Art class for people with vision loss picking up steam

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NEW GLASGOW — An alumnus from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) organizes an art group for people with vision loss.

Sarah Mosher is a recent graduate and is doing a residency in New Glasgow under a program jointly supported by the town and NSCAD. The Canada Council for the Arts also supports the program.

Four people with vision loss attended a recent class at the studio behind the New Glasgow Library. The group meets from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, and Mosher said she can continue and grow the class before her residency ends in August.

“We’re hoping it will grow,” she said. “I’m all about accessibility, so it’s about how a visual artist can be accessible to someone who can’t see. Visual art for the visually impaired: who would have thought?”

The group includes Craig Aucoin and his wife Terri-Lynn Aucoin, as well as Colleen Robichaud and Julie Martin.

Mosher works with textiles and enjoys weaving on the loom and sewing on machines available at the studio.

She said she welcomes how visually impaired art students can offer a different perspective on working with textiles from the perspective artists who can see would have.

“I’m thinking maybe they can help us,” she said. “It’s a place where visually impaired people can go and have someone to talk to and learn art. It broadens their horizons”.

Terri-Lynn Aucoin said it is a welcome return to art classes.

“It’s very interesting,” she said. “I took art in high school. I enjoyed it then, so I’m looking forward to it here.”

Another participant, Craig Aucoin, said he’s up for any new experience.

“I’ve never done something like this before, so I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.

Martin said she has found the art experience affirming.

“Living with a visual impairment can be a challenge,” she said. “It’s nice to have an activity that is therapeutic. It’s really nice to be included.”

Mosher also hopes to develop a project working with broken glass and cement to create patio stones.