May 042005
 
Authors: Julie Abiecunas

The "A Touch of Art" mask exhibit put on by a CSU art professor and his class allowed members of the blind community the rare opportunity to have a hands-on art experience.

On Tuesday the professor, Peter Jacobs, and his Foundations of Sculpture class opened the exhibit in the art department.

Members of the blind community were led through the exhibit by the artists themselves and were allowed to touch the masks, along with being given verbal explanations of what they were feeling.

Karen Norton, a blind woman who was led through the exhibit, enjoyed her visit and experience at the gallery.

"I like this very much. The wood is very tactile; it makes a great medium for this sort of thing," Norton said.

Norton was referring to the various types and wood textures students used to create their masks. The woods included everything from cherry to pine, and textures were anywhere from unfinished and rough to smooth and laminated.

Jacobs allowed his class free range over the project, and it was up to individual students to choose which type of wood they used, how big their piece was and how exactly that piece was finished. Jacobs said his students had been laboring away at their masks six weeks prior to the exhibit.

Inspiration for the masks ranged from light-hearted to more serious. One of the masks was a pig-looking mask that Jacobs said a student described as "what it would look like if pigs could fly." Another was second degree art major Dean Thompson's mask, which was inspired by the thought of what a headdress might look like blowing in the wind.

After feeling all of the students' hard work, Norton said that it would be a class she would enjoy taking. Norton has taken a painting class in the past and would like to get more involved in creating her own artwork.

Junior graphic design major Matt Fuehrer, who led Norton through the gallery, was glad to have participated in the exhibit.

"It's a really good project. It's a really great chance for students and the blind community to see what the sculpture school does," Fuehrer said.

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