Going beyond the visuals: New exhibit at Panhandle-Plains museum - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Going beyond the visuals: New exhibit at Panhandle-Plains museum provides art to the visually-impaired

Art for Everyone at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Art for Everyone at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
Art for Everyone at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Art for Everyone at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
CANYON, TX (KFDA) -

A new exhibit at a local museum is transforming famous artwork into an interactive experience for guests, making it one of the only places in the United States to do this.

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"She's in Texas, she's young, she's vibrant, she's experimenting."

These are just a few words to describe late painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

"She's a local here, sort of,” said Stephanie Price, marketing director at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. “She taught at West Texas, now West Texas A&M, and she lived at Hudspeth House."

The artist has a local connection, spending part of her life in Canyon, teaching and painting the surroundings.

"This is one of four oil paintings she painted during her time here,” said Price.

Titled Red Landscape, this particular painting is based on Palo Duro Canyon.

The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, which currently houses the painting, decided to take the art from the wall to a platform, giving visitors the chance to physically feel O'Keeffe's art.

"Sometimes the art is just so moving you want to reach out and touch it and that's a natural human emotion,” said Price.

As visitors feel every bump and nook of the 3-D relief, internal sensors provide more information.

"The sensors will tell you about the colors you're seeing or about the artist's life or about what she liked to do,” said Price.

This innovative and interactive way to experience art is one of the firsts of its kind in the United States.

"The first one in a permanent collection is right here at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,” said Buster Ratliff, development officer at the museum.

It's a part of the museum's Art for Everyone project in an effort to become more inclusive for everyone, including those who may not be able to physically see the shapes and colors of the art in galleries.

"This is a way to share that experience with those that are blind and sight-impaired that by being able to hear the stories, hear the composition and actually touch the painting and get to experience it, that they can see art the way you and I do,” said Ratliff.

Through this, the exhibit goes beyond physical limitations, giving everyone the opportunity to interpret art through the mind.

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