Millions of people from around the world flock to the finest art museums every year to experience the most incredible pieces that have ever been created. It's hard to stand unmoved in front of the works of Michelangelo, Dürer, Da Vinci, and Cassatt. It's hard to deny how seeing a piece like the Mona Lisa in person makes you feel.
But people with visual impairments rarely get to partake in these experiences. They never get to analyze Monet's signature brush strokes, stare into the vast beauty of the Sistine Chapel's renowned ceiling, or count the swirling stars in Van Gogh's most famous nighttime scene. It's a reality that's as heartbreaking as it is ignored.
But one team of artists and digital designers aims to solve that problem with a project calledUnseen Art.
What they're doing is about to change everything for blind people who want to see the art that's become part of our cultural consciousness. By using 3-D printing technology, they're bringing these pieces to life for visually-impaired people to experience in their own unique way.
As one spokesperson explains, "Unseen Art is taking two-dimensional master works of visual art into the realm of touch."
The team behind this incredible project wants to remedy the fact that so many blind people have never witnessed the art that we often take for granted. Imagine stepping into the Louvre and not being able to experience the Mona Lisa's famous smile, even when it's right in front of you. That's what they want to change.
Designers aim to print some of these works into 3-D figures that can be touched, turning any concept we once had of art viewership on its head.
One lucky participant got to touch the project's first prototype of Da Vinci's most famous lady. "Her nose is quite long," she laughs, "but the expression is what's most mysterious. She definitely wasn't a classic beauty. My fingers are excited!"
With the help of volunteers from all over the world, these works can actually be viewed and touched for free. Once the designs are drafted, they can be shared and printed across the globe.
"We want to bring together the talents of 3-D makers, artists, and visually-impaired people worldwide," the spokesperson says. "But most importantly of all, we want to share something amazing."
For more information, check out their promotional video below:
In order to bring Unseen Art to people around the world, these visionaries need our help. To learn more about what you can do to support their mission, head over to their website, and be sure to donate a few dollars if you can on their Indiegogo page.