The second annual Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) Student Art Show took place March – April, 2018. The art show featured sixteen beautifully handcrafted books that were written, illustrated, and bound by the students in OSSB art teacher Rachelle Smith’s class.
OSSB students worked with local artist Claudia Retter to create one-of-a-kind artists’ books. Ms. Retter visited the school on multiple occasions to share her book, Flying Adventures of Two Candy Cane Pen Friends, and to work with students in bookmaking workshops. With the help of Ms. Retter, students learned how to make several different types of books and covers. In art class, they chose a topic of importance to them or used thought provoking imagery to tell a story. Stories ranged from autobiographical to fantasy-based. The art program at OSSB allows students to explore a wide range of materials and processes. Students enjoy using clay and paint for artistic expression. They also learn art history and contemporary art and artists. This year, students have focused on storytelling in art by exploring different ways they can tell stories with their artwork.
“These talented students have done a wonderful job in creating their works of art and we are honored that they have allowed us to share their work in our library,” expressed State Librarian Beverly Cain.
An opening reception was held in the library on March 16th, following the State Library Board meeting. The student artists were recognized for their creative work and awarded certificates for exhibiting their books in the show. Joining the students at the event were teachers and assistants from OSSB. State Librarian Beverly Cain welcomed guests and remarks were given by Rachelle Smith, Claudia Retter, Tracy Grimm, State Library Manager of Circulation and Special Services, and Will Reed, Director of the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLPD). Attendees at the event included State Library staff and patrons, and staff from Ohioana Library, OLDPD, and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD).
“The Ohio State School for the Blind is one of our strongest partners, helping us promote and deliver reading materials for the blind and visually impaired through the Ohio Talking Book Program,” stated State Librarian Beverly Cain. “OSSB librarian Janell Brown has provided invaluable assistance to us over the years and we always appreciate her insight and willingness to work with us.”
The Ohio State School for the Blind, a publicly funded educational facility, is dedicated to the intellectual, social, physical, and emotional growth of all students with visual impairments. Its mission is to work cooperatively with students, families, and the community to provide an effective, enjoyable educational experience through specialized curriculum, equipment, materials, and individualized, disability-specific instruction to develop its students’ unique potential.