The story continues.
In 2008 I attended and showed my work at the Tactile Graphics Conference hosted by RNIB Centre for Accessible Information. Whilst there I learned about the amazing and impressive American Organisation Art Education for the Blind, and its founder Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel.
In 2009 I was contacted to see if I would like to show my work at the International Art Beyond Sight Conference organised by AEB to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I definitely wanted to be a part of this, visit New York again and have the opportunity to meet and show my work to some of the major players.
Two friends took the opportunity to share the trip which was great, I could be busy all day and have company in the evenings. .
After I had organised and booked the trip I had a request from Denver to show two paintings at the ‘Close your eyes- Open your Mind’ exhibition. Sadly I could not attend because the dates clashed with New York, however I could send them the work. I then had to courier another parcel to the States. This was when I could have done with an assistant. One day.
The Conference was amazing, I leant so much about the progress being made regarding making Museums and Art Galleries more accessible for visually impaired visitors. I also new my work had a role to play.
The Conference organisers arranged for some of us to have private visits to the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan to see what they offered visually impaired visitors. As luck would have it the Guggenheim was showing a Kandinsky exhibition, the very one I missed in the UK,what a bonus.
At the Conference we all wear badges, mine had my name and title Artist on it. One evening I had arranged to meet my friends for drinks in the Met. bar.
When I saw the queue I realised that we would not get in. I walked to the front of the line to see if my friends had secured a table, but no. When the Head waiter saw my label he insisted on taking me straight in ahead of the line He gave me an excellent table and when I said that I was rather embarrassed going in front of the queue he said ” You are an Artist, you must have a table”. The power of the label. When my friends arrived the waiter brought them straight over to me, straight past the ever growing queue.
Being treated in this way is how I imagine it must feel like to turn left on the plane. I could so easily get used to it.