Touchable Paintings inspired by artworks at Crystal Bridges

Kim Crowell touchable painting of Kerry James Marshall Our Town

Touchable paintings are tactile mixed-media representations that function like maps of 2-Dimensional images. These paintings are completely made by hand using a variety of materials like fabric, craft foam, faux plants, thick textured paper, puffy paint, and more. They are a low-cost method for making works of art more accessible for individuals with all levels of sight. I started creating touchable paintings in graduate school at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, FL, as a part of my research in making museums more accessible for people with vision loss. I learned about the idea of creating these types of paintings from Gainesville artist Diane Voyantzie.

Typically people are not allowed to touch objects in the museum’s galleries, so I love watching the reactions that people give when they are able to feel these touchable paintings. I especially love the reactions I get from some individuals with vision loss who have not visited an art museum before.

Contributed by: Kim Crowell
Created by: Kim Crowell
Origin: Handmade at the museum