Hansen: Tactile art display for blind furnishes shape, feeling

From the Des Moines Register:

It was a big day at the Iowa Department for the Blind, but nobody was having a better time than Victoria Miceli of Waukee.

Victoria, 11, is a bright, curious, engaged fifth-grader who loves art (and tubing and fishing and school and a million other things) but can’t enjoy it the way most of us do. She’s been legally blind since birth….

Victoria, her mother and her art teacher friend showed up Friday at the department’s Fourth Street headquarters for the unveiling…..

She was eager to experience Cunningham’s exhibit, “Please Touch the Art.” Nice title. You’ll never find that kind of invitation in a real museum. Security will ask you to leave. It’s like saying please walk on the grass, pick the flowers or wade in the fountain….
Leading the tour for Victoria’s little group was John Brudding, 17, of Grinnell, who’ll be a freshman at Knox College in Illinois in the fall. When Brudding noticed his eyesight deteriorating, he went to Des Moines to learn how to function.

His vision, he said, is doughnut-shaped. He can see the hole and the edge, but nothing between.

Budding is one of the people you might see downtown wearing a blindfold, feeling his way along the sidewalk with a cane, learning to cope. You wouldn’t believe, Brudding said, how quickly a person learns to cope when he’s wandering the streets from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

But now he was showing other people around.