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Women of Vision--Ten Years of Art Beyond Sight

Eight years ago, while I was taking a darkroom class at a local college, I had an amazing experience. My professor gave our class an assignment in conjunction with a Fujifilm student film competition. The assignment was to show through a photograph how people show love in our community. At the same time, I had heard of a fascinating program of blind women artists who met at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens called The Women of Vision. When we were given our class assignment, I knew immediately who I wanted to photograph. What I didn't know at the time, was how these women would influence my own vision. I can still remember that first day when I photographed them with my Rebel camera and some fast film. I was mesmerized by the way creating art seemed to invigorate them, how the artmaking created connection within them and between them. I became aware as I photographed them (and later as I printed their images in the darkroom) how powerful our human need to create is--how healing and transformative. I believe creating brings us in direct contact with what is best about us as human beings. These beautiful women have also taught me that our gift of sight has its roots in our hands and in our hearts, not just in our eyes. I have continued to photograph the women over the years, and now they are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a very special exhibit at the museum. I hope you will take the time to visit their the Cummer and see their work in person. I am attaching images of them at work below.