Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega is showcasing the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama through Oct. 13.
The annual show features artworks by students of Alabama who are visually impaired, blind or deafblind. “It is open to students of all ages who are in public, private or homeschooled in the state,” said Valerie White, museum director. Winners are then selected by judges.
The exhibit includes 30 pieces. “There are drawings, paintings and various types of 3D art on display. All of the pieces, unless marked, are being sold for $100,” White said.
Heritage Hall is the exhibit’s fourth stop on a statewide tour. The exhibit has also been displayed in Birmingham, Dothan and Tuscumbia. Its final stop will be at South Alabama University in Mobile.
“This is the first time that Heritage Hall has been a part of the Helen Keller Art Show, and we are thrilled to have a chance to showcase the inspiring pieces,” White said.
Heritage Hall assistant and photographer Sarah Dunn captured the inspiration behind the art with multiple enlarged photographs of art teachers and students from the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. Dunn’s contribution is on display in the museum’s main lobby.
“For about a month, I took photographs of students at AIDB in their art classes,” Dunn said. “I asked the students and teachers what it was like for them, and used their responses to caption the photos. It was a great experience for me.”
Dunn said her favorite response came from an AIDB student who said, “I think when you make art, it’s like you’re free. You know when sometimes you just like to wander off in your mind? I think that is what art lets me do.”
White noted that it was important to honor AIDB in the exhibit. “The majority of the pieces are from students attending AIDB,” she said.
In addition to the artwork, various Helen Keller quotes are part of the display.
“We also have provided braille captions for all of the pieces,” White said. “It is our goal to be able to strike a conversation.”