Diversity and inclusion are core values of Tulsa Community College (TCC). To support the idea of inclusion, the TCC Center for Creativity organizes the “Please, Touch the Art” exhibition regularly. The exception was made only during the COVID pandemic when the college was offering distance learning and when students were not on campus.
The 2023 “Please, Touch the Art” show was displayed in August and September. While having a purpose to make art accessible for blind or visually impaired visitors, the exhibit invited everybody to come and experience art via touch, sound, smell, taste, and sight.
The presented artworks were bizarre in the choice of materials and shapes. An art student Hannah Phillips made a square, 80-pound piece painting from crayons and wax. She let the medium run down the canvas or board, which created a sticky-on-touch and wax-smelling texture.
In the artist’s statement, Phillips wrote “This piece is intended to connect the audience to their childhood. The crayons provoke the viewer’s sense of smell, which is one of our strongest senses connected to memory.”
An artist from Texas, John Bramblitt, skillfully combined acrylics and resin in his paintings. One of the collages is named “Looking at You.” The artwork depicts a human’s face wearing huge round glasses made from clear resin. The bright colors of this and the other artist’s paintings amaze viewers even more when someone learns that Bramblitt is blind. He lost his vision in 2001, and it was at this time when Bramblitt started to paint. The artist invented a system to distinguish colors by adding different textures in paints. Bramblitt’s unusual talent has been highlighted in The New York Times and on ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, and Discovery Channel.
Another TCC student, Marissa Henry, crocheted her artwork, “The Nicest Jellyfish.” It is a three-dimensional picture of the sea creature, where the body of the jellyfish is stuffed, and the tentacles hang down, curve, and move. White and colorful corals and sea grasses decorate the left and right sides of the dark blue crocheted canvas to balance the sea world composition.
“Fiber arts are meant to be touched and felt,” said Henry in her statement.
Several other local and guest artists participated in the “Please, Touch the Art” exhibition this year. For more information about the artists’ works and backgrounds, contact Cindy Barton, TCC Center for Creativity program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-595-7339.
While having a purpose to make art accessible for blind or visually impaired visitors, the exhibit “Please, Touch the Art” invited everybody to come and experience art via touch, sound, smell, taste, and sight. (Video by Tatyana Nyborg)
The 2023 “Please, Touch the Art” show was displayed in August and September at TCC Center for Creativity. (Video by Tatyana Nyborg)