“The Mind’s Eye” is open from 12-5 p.m., Oct. 1-6 at StoreFrontLabs, 337 Shotwell St., San Francisco.
This weekend a new exhibit called Indigo Mind opened at the StoreFrontLab space in San Francisco’s Mission district. The six-week rotating exhibit features the artwork of 45 individual artists, all exploring themes and ideas from the work of the late great neuroscientist Oliver Sacks. Coming up in week two of the exhibit, beginning October 1, we’re particularly excited for the presentation of some very special blind artists.
Some of our favorite artists, both familiar and new to the scene, are to be featured in Week 2 of Indigo Mind, entitled “The Mind’s Eye.” These include our board member and blind architect Chris Downey, artist and educator Jennifer Justice (also a judge for this year’s Superfest Disability Film Festival), and a relative newcomer to SF’s galleries, Emilie Gossiaux.
Gossiaux is a promising name not only in the sculpting and visual arts communities but for blind and deaf art enthusiasts everywhere. The first deaf-blind graduate of The Cooper Union school of art in New York City, Gossiaux had a deep desire to practice art from a young age, and didn’t let her lifelong hearing loss, or the accident that caused her sudden blindness derail her mission. As a student, she received national awards of excellence, while her story was told everywhere from Radiolab to the New York Times. Today, Emilie is not only thriving as a sculptor and tactile artist, but using cutting edge technology to re-access a world of brush and pen strokes that she once thought she’d lost.
Video: Emilie Gossiaux paints with a BrainPort tongue sensor:
In honor of Emilie’s arrival in San Francisco this week, we asked the LightHouse’s George Wurtzel to tell us a bit about her. Wurtzel, who is blind himself, had the opportunity to instruct Emilie early on in her adaptive process, and has been a longtime supporter of her artistic journey. He was the first person to engage the newly blind Gossiaux with woodworking, sculpture, or show her how to work a lathe. Wurtzel was, as Gossiaux recently told Paste Magazine, “the one who really taught me how to use my hands again.”
Here are George Wurtzel’s thoughts:
You meet some people in your life that have a profound impact on you and the way you look at the world: Emilie Gossiaux is one of those people. I met her while teaching at a rehabilitation center for the blind. I was the industrial arts teacher. Emilie was the first student that I had who was an artist, and I realized that I had to Get It Right. I needed to make sure that she knew that the art was still inside of her.