See the Music, Hear the Picture

The James A. Michener Art Museum‘s seventh annual Creative Spirit Symposium will be held Sunday, April 3, 1 to 4 pm. This year’s program will explore the interaction between art and music and will introduce symposium attendees and those with visual or hearing impairments to this unique relationship.

Joseph Markoff, MD, an internationally renowned ophthalmologist and professional trumpet player in the orchestras of Philadelphia, Syracuse, Minnesota and St. Paul, and David Kenney, accompanist, will open the program with a performance of “The Promenade” from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. They will be joined by Donald Meyer, painter and Director of Exhibitions and curator at the Woodmere Art Museum, who will present a visual and auditory demonstration of common musical directions.

 “We are fortunate to work with Creative Spirit Symposium founder and facilitator Dr. Richard Goldberg, a retinal surgeon and artist,” says Zoriana Siokalo, director of programs at the Museum. “His professional knowledge and passion for art and for this particular program have helped guide the program for the past seven years.”

The distinguished panel will be moderated by Dr. Goldberg. Panelists include Carol Saylor, a painter who has gradually turned to sculpture during about 25 years of progressive deafness and blindness; Ashby Saunders, a legally blind sculptor, who will focus on the important role music plays in his life and work; and Sara Steele, artist and activist, who will explore the intersections of color, rhythm and form through watercolor.

Fern Denney, a docent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and National Docent Symposium Director, will discuss and demonstrate her specialty in description tours for visitors who are blind or have visual impairments. Roger Weiss, a visually impaired photographer, will close the program with remarks about his creative process of viewing and creating photographs.

Karen Lucca and Robert Alabrudzinski from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22, Professional Sign Language Interpreters, will interpret the program.

Begun in 2003, the Creative Spirit Symposium at the James A. Michener Art Museum brings together artists with physical disabilities to share their experiences of living and creating art. The program was designed as an educational outreach effort to increase awareness and museum accessibility for artists working with physical disabilities. The program includes a small art display, lively audience participation and representation of the various resources available for the community of artists with physical disabilities.

The event at the Museum is free but does not include admission to the galleries. Advance registration is required; please call (215) 340-9800. Service animals are welcome.

The Museum is an accessible destination for visitors of all abilities; reserved parking is provided, electronic doors, accessible restrooms and wheelchairs are free of charge. Arrangements may be made for sign-language interpreted tours. Materials and special tour programs are available for visitors who are visually impaired.

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