The Arts Barn teaches students about Braille Art

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(WBRE/ WYOU)- Most artwork requires eyesight to experience, but a Cuban artist has created work that even the blind can appreciate. 

Students in Schuylkill County learned to see art pieces through their fingertips.

Blindfolded, kindergartner Molly Watkins of Blue Mountain Elementary East, used her fingers to figure out the picture  in this art piece.

“I felt it, and it felt like a human,” Watkins said.

 The Arts Barn, an art gallery and non-profit education center, brought their special exhibit, “The Braille Art of Kendra Pineda Mesa” to the Blue Mountain Elementary East classrooms in Orwigsburg. 

“I closed my eyes and I felt it. And it felt pretty cool,” 5th grader, Charlotte Backman said.

 Pineda Mesa is a Cuban artist who creates braille art using aluminum and other scrap materials. 

“I was thinking, ‘I can’t solve this. I can’t do this,’ ” 5th grader, Sean Gaddy said.

Gaddy was another student who was blindfolded. His piece wasn’t so easy to decipher. 

“It’s a good chance for them to see how difficult it is to be in that world,” Brenda Binns, artist and educator for The Arts Barn said.

There are a mix of hidden messages in both English and Spanish and letters from the alphabet in her art pieces. 

Students learned how to write their own names in braille.

This is how you read my name in braille. You start off by writing it backwards, so that when you punch it, it reads forward.

Opening students eyes to the braille writings that may have been in front of them all along, but in a whole new light.

“A lot of kids are not exposed to people who cannot see.  It’s opening a world of disabilities to kids and another form of art that they may have not seen before,” Deborah Cooper, CEO of The Arts Barn said.

The Arts Barn says they would like to hold as many lessons as possible to people of all ages.

The Arts Barn is holding a reception for the special exhibit tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. 


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