[NFB-NM] Artistic vision without vision: Blind artist makes jewelry

Tonia Trapp nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com
Sun Aug 12 22:12:47 UTC 2018

Hello All,


Our very own Carlos Sanchez is featured in the Rio Rancho Observer this
weekend in a story about his jewelry-making business. Here is a link to the
article online, and below that is the article itself.





Artistic vision without vision: Blind artist makes jewelry 

By Stephen Montoya 

Assistant editor 

Aug 11, 2018 Updated Aug 11, 2018


Blind artist and jewelry maker Carlos Sanchez stands inside of the Galeria
de Corrales. Sanchez came from not having a job to discovering a career and

now is part owner of the galleria. 


CORRALES - Every artist has a signature that defines his or her vision and
interpretation of the surrounding world. What makes jewelry maker Carlos

work unique is he has never really seen a single piece he has created.


That's right: Sanchez is blind, and although he doesn't have the one thing
many people would think is essential to be an artist, sight, he has pushed

normal conventions to become a success.


Sanchez is the founder of Legally Blind Artistry and member of the Galeria
de Corrales at 3923 Corrales Road.


Although he is always on the move to one event or another, Sanchez sat down
with the Observer to talk about his life's journey in a world many said

not be possible.


"My eyes weren't the best when I was younger but I could see a bit more
then," Sanchez said. "I didn't know I had a problem, because I wasn't
allowed to

leave the yard and when it was dark, I was in bed."


Sanchez didn't realize it at the time, but he was born with an undiagnosed
degenerative eye disease that was passed on to him from his mother, who had

the same symptoms.


"We have RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa)," he said. "I wasn't diagnosed until I
was 33 because I kept complaining about how hard it was to drive."


Sanchez said his dad told him to get his eyes checked right away to see if
his road problems stemmed from his vision or lack thereof.


"The minute the eye doctor came back with the results, he looked at me and
said I had no business behind the wheel of a car," Sanchez said with a

"Since then I have had to rely on others to get me around."


Shortly after his eye diagnosis, Sanchez began a new chapter in his life by
attending the school for the blind.


"I had to relearn how to function on a daily basis at this point because we
had to do everything blindfolded," Sanchez said.


Image: Sanchez made these bracelets, on display at the cooperative gallery.


A normal morning of blind school, he said, would begin with cane training,
then brail, a physical education class and then lunch.


"After we were done with lunch, we had a brief period where we could take
off our blindfolds but then we had to put them back on for practical

training," he said.


Sanchez can see light and some shapes, but he cannot see detail, even with
strong prescription glasses, he said.


"I had to learn how to find the escalator at a mall, and navigate a
crosswalk on a busy street all by myself to get used to my condition," he
said. "Every

day it was a lesson on building skills to survive without sight."


Sanchez's next journey would take him in the unlikely direction of art after
a teacher turned mentor took the time to teach him how to create art by


"My teacher, besides my mother and grandfather who were both artists, was
Phil Loredo and he took the time to teach me how to feel art, not just with

hands but with my mind," Sanchez said.


Loredo would set up all of the tools Sanchez had to master in the same spots
for him find each time.


"I began to get a rhythm and a routine," he said. "When you are blind,
routines are essential for you to find your way around. Phil was great about

me gain my confidence and soon I was creating jewelry."


Sanchez said he sold out at his first show in Albuquerque with orders for
more jewelry from customers he had just met.


"This was the biggest boost for me, because Phil, who was way better than me
and my mentor, said he had never sold out with orders in all of his years

as a jewelry maker," Sanchez said humbly. "I knew right then I was on to


Still reeling from his mother's passing in March, Sanchez said he has a
vision to start his own gallery in the small town of Rebera, N.M., just

of Las Vegas.


"It has been hard with my mother gone, but I know she is still with me and
now I feel like I am ready to move in that direction," he said. "I want a

where the blind can touch the items for sale and chronicle my family's rich
history. The blind can lead the blind, believe me."


For more information on Legally Blind Artistry, go to 

Legallyblindartistry at gmail.com

or call 771-1338.



Tonia Trapp, secretary

National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico

nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com



Live the life you want.


The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends
who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. Every day we work
together to help blind people live the lives they want.


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