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Yesterday I got a new tattoo: it's a vine of ivy leaves that curl around my right wrist. I feel very lucky that the artist who did the tattoo was Victor, at Good Faith Tattoo. He took my design idea of an ivy vine wrapping around my list and literally made it blossom out into something magical. Today the swelling went down a bit, though the actual tattoo design is still raised enough that I can braille it.

You can see picks of my tattoo, along with pics of Victor's mermaid art and links to Good Faith Tattoo, at Alexx's journal
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Gallery Talk with Roberto Rosa

When: Friday, May 11, 2pm
Where: Institute Archives (14N-118)

In conjunction with MIT Libraries'
Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility exhibition,
Roberto Rosa from
Serpentino Stained Glass
will discuss stained glass art and artists, and his work in the restoration and conservation of historic stained glass.

Rosa has restored windows in some of America’s most prominent buildings including the Massachusetts State House and Trinity Church in Boston. Most recently, he was the chief conservator for thirteen opalescent glass windows at Salve Regina University in Newport RI, designed by John La Farge.

After Rosa’s talk there will be time for questions and viewing the exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.
For more information, please contact:
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Kes: apologies for the wonky formatting, I'm too zombified today to fix the margins.

Hoping That Art Helps With Healing
Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
Published: March 14, 2012

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOSTON, inside this city’s warren of top-notch hospitals, is a temple of
drawing patients and families for some of the country’s best medical care. But it is probably not where they come expecting to find technical art instruction.

On a recent afternoon, however, Jason Springer, an educator from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was here to provide just that, leading a group of patients
and their visitors in the making of Chinese lanterns.

“So, this is your brush, this is your inkwell, this is your ink stick,” said Mr. Springer, indicating sticks of sumo ink scattered across three tables in
the hospital’s patient recreation center. “The more you rub it, the darker the ink is going to be.”

Behind Mr. Springer, a projector showed images of Chinese and Japanese brush paintings from the museum’s extensive collection of Asian art. “Take some inspiration
from the mountains and the trees,” he said.
continued below cut )
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By Tom Jacobs

block quote start
A newly published study
finds people are more likely to be moved and intrigued by abstract paintings if they have just experienced a good scare. This suggests the allure of art may be “a byproduct of one’s tendency to be alarmed by such environmental features as novelty, ambiguity, and the fantastic,” argues lead author Kendall Eskine, a research psychologist at Loyola University New Orleans.

....Their study was inspired by 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke,
who argued there is a strong link between fear and our experience of the sublime. To test this thesis, the researchers conducted an experiment featuring 85 Brooklyn College students.

....“Fear was the only factor found to significantly increase sublime feelings,” the researchers report. Having just been jolted by that frightening film clip
“resulted in significantly higher sublime scores than all other conditions, which did not differ significantly from each other.”

This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, according to Eskine and his colleagues, Natalie Kacinik and Jesse Prinz.

“At its core, fear is an emotional mechanism that increases survival chances by motivating fight, flight, or freezing responses to threatening situations,” they write. “Fear seizes one’s attention, halts current plans, and increases vigilance.”

As they point out, this dynamic is echoed in Burke’s description of the
experience of the sublime,
which the philosopher called “that state of the soul in which all its motions are suspended.”
“The capacity of a work of art to grab our interest and attention, to remove us from daily life, may stem from its ability to trigger our evolved mechanisms
for coping with danger,” the researchers conclude.
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Kes: for instance, are they meandering, spiraling, S-shaped, serpentine, crescent-shaped, etc? A description of the shade of color would be appreciated also.
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Kes: I'm hoping to find someone to go to this with me.

Wednesday, October 5th

“Is Belief More Important Than Perception to Blind Students Studying Fine Art?”
12:00pm at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Simon Hayhoe will present a lecture on visual culture and blindness at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Appian Way in Cambridge. Contact Scott Ruescher in the AIE program at for the exact location and other information.

“How the Blind View Art”
6pm at the Open Door Gallery
Simon Hayhoe, will introduce his research project being conducted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Panel Discussion: Reactions to the current gallery show, Who is a Deaf artist?, featuring the work of Jiayi Zhou with audio description by Vince Lombardi. Preview the show at

Janet LaBreck, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Bill Henderson, retired Boston Public School principal
Kim Charlson, director of the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library
Carl Richardson, Massachusetts State House ADA Coordinator.

Simon Hayhoe, from the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics, is currently a Fulbright Fellow undertaking research on visually impaired people's understanding of exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the exhibits presented in their database of art works online. He wrote the monograph, Arts, Culture and Blindness and the autobiographical book, Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness.
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Kes: but of course, it has no descriptive track, so I got kind of bored listening to the New Agey music and didn't make it to the part with the two professors who discuss their work with blind people and cognition.

Posted to the Art Beyond Sight mailing list

Prof. John Kennedy sent this link a while back -sorry about the delay
in passing it on.

"Please let the accessibleimage community know about the Premiere of this documentary in Berlin, Tuesday May 12th
It focuses on Esref Armagan with interviews of Pascual-Leone of Harvard and Kennedy of Toronto among others."
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The Washington Post has an article on how to play chords on the Google guitar

also, the Google Les Paul guitar will be archived with other notable Google Doodles

As I mentioned in a post from yesterday, you can also play notes by typing words into the first edit field. I like the sound of "flying dragons," Richard Thompson's last name, and this line from an e.e. cummings poem: "What if a much of a witch of a wind."
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This looks pretty awesome and, checking out the activities
I can say right now that the best studio name is Buckaroo Bonsai, although my favorite-sounding activity is the ekfrastic poetry class (ekfrastic poetry is poetry which describes a work of art or uses a work of art as its inspiration--there is a John Hollander book which pairs art works with poems based upon those works, although I'm zoning on the title right now).
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Kes: Well, darn--I missed it, but now I will have to try to find a script because really: giant rolling eyeball!!!

"Now Eye See You, Now Eye Don't"

A visual artist goes blind in this darkly comic production about art, vision, and the healthcare industry. Complete with dancing doctors, a giant rolling eyeball and other visual effects, this original production by Off-Leash Area and celebrated local playwright Dominic Orlando is a humorous and universal story of loss, dignity and hope not to be missed! Performances run April 28, 29, & 30 and May 1, 2, 5, 6 & 7 with a special Pay-What-You-Can performance on Monday, May 2nd. For reservations, call 612-724-7372. The Show: Now Eye See You, Now Eye Don't Created by Paul Herwig and Jennifer Ilse with Playwright D Location The Ritz Theater Studio Space Organized by Off-Leash Area Phone 612-724-7372 Email
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Alexx and I are off to see "Sleep No More" in NYC this evening, and "Play Dead" tomorrow.

Did you know it's Alfred Hitchcock Day?

How about a haunted house made from Legos?
The notes are really fascinating, as they get into the creator's ideas about texture over color and the doppleganger nature of abandoned houses.

And here is a NY Times article on the revived interest in Edward Gorey's art
with some comments re the unexpected popularity of the Gorey exhibit currently at the Boston Atheneum.

And I just ordered a copy of "Eurydice" by Sarah Ruhl, which is currently in rehearsal and set to open in a few weeks in Boston.
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I had thought that Bookshare had changed their policy regarding plays, as I have seen many show up in the collection in the past year or so, but this turns out to not be the case. I had submitted a copy of Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'N' Roll," and it was rejected because only plays which are donated by the publisher are accepted into the collection.

So, to my blind readers: if any of you would like to read this wonderful play which passionately illuminates the idea that culture is politics, leave a comment and, if I don't have your e-mail address already, send me an e-mail at
kestrell at livejournal dot com.
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Kes: I'm trying to find out if there will be any description provided for the visually and hearing impaired, but so far have not found contact info., science fiction, and spontaneous combustion--that sounds like good theatre to me.

Bellona, Destroyer of Cities  
A performance work by Jay Scheib

Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, After Samuel R. Delanyʼs Dhalgren, Adapted and Directed by Jay Scheib

Friday, May 13 and Saturday May 14,  7:30 pm
Sunday, May 15,  2:00 pm
Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston (
Tickets: For ticketing information, please visit:

MIT Professor Jay Scheib, named one of 25 artists who will shape the next 25 years of theater by American Theater Magazine, returns to the ICA stage with
a new work, based on Samuel R. Delany’s epic science fiction novel, Dhalgren.  Bellona is part two of Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems, Scheib’s trilogy
of multimedia performance works.

Bellona, a once illustrious city, has been decimated by a mysterious cataclysmic event, leaving it all but forgotten.  Its people try to understand why
buildings repeatedly burst into flames and city streets appear to rearrange themselves, citing race-related violence and a social experiment gone wrong.
 A parable of the dangers facing the modern American city, Bellona, Destroyer of Cities explores the shaping of space to express complex issues of race,
gender, and sexuality. The production combines passages from Delaney’s novel with original material and video and photography by Scheib and artist Carrie
Mae Weems.

Bellona, Destroyer of Cities is presented as part of Emerging America, the second annual theater festival, co-presented with American Repertory Theater
and the Huntington Theatre Company, launching the new American voices of tomorrow.
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Kes: This sounds so exciting that I may have to plan a trip to NYC to participate in this study.

Posted to the Art Beyond Sight mailing list:

Dr Simon Hayhoe, visiting academic in LSE's Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, has won a Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar Award to study blind and visually impaired people's understanding of paintings in galleries and on the web, as part of a visiting fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The research project, which will start in July 2011, intends to survey and interview English speaking people of all ages who are registered blind and who visit the Metropolitan, in order to discover:

* their strategies for conceptualising paintings
* the problems blind and visually impaired museum visitors encounter whilst visiting the Metropolitan
* whether blind and visually impaired museum visitors 'picture' images
* how blind and visually impaired museum visitors imagine paintings'
subjects and compositions
* what understanding blind and visually impaired museum visitors
have of visual concepts discussed in the composition of paintings,
and in particular: tone, perspective, and colour

The research will contribute to a new book on arts, blindness and technology, and will help to inform arts teachers and curators in the UK
and US, as well as future web developments for people wanting to make paintings accessible to blind and visually impaired people through the web.
For more information on the project, email Dr Hayhoe at
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can be read here

Here's a snippet:
block quote start
Art and Activism: Etsy Products for People with Disabilities
by Kestrell
Published on September 21, 2009 in
Photo by
Kestrell in the Slytherin dress robes a friend made for her.


When I was growing up, I was one of those art geeks who went to museums for fun, was always drawing in the margins of my class notes, and took requests
from other kids to draw horses, unicorns, mad scientists, and various monsters.

After I went blind, finding new ways to be creative became something of an obsession. I learned to sew. I learned to tie-dye. I'm always searching for tactile
art, which can include anything from found object sculpture to costumes to textile arts.
block quote end


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