Tactile Color

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 11:00am to Saturday, February 6, 2010 - 6:00pm
Urban Arts Space


Reception

Friday | December 4 | 5 to 7pm

Tactile Color showcases the artwork of SallyB, who creates touchable fabric interpretations of master works, bringing the two-dimensional art world directly into the hands of the viewer. The project began as a way to bring significant artworks to the blind or those with low vision, but has become a genuine example of universal design and a wonderful experience for everyone.

This unique art-making process, dubbed the B-Code, assigns eight fabric textures to eight colors: the three primary colors, the three secondary colors, and white and brown. Images sewn in the B-Code are assembled like a quilt where textured fabrics are sewn over batting and into an anchoring cloth. The density of the batting varies based on the darkness and lightness of the color it represents.

With her work SallyB hopes to encourage the use of raised-line representation and the use of a standardized color-code so that those with impaired vision can experience some of the wonder and excitement of color, pictures, and great works of art that have inspired mankind through the ages.

On display are several of SallyB's pieces, including interpretations of Van Gogh, Joan Miro and Franz Marc. Viewers are free to explore the works alone or with a guided tour.

The OSU Urban Arts Space is pleased to present this exhibition and connect people with disabilities to the world of art.

About Sally B

SallyB (Sarah E Heavilin Barker) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 1, 1940. She was taught to sew very early, making many of her own clothes and later outfits for her children. She worked as a Certified Public Accountant, and upon retiring in 2000, had become a Certified Financial Planner, a Series 7 stock broker, and Senior Vice President and Head of a small Trust Department at National Bank & Trust in Wilmington, Ohio.

Her idea for the B-Code system was sparked just before retirement while walking through an art museum. She was curious how the blind are able to enjoy the artwork on display. In wrestling with the idea, she came to the concept that color could be the key to access for the blind and that fabric was versatile and malleable enough to be an acceptable medium. SallyB chooses canonical pieces that are well known, colorful, and contain reasonably defined shapes of color. She states, I think of these works as an "homage", because it is my intent to pay tribute to the artist, and interpret his or her works in an accessible form.

SallyB hopes that many schools, museums, and quilters will use the B-Code to continue bringing works of art to the visually impaired.

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