The Corn Exchange’s Touch to See group is now in its seventh year and is a cornerstone of our Get Involved participation programme, informing much of the other work we do to make local arts as accessible as possible to those living in the area. As well as being a way to access and discuss art in all its forms, the group is also an invaluable social opportunity for members. They are a part of the Corn Exchange family and having a long-term relationship with this group means that our associate artists are getting to know them too; Touch to See is just one of those groups that seems to connect into the fabric of our work.
We’re very lucky to have two very dedicated volunteers in Sue Campbell and Marilyn Smith, who come along to every session to support the activities; their assistance is invaluable when we have a lot going on in a session, and make the experience much more social for the group! We have a small budget to buy tea and coffee, and also to go towards transport which means that those who find it difficult to reach us can still attend. We regularly use the Living Painting thermoforms in sessions, but if you’re setting up a new group, don’t be afraid to also ask local artists, crafters or musicians to come in and speak to your group as well – they’re a great way to spark conversation, supplement the thermoforms and bring different artwork to life! Mary, one of our regular members, told us “I find it a very friendly group, we have some laughs and lots of fun! The interest we’ve had from the artists has been really good; they’ve been really willing to introduce their work to those unable to see – at first it doesn’t seem that art can be accessible to visually impaired people, but it really can be!”