Blind Kids Art

October 13, 2005 10:20 ET

Blind Michelangelo

New charity dedicated to offering art and sculpture classes to blind students launches in the GTA Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2005) - International sculptor and ceramic artist Alex Travnickova sees a world where there are no barriers or differences in the way that blind and sighted children play and use the creative process to express themselves. It was this 'vision' that prompted her to found Blind Kids Art (BKA) which opened its doors on September 25th of this year.

A national organization, BKA's goal is to offer blind and visually impaired students a hobby not always easily accessible to them. They offer courses on art and sculpture which allow blind and visually impaired students to express their creativity and learn new skills, but, also to help them gain self-esteem and attain access to a potential career choice.

"In such a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural community as Toronto, handicapped people need to feel and be perceived as an integral part of the community, says Travnickova, owner and director of Blind Kids Art. "In promoting and profiling blind students' art, BKA can enrich the lives of blind and sighted people throughout the GTA."

Travnickova's inspiration for BKA came while attending an exhibition of African art, where the visitors were encouraged to experience the art through not only sight but also touch. When she moved to Toronto from the Czech Republic in August of 2002, Travnickova began to explore this path as a way of making a marked contribution to her new community.

Travnickova's enthusiasm has attracted such prominent individuals as Mark Raynes Roberts, a world-renowned sculptor and art collector, and Walter Moos, the owner of Moos Gallery in Toronto, who has generously offered to provide exhibition space for BKA students. BKA's mentor, Mark R. Roberts is the creator of exquisite glass sculptures owned by Nelson Mandela and the Archbishop of Canterbury, just to name a few. He has also designed some of Canada's most prestigious awards, such as the "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" and "Canada's Top 40 under 40 Awards".

"Art is the perfect way to open young minds to their own abilities and BKA's program can change the way we, as a society, accept one another. Alex's vision to inspire blind and visually impaired children through the arts is a wonderful gift to the children of Canada," says Roberts.

BKA currently offers three sessions a year for children under the age of 14. Each session consists of 16, 45-minute periods of one-on-one classroom instruction by Travnickova, visiting artists and volunteers. In a nurturing and safe environment, children learn various ways of working with clay and are introduced to a wide range of pottery/sculpture tools and equipment glazes and finishes.

Travnickova says,"Our success will become apparent when there are art galleries in Toronto exhibiting our students' work and when those students begin careers of their own as sculptors and ceramic artists. We will know that we have had a tremendous impact when we read articles about well known blind artists who studied at Blind Kids Art as children. Our goals will have been reached when our students themselves become teachers of art and share with others what they have learned from us." IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH, MEDIA, SOCIAL, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Alex Travnickova, Chairman of the Board
    Primary Phone: 416-821-2375
    E-mail: alex@komtessa.ca