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Cane Travel General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs Youth Services

The First Week of Summer Means Lots of Firsts

Amber turns dirt over in the garden with Annette and Master Gardener Barb

No matter what the calendar says, it’s the first week of summer. The temps are in the 90s, the garden is being planted and summer staff are shadowing their ITP staff counterparts. Friday 25 teenagers (summer students) begin arriving and on Monday the elementary Confidence Camp kids start too.

So here’s another first or two. Above, Amber uses a spade for the first time out in the garden. When asked if she’d dug with a shovel before she promptly answered, “I’m about to.” And then she proceeded to do it. In the process she and classmate Annette planted this years pumpkin and zucchini hills.

Tyler went on his solo drop this morning, returning in time for lunch. He traveled in the heat out to Aurora in order to make his way back to Littleton. “It’s a good thing the light rail was the last stop,” he admitted. “I fell asleep on the bus three times.” Nonetheless, Tyler’s completed the daunting final travel challenge we call “the drop”. That is, he was driven around for a while (sometimes in circles), and let out with no information about where he was. He successfully used his travel skills to make his way back to the Center asking no more than one question.

Danielle made a first when she used the hot glue gun. “I was always told I wouldn’t be able to do that because I was blind,” she said. In fact, blind people are often told such things simply because no one knows how or cares to figure out how a blind person can do a task. “There aren’t many of those things left now,” Danielle reflected. “and now I’ve done this one too!” She’s been working with fellow art classmates Brad and Annette on a tactile map of the area covering the Center and the Littleton Downtown Station, including the light rail tracks and the bus loop.

That’s really what the Colorado Center for the Blind is all about – the things we as blind people have figured out how to do for ourselves, with or without the assistance of sighted teachers. The trick is to question the warnings that a blind person can’t do a certain task because, it often turns out that a lot of blind people have already done it!
Mashup of Tyler before and after his solo Drop

 

Danielle uses a hot glue gun for the 1st time, Ann Cunningham gives direction and in the background Brad uses the paper cutter
Duane Plants cucumbers
Marqus plants pole beans under a trellis
Phillis walks to the Center for the Senior meeting and senior art class with her dog Tylee
Brad leads on travel with ITP instructor Charles Bennett, shadowed by Summer Instructor  Jackson Schwoebel

 

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General Colorado Center Information

#Accessible #TactileArt with @ArtACunningham at @DenverArtMuseum on “@_EyesOnSuccess

Ann explores tactile art with a group of blind students at the Denver Art MuseumOur long-time art instructor and national leader in tactile access to art and science Ann Cunningham was in the artists’ make-a-space at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in February. A group from the Colorado Center for the Blind visited DAM and Ann’s exhibit and art-making on February 9. The collaboration between DAM and Ann caught the attention of others, resulting in this episode of the popular podcast, “Eyes on Success” – and interview by podcasters Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey of Ann and folks at DAM.

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General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Access & #TactileLiteracy: A Day in Our College Prep Class

Access to concepts and information presented in graphical form has long been a challenge for blind college students. In the past couple of decades the surge in digitally-displayed content has, well, gone supernova. Thus, blind college students need to develop basic tactile literacy with two- and thre-dimensional representations that their sighted peers may have learned much more informally through media such as picture books, television, film, or YouTube. Blind people learn how things look best by touch. Descriptions are a stop-gap, but only that. Thus, one aspect of our College Prep class’s goal of preparing our students to be savvy and nimble in gaining access to their studies involves taking a look at the kinds of things colleges may throw in front of them and expect them to be able to interpret.

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General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

One Whole Day for Holiday Art & Ornaments #sharelittleton

Art teacher Ann Cunningham works with seniors and ITP students

Tuesday is art day anyway, but this week it was art day all day long. Every student and staff member worked in the art room with Ann Cunningham and Jenny Callahan making ornaments, holiday cards or what ever else suited their fancy. Without a doubt , everyone enjoyed the break from regular classes and the chance to get into the holiday spirit!

Marqus glazes the clay on a lazy suzan for a votive candle holder he is making
Showe holds up a clay ornament she made that spells out Trela with a heart underneath

 

Michael holds up a couple of Braille Christmas Cards he made
Justin holds up a clay dog ornament he made from memory in the likeness of a favorite dog that is no longer with us

 

Mickey just finished decorating a clay gingerbread man ornament with gumdrops sequens and glitter
Jen is working on making a clay ornament of Thomas the Train for her son

 

Judi fits a tall white candle into a clay base she is shaping into a candle holder
Ann shows Holly and Tyler how to use the pasta machine to flatten out clay to make ornaments

Ann works with the Travel staff, Steve, David, Daniel and Martin on decorating cinnamon baked modeling clay ornaments - samples of the finished pieces are inset above.jpg

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General Colorado Center Information

Eagle Scout Project Enhances Art Room

Alex LaBarre stands next to one of the newly completed work benches showing how a rolling art supply cart fits underneath

With many students and the results of their projects, supplies ranging from clay to wax to stone and of course the tools to work with each, an art room can quickly succumb to forces best summed up in the statement:

“All things tend toward disorder.”

This may be a paraphrase and we certainly don’t recall who might have made it, unless it was Spock or Data on their respective iterations of Star Trek. But that statement sums up the state of things when Alex laBarre, a candidate for Eagle Scout and a member of Troop 457, asked if we had a project he could do as part of his final requirements.

We checked and there’s no corollary to any law of thermodynamics that factors in the probability or effect of “The Right Man at the Right Time.” We knew what we needed and wanted, and Alex took that information, worked out the plans, raised the funds for the materials and recruited other members of Troop 457 to complete the work. The results are several benches under which rolling carts of various species of art supplies and tools can be stored, with storage on top as well, and a set of 25 spacious cubby holes for student projects to be safely stored. It all came together in a day’s work on November 18, and the photos shown are of that day. Thanks to Alex’s scoutmasters and others for sharing them with us.

And yes, LaBarre is a familiar name here at CCB. Alex’s dad is Scott LaBarre, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and Vice Chair of the CCB Board of Directors, and his mom is Anahit LaBarre, who works in our Senior Services program.

Thanks Alex – it’s a thing of beauty!

Alex LaBarre center with Lucas, Stephen, Scott, Kevin and Devin all hammering nails to secure two bench tops pictured side by side
Devin, Bobby and Kevin use large pipe clamps to hold the pieces together and square one set of legs for a workbench they are building

 

Scott, Stephan, Lucas and Jonathan work together on the floor to attach a leg to the top of one of the new benches
Jonathan uses a drill to secure the bench top while Stephen and Lucas hold everything in place

Alex LaBarre stands next to the new cubby shelves that he helped assemble for the art room
Group photo with Alex LaBarre center, Left to right - Devin, Ryan, Jonathan, Scott, Alex, Lucas, Stephen and Kevin

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Events General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs

A Peek at Hands-on with the “Shared Visions” 2017 Exhibit @ArapahoeCC #TactileAccess

Adia, Mason M. and Cezar look at the Old Man Wincing while Ravi reads the description provided in Braille

Here are a few photos from the Shared Visions reception at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at Arapahoe Community College on Thursday night. Everyone got hands on with pieces from Nathan Abels’ painting and drawing classes. CCB students also had laser-cuts of drawings they made in Ann Cunningham’s art class with accompanying Haiku, and CCB alum Jenny Callahan had a number of stone carvings and a bronze in the show. The Seniors art class had bowls thrown on the wheel in Katie Caron’s ceramics studio. Katie brought her daughter, who insisted on wearing sleepshades so she could try to identify the art tactilely.

“This is the best thing we do all year,” said one CCB staff member. While some may argue in favor of another activity associated with the center, the Shared Visions art exhibit, now in its fourth year, is an extraordinary opportunity for everyone.

The show remains open at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts until November 22.

Ravi adds color to her drawing which will be laser-cut for the show
Ravi shows Julie her laser cut image with Haiku -

 

Laura looks at a piece made with various screws
Katy holds up her daughter who is wearing sleepshades so she can touch a tactile piece of the mountains

Phillis shows Chris P. and Julie the bowls she threw on the wheel at ACC

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General Colorado Center Information

Shared Visions #TactileArt Exhibit Opens Nov. 9: @ArapahoeCC @ArtACunningham

CCB students take turns exploring numerous tactile art pieces on the walls

Editor’s Note: Here’s the announcement from ACC for this year’s “Shared Visions” tactile art exhibit. It’s the fourth year we collaborated on this event, and a highlight of the fall for our students and staff. The show will include work by CCB students and perhaps from one or two staff members as well. Worth checking out!(Photos by Mike Thompson.)

Arapahoe Community College to host Shared Visions tactile art exhibit

LITTLETON, Colo. (Oct. 24, 2017) – Students from Arapahoe Community College and the Colorado Center for the Blind will present a collaborative and fully-accessible exhibit of multi-sensory and tactile art entitled “Shared Visions” from Nov. 9-22 at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at ACC.  Festivities include an opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5pm-8pm.

Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm (open Tuesdays until 7pm; closed on weekends).

For more information, or to inquire about accommodations, please contact ACC Art Faculty / Drawing, Painting & Design Area Coordinator Nathan Abels at [email protected] or 303.797.5862.

— www.arapahoe.edu —
contact: Jeff Duggan
ACC Communications Coordinator
[email protected]

Chris P. explores the details of a hot air balloon

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General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

It’s Not Just a Button – Ashley Turns Sewing into #TactileArt!

Ashley took the practical desire to know how to sew on a button several steps further after signing up for the after-school sewing class, and turned her new sewing skills into tactile art!

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Independence Training Program

Checking in on Art Class: Peter Slatin Pays a Visit

Peter exploring the paper's textures with his fingers
Peter experiements with textures on paper during a visit to art class this week.

We were delighted to have a visit from 2016 alum Peter Slatin, who is also now on our Board of Directors. Peter was in Colorado for Ski for Light and spent a few days in Denver afterward. He dropped in on art class and took up the Sensational Blackboard to do some experimenting with paper textures. That was Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday he returned to the Center to conduct Philosophy Class.

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General Colorado Center Information

Tactile Art Club to Hold First Meeting Jan. 17 at CCB

An alabaster sculpture with flowing and spiky elements
“Flames and Waves”, Stone carving by Yolanda Thompson

The first-ever meeting of a new Tactile Art Club will meet at CCB from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 17. It will be held monthly on the third Tuesday of each month.

Our long-time collaorator and art instructor, Ann Cunningham, CCB alum Jenny Callahan and CCB Tech Instructor Yolanda Thompson hatched the idea, inspired in part by the first-ever NFB Tactile art and Tactile Graphics Symposium held at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore last December.

“The idea is to grow a community around the idea of access to tactile art and tactile graphics,” Says Ann.

Meetings will be divided into two parts. The first hour or so will be for artists to bring in new works and discuss technical issues with their colleagues. The second part will be a presentation on a specific technique or aspect of making art in the form of presentations by club memters or guests.

Ann will be the first presenter, demonstrating the steps required to make a bronze sculpture. she will show how her process evolves from getting an idea, to gathering reference materials, creating paper models, making an armature and sculpting the clay. Then she will demonstrate how she makes a mold and pours the wax.

If you are interested in multi-sensory approaches to art, please join us!

For more information contact Ann Cunningham at:

[email protected]