OCAD students are recreating AGO art for visually impaired visitors

Multi-sensory projects for people living with vision loss

OCAD students and the Art Gallery of Ontario have collaborated to bring multi-sensory projects based on works of visual art to the AGO museum tours for visually impaired visitors of the gallery.

Usually, museums rely on audio recordings and guides to explain the pieces, but new immersive practices are being brought to galleries more and more often, including these multi-sensory projects designed by OCAD University graduate students.

Peter Coppin, associate professor of the inclusive design graduate program and director of the perceptual artifacts lab at OCAD University, made an assignment in his graduate class where students had to choose a work of art at the AGO and re-interpret it for people living with vision loss to understand.

This year marks the second year of the program, and the works included Tom Thomson’s The West Wind, James Tissot’s La Demoiselle de magasin, Otto Dix’s Portrait of Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann, and Jean-Siméon Chardin’s Jar of Apricots.

The AGO already offers tours that involve multi-sensory aspects for people living with vision loss, which include works like Rodin sculptures that can be touched under supervision.