Can a blind person appreciate a painting or a photograph?
At the National Federation for the Blind of Washington convention in Seatac, 12-year-old Luc Gandarias of Whidbey Island introduces attendees to the project. Gandarias, who is legally blind himself, became a spokesperson for the project after he was first exposed to it at a convention last year.
It's called 3DPhotoworks, which is devoted to giving the blind and visually impaired people access to photography and works of art.A 12 year-old Whidbey Island boy has become involved in a project that helps blind and visually impaired people "see" art through touch.
"These paintings allow true equality because finally the blind are able to see the images that the sighted have always been able to see," said Gandarias.
Everette Bacon of Utah, a convention attendee, ran his fingers over a 3 dimensional rendering of the Mona Lisa. It allowed him to do something he hasn't done in a long time, "see" the Mona Lisa, but this time through touch.
"It really brings back what I remember seeing," he said.
"Most of the time for me and blind people going through museums, it's sort of like, sometimes you just count the glass cases," said Marci Carpenter.
On display were three dimensional versions of "The Portrait of Dr. Gachet," by Vincent Van Gogh, "The Mona Lisa," by Leonardo Da Vinci, and a map of Washington state.
Despite the classical works of art -- the big star at this gathering was the map. It allowed attendees to "feel" the places they've heard about or visited.
"As a blind child when traveling by car, you feel like you're just floating around. Because you don't see the mountains or rivers," said Carpenter.
The map finally gave her a reference point.
"Being able to understand art in this way is part of living a full life for me," she said.
3DPhotoworks is raising money in order to bring more art to the blind through a Kickstarter campaign.