Feeling art: ArtPrize entry designed for the blind

5:00 PM, Sep 27, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Since ArtPrize was founded in 2009, artists have catered to people who can see their work. That changed this year, thanks to two Grand Rapids artists; they want the blind and deaf to see the beauty of art.

The exhibit is called "Word," and it is on display on the third floor of the B.O.B. Seven poets have turned their stories into brail, with the help of Michigan State. The artists say they're hearing rewarding stories of people who are finally experiencing ArtPrize for the first time.

"It makes me feel awesome," says nine-year-old Jules Hoogland, who is blind.

"The beauty of words in general are, between sign language, between brail, between captioning words are an art form," said Marcel Price."

Poets Price and Mitch Burns wanted to capture that art, which they say has never been at ArtPrize before.

In years past, Burns said he saw a lot of blind and deaf people missing out on the ArtPrize experience. So he and Price collaborated with five other artists, each creating a board with 17 photos telling a personal story through six quotes.

"It's cool that I can feel everything here," said Jules, as she read the installation through brail.

Her experience inspired Burns by way of a tattoo. She just met him a few days ago and by Wednesday, he put her name in permanent ink on his finger.

"I thought in the end we'd be helping her and we did, we get to give her experience, but she really changed me," said Burns.

He wants to turn a page in his writing style; and find a way to share words with the blind community. "I put it on my writing hand, so when I'm writing everyday I get to see it-- that daily reminder of what I'm doing it for," said Burns. 

Burns and Price ask people to email them with their stories. 




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