An accessible art exhibit is coming to MSU’s Broad Art Lab April 8-13 and will feature touchable and multisensory art made by MSU students and Lansing and East Lansing community members, including artists who identify on the disability spectrum.
The event is planned to be as inclusive and accessible as possible by incorporating such elements as sensory-friendly hours, touchable art, braille placards, audio versions of all text, and exhibiting pieces at appropriate heights for people in wheelchairs.
The theme of the Accessible Art Event is Everyday, which refers to what is routine, typical, or ordinary; yet what is ordinary to some is profoundly alienating to others. How can one describe the everyday as an all-inclusive term when every person is different?
In order to achieve inclusion and maximum accessibility in all places, spaces, and things, we must render the familiar strange and reimagine what “everyday” means. Further, how can everyday be communicated within artistic spaces, museums, and cultural institutions? The Accessible Art Event aims to explore the “everyday” through the practice of art. Continuing our work in previous years, the event is tasked with the idea of merging accessibility with art.
The DHLC team (Soohyun Cho, Jessica Kane, Alex Babbitt, Sarah Geist, June Oh, Tori Hopper, and Lauren Powell) coordinated with Caitlin Cornell, a Ph.D. student in Second Language Studies who served as the graduate representative on the planning committee of the 2018 Accessible Learning Conference as well as the Broad Art Lab. Cornell liaised between the two entities to run the accessible exhibit in conjunction with the ALC’s new endeavor: “Accessibility Week.”
In December 2018, Exceptions journal and the DHLC put together an exhibit focused on reimagining the art museum as an inclusive space, and featuring both pieces from the 2017 Sense of Self event as well as new pieces, like a fidget quilt, which have a number of textures and objects sewn into them for dementia patients who tend to be restless.
This is the third year the DHLC; Exceptions; Department of English; Department of Art, Art History, and Design; and the RCPD have collaborated to organize an Accessible Art event. The opening night is Monday, April 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. Other events include:
- Accessible Yoga – Tuesday, April 9, from 3 to 4 p.m.
- Interactive Art (finger painting) – Wednesday, April 10, from 12 to 4 p.m.
- Sensory-Friendly hours are Friday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.