ipplex has launched an iPhone application that helps 
blind and visually impaired Americans identify bank notes.

LookTel Money Reader helps the visually impaired count their money

Arts grants celebrate the creative spirit
The Council recently received a project grant from the Dane County 
Cultural Affairs Commission.
According to Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, “These grants are an 
opportunity to showcase the work of the many creative, artistic minds in 
our county while celebrating everything that makes our communities great.”
The Council’s project title is “Creative Expressions from Inner Vision.” 
Participating artists are Judith Rasmussen (read related interview 
below), Janis Senungetuk and Mary Mesman. The grant provides money for 
them to purchase material to create new works that will be shared with 
the broader community. Judith is a potter. Janis uses digital 
photography and printing techniques to create beautiful portraits of 
flowers, and Mary works in collage.
“Creative Expressions from Inner Vision pays tribute to artwork created 
by visually impaired artists and encourages children with visual 
impairments to engage in the arts. This is a collaborative project of 
the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, Madison 
Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and Edgewood College.”
On April 7, Janis, Judith and Mary will take a sample of their artwork 
to MMSD’s Vision Program’s Spring Potluck for an evening of sharing and 
creating. They will discuss why they are passionate about art and how 
they overcame the challenge of vision loss to pursue their creative 
dreams. A few blind or visually impaired students will show samples of 
their artwork, too. Students attending the event will be invited to 
create art at an activity station directed by Edgewood College Professor 
Janice Havlena and her art therapy students.
On Friday, May 6, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the Council will host an opening 
artists’ reception.
Save The Date!
Artists participating in the grant will present a gallery talk and 
invite questions. Their exhibit runs from May 6 through July 1, 2011.
This project is supported by the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission 
with additional funds from the Overture Foundation, the Pleasant T. 
Rowland Foundation and the Alliant Energy Foundation.
Vatican Museums offer hands-on approach to art for the blind, deaf

A corner of a sarcophagus is seen in the pre-Christian and early 
Christian art and artifacts display at the Vatican Museums. The Museums 
have started special tours for the deaf and blind, offering a 
multi-sensory experience of some of its most famous works.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican Museums have launched special tours 
for the deaf and blind.

The two-hour tours are free to the hearing- and visually impaired and 
seek to offer a multi-sensory experience of some of the Museums' most 
famous works.

The initiative also marks the first opportunity for the deaf in Italy to 
receive training and work in a museum as an experienced guide rather 
than solely as an interpreter, said speakers at a news conference March 1.

Seven women, five of whom are deaf, received specialized training in art 
history and archaeology at the Museums so they could work as 
professional guides for the new tour for the deaf.

One of the new deaf guides, who introduced herself as "Anna," said 
through an interpreter that she and her new co-workers were happy the 
new opportunity to work as a professional museum guide "happened at the 
Vatican Museums."

The tour for the deaf includes stops in the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine 
Chapel, and visits to the classical statues collection. The guides are 
fluent in a number of sign languages, including British and French sign 

The itinerary for the blind and visually impaired includes a blend of 
sensory experiences to help the person appreciate a work of art "without 
making them wish they could see," said Isabella Salandri, who is in 
charge of the new tours.

For example, to examine Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio's "Deposition 
 From the Cross," visitors first listen to a passage from the Bible 
explaining the scene in which Christ is taken down from the cross and 
readied for burial.

Then they listen to a Gregorian chant whose lyrics are connected with 
the biblical event and hear a brief account of the artist's life.

One by one, each visitor's hands are then placed on a resin bas relief 
of the scene in the painting of Nicodemus and John laying Christ on a 
stone while Mary and other women look on.

Helping guide the person's hands across every detail of the bas relief 
"lasts a long time," Salandri said, "because it's like a puzzle; they 
need to create a mental picture" of how the many faces and limbs, 
including Christ's limp body, are arranged.

Visitors then feel real items depicted in the painting such as the thick 
velvety leaves of a common mullein herbal plant and a linen shroud that 
smells of myrrh and aloe, the same herbs used in burial cloths at the time.

Sara di Luca, a restorer at the Museums, said she used the same 
materials and techniques Caravaggio used in his masterpiece to make a 
sample canvas and oil painting of a section of the "Deposition."

She said she used similar brushes and thickness of paints in her sample 
piece so that visitors could touch the copy and feel the same kind of 
rough canvas, trace the brushstrokes, and smell the oil medium of the 
paint just as Caravaggio would have used.

Di Luca also made a sample fresco of Melozzo da Forli's "Angel With 
Lute" to give visitors a similar sensation of feeling and smelling how 
the design and medium are represented.

Visitors also receive a booklet written in Braille and bold large print; 
it includes raised dots tracing the outline of both Caravaggio and 
Melozzo's two works.


Creative Spirit Symposium Explores Interaction Between Art and Music for 
Artists with Visual Disabilities

DOYLESTOWN, PA– The James A. Michener Art Museum's Education Outreach 
and Diversity Department hosts the seventh annual Creative Spirit 
Symposium for Artists with Visual Disabilities on Sunday, April 3, 1 to 
4 pm. This year’s program will explore the interaction between art and 
music and will introduce symposium attendees and those with visual or 
hearing impairments to this unique relationship.....
The distinguished panel will be moderated by Dr. Goldberg. Panelists 
include Carol Saylor, a painter who has gradually turned to sculpture 
during about 25 years of progressive deafness and blindness; Ashby 
Saunders, a legally blind sculptor, who will focus on the important role 
music plays in his life and work; and Sara Steele, artist and activist, 
who will explore the intersections of color, rhythm and form through 


Sight of Emotion
Interation through art
Master Scissor Artist In Town
Silhouette Artist Creates Original Art Out Of Paper

Read more: http://www.kitv.com/news/28573032/detail.html#ixzz1SY6h7qwP

HONOLULU -- It's a classic art form that's gaining in popularity with 
the help of master scissor artist Karl Johnson, who is in town.His work 
has been featured in dozens of national magazines and he's created 
silhouettes for thousands of people, including celebrities Tom Cruise, 
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez.But kids at the Children's 
Discovery Center were the stars on Saturday.In 90 seconds, Karl Johnson 
is able to turn a simple piece of paper into a work of art."All of a 
sudden, you see him doing all of these movements and it comes out and it 
looks like your child. I mean, it really is cool," said John Wacker, 
father of two young girls who sat for a silhouette portrait with 
Johnson.Johnson is a third generation silhouette artist. He learned the 
craft at 10 years old and still uses the German steel surgical scissors 
his father once owned."I got his old scissors that he was throwing away 
and I just started doing this as a hobby. I just took to it like a fish 
to water because of the vision thing," Johnson said.Johnson was born 
blind in his left eye. He judges distance and shape by a person's shadow.


Karl took to this unusual art form extremely well. Something he 
attributes, in part, to having vision in only one eye. Karl was born 
being able to see only from his right eye. Not having binocular vision 
forces Karl to judge the distance and shape of an object by examining 
its shadow. This allows Karl to capture an image in shadow in an uncanny 

Karl's work hangs in the homes of many Hollywood notables including 
Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Hilary Duff, Tom Cruise & 
Katie Holmes, Drew Barrymore and many others. He was commissioned by 
Marc Anthony to create silhouettes of Jennifer Lopez for her 40th 
Birthday Party. Karl also appeared in person at the party to cut 
silhouettes for the guests. Most recently Karl created silhouettes for 
the guests at Reese Witherspoon's wedding.

More information about the Art_Beyond_Sight_Educators mailing list