Can Blind People Create Art?

‘What is art?’ is a question often asked. The concept of art in itself is so artistically and beautifully abstract that instead of having a clear definition, it begs for questions and infinite answers. In truth, every individual possesses a different understanding of what art is composed of, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll just say art is a unique personal expression manifested in a physical form (i.e. a painting, sculpture). In a way, it would be accurate to say that art is a reflection of human observation and reaction- but what if you couldn’t observe everything that everyone else is observing? Many would gasp if they were told that blind individuals can create art, I mean, truthfully it’s a struggle to even attempt drawing a straight line while seeing it. Nevertheless, art is a force that surpasses obstacles, teaching us that when one of the senses is down, another steps up to the plate.

People say that when one loses one of the five senses, the four remaining become a thousand times more acute. Well, that’s how art for blind people works; because their sight is gone, these people rely solely on touch in order to paint and create masterpieces. Think of how the sightless visualize others, they touch their face don’t they? Although they can’t picture exactly how the object or person looks, they can use their touch to develop a sense of dimension and of shapes to create an outline of the bone structure and overall appearance. You’d be surprised at how similar certain aspects of drawings are between people with and without sight.

So, the answer is yes. The blind can in fact create art. However there are certain aspects to consider before you consider this to be magic- it is magic, don’t get me wrong, the unmeasurable hope, beauty, and empowerment that these artists and their art stand for is magical, but the fact that they can paint and sculpt is very believable. The bottom line is that most blind individuals aren’t born blind, which means that at some point they have been able to witness the world as it is, even if their sight was limited (this just means they focused more on lighting, shadowing and forms). With even just a slight sense of knowledge, the sightless can encounter a starting point for their creations. Furthermore, the vast advancements in technology the world has witnessed allow for the blind to experience and very accurately visualize paintings and symbols with the use of 3D. By getting their inspiration and guidelines from other artwork, these artists are able to mold their expressions into a physical form more smoothly and easily. Also, these fellas could totally attend an art class and absorb the audio; being blind doesn’t impair them from learning. Next time you’re in the mood for some art-seeing check out some pieces by professional blind artists, you’d be surprised at how vivid their pictures are.

Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler

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