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The hidden Inaccessibility of Art

cool44man's picture

I was initially impressed at the array of options available at various museums so people can view art regardless of how they experience art. However, the more I looked into the museums themselves, I realized that they were not created with disabled people in mind. For example, one museum was proud to announce that they had two ADA-compliant bathrooms for seven floors of art. If I were directing a museum, I would not be proud that someone would have to leave the floor they currently were on. The awkward museum layouts reminded me that art in the traditional sense is not accessible. There is just the art piece and a small plack explaining how the art is created in many museums. If you're lucky, an audio guide assumes you can see the art with full vision. I think this is because art was inaccessible for a long time. For art to be considered art, it had to be done in a specific style with a particular technique and was never meant to reach a broad audience. Now that art is expanding to more expressive forms, more people can access art. However, many museums were created when the definition of art was strict. Even though they attempt to adapt to a more diverse audience, building codes, biases, and traditions have made that difficult. However, I think that this transition will become easier as time passes. If museums want to stay relevant, they will have to collect new exotic art, which will allow them to think about how they can make that piece accessible in collaboration with the artist. Since we will present art in an exhibition next week, we have the opportunity to figure out how accessible art can be perceived. My current interpretation of the plans is that we are making an exhibit in the traditional museum format with the art and each short description. I feel that we should do something in addition (like an audio description of the work) to make the art more accessible. We have to be the change we want to see, and by formatting our exhibition correctly, we can ensure that everyone can partake in the art on display.