Touch, feel, appreciate! Art for everyone.

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The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft has partnered with the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Kentucky School for the Blind to contract local artists to work with the students for the 07-08 school year. The partnership will include projects in 5 different art mediums, the first completed segment being a stone carving project, led by artists Al and Penny Nelson.

Artist Cathy Shepherd began the series of classes by teaching the students to create drawings based on their lives at KSB. The students illustrated many activities, including playing sports, studying various subjects and living in the dormitory. After these drawings were transferred to limestone, Al and Penny Nelson taught the students to carve them into the stone with hammers and chisels.

This partnership began when John Roberts, Director of Instruction for KSB, approached KMAC about contracting local, professional artists to work with students in grades K-5, 8 and 11 during the 07-08 school year. Other projects that will be completed in this school year include printmaking with Cathy Shepherd, ceramics with Wayne Ferguson, fiber arts with Leanne McDonald and puppetry with Jess Myers.

“We always want to do something unique for the students each year that relates to art, and we love to collaborate with others in our community,” said Roberts. “When we heard about the Museum’s Artist-in-Residency program, it sounded like a great fit.”

The challenge put before the artists was to completely reexamine not only how they taught the students to create the art, but how they taught the students to experience the art as well.

“Most people enjoy art by looking at it,” explains Roberts, “but since these children are visually impaired and some completely blind, they learned to appreciate art in other ways, like by touching it.”

KMAC’s Artist-in-Residence program places professional artists in elementary, middle, and high schools to provide students with an in-depth, a hands-on art experience. For additional information about KMAC's in school programs, contact Director of Education, Dane Waters at 502-589-0102 or danewaters@kentuckyarts.org

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