How to See Art with Your Eyes Closed

In the Family Experiences department here at the DMA, we are all so excited about having John Bramblitt here to help us to celebrate Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month that we have planned most of our classes in partnership with John. This past Saturday was no exception! We had a great time using our senses to imagine things that we were not able to see during a Family Workshop with John.

John Bramblitt leading a Family Workshop in the Barrel Vault.

We began in the newly opened exhibition Re-Seeing the Contemporary: Selected from the Collection in the Barrel Vault of the Museum. Kids took turns reaching into a double-sided box to feel an object that they couldn’t see while John felt the same object on the other side of the box. Both John and the children were tasked with describing the mystery object to everyone so that the group could try and guess the object.

It feels like a prickly pear!

It is round, but also pointy...



It feels hard and cold.

When everyone had the chance to warm-up their describing skills, we moved on to exploring works of art with more than just our eyes. A member of each family group  picked one of the large, colorful, abstract works to describe to their family members. Here’s the catch – the family members had to draw the work of art based only on the  description, they couldn’t look at the work and many didn’t even know which of the works had been chosen!

A family working on drawing and describing.

John joins a family to sketch a work of art based on description.

This dad works on his sketch based on the description and close looking of his daughter.

The team shows off their finished drawing.

 After families found the works of art in the gallery that they sketched, we headed to the Art Studio where John talked with everyone about his artwork. We learned about his new sculptural works and had the chance to ask him questions about his process before everyone started their own art project.

Sightless sculpting in the studio.

Each child chose an object to sculpt and we studied the objects by looking closly and feeling the texture of the object. Some of the kids were brave enough to put on a blindfold before using clay to sculpt their chosen objects.

Check out the spider!

 We are having so much fun with John this October! There are still programs happening this month for Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month and we hope that you can join us. For information about the Art Beyond Sight programs at the DMA, please click here.

Posted by: Amanda


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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, DMA Programs, In the galleries, Parents

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