Two hands touching tactile table

Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month at the DAM

Join us for Tactile Tables and more October 2016

October is Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month, a monthlong event wherein numerous museums and cultural institutions around the world support and bring awareness to the importance of the arts in the lives of those with vision loss.

This annual celebration is the creation of Art Beyond Sight (ABS), a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to making art, art history, and visual culture accessible to people who are blind or have vision loss. ABS promotes the tangible benefits of art education and museum visits for children and adults with vision loss, believing that exposure to museums and other cultural institutions can both enrich and improve lives by helping individuals engage more fully with their communities and the world at large.

At the DAM, we too, believe that art can make a difference in the lives of all our visitors, and hold strong that our museum spaces provide a place for imagination, curiosity, and innovative thought to grow and thrive. Throughout October the DAM's Access Programs will celebrate Art Beyond Sight Awareness by exploring the multisensory ways in which we can experience art.

Tactile Tables: October 7 & 8. Get hands on with art! Visitors are invited to use senses other than sight to explore artworks from the DAM's permanent collection. Visitors will discover the sounds, smells, and textures of objects from our pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial galleries.

Tactile Tables are regularly scheduled, bimonthly opportunities to experience art in a hands-on way with facilitation by specially trained docents. These tables are free with admission and are open to all visitors who desire a multisensory, hands-on experience with art, including those visitors who are blind or have low vision.

Dog. Colima, Comala style. About 300 B.C.–A.D. 200. Mexico, Colima. Earthenware with colored slips. Gift of Laurence DiRosario, 1970.292

Art & About: October 13. Explore artworks in the DAM's collection using our senses other than sight. Participants will discover the sounds, smells, textures, and tastes that abound in our European and American art galleries.

Art & About tours are designed for visitors with early-stage Alzheimer's or dementia and their care partners. To register for this free event, please call 720.913.0130 or reserve online.

Installed Tactiles: Anytime the museum is open. On Level 4 of the North Building visitors can explore through touch four replicas of artworks from the DAM's pre-Columbian collection, including a carved stone metate, clay vessel, and two animal-inspired jade beads.

Installed tactile items in pre-Columbian gallery.

In addition to these programs and activities, visit the museum in October and check our calendar for other opportunities to explore the museum using all your senses.

Danielle Schulz is the coordinator of adult and access programs in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. Danielle has been at the DAM since 2015 and is dedicated to engaging the Denver community through accessible and inclusive arts programming for a wide variety of abilities and audiences.

Read more on: access programs