Tennessee State Seal
State Library and Archives Displays Artwork by Tennessee School for the Blind Students
(Published: October 8, 2012)

The Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the State Library and Archives are again celebrating “Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month” throughout the month of October. The library is exhibiting a display of artwork created by students at the Tennessee School for the Blind (TSB). Sponsored by Art Education for the Blind, a New York-based nonprofit organization, “Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month” is celebrated in October each year. This is the third year the Tennessee State Library and Archives has hosted this free exhibit.

Items on display include paintings, shadow boxes and pottery. In keeping with tradition, the centerpiece of the display is the school’s mascot, Dot, a paper mache tiger made of scraps of braille paper, which was created by TSB students in 2010. The tiger, on permanent loan to the Tennessee State Library and Archives, is meant to be touched, unlike the items in many art exhibits.

Other items include “Ugly Face Jugs,” created during a study of Appalachian history and art. Historically, moonshiners were unable to lock their product away from small children, so they created jugs with ugly faces to frighten the children away from the contents.

Some of the pottery items for the exhibit were created for TSB’s annual “Souper Bowl” event co-sponsored with VSA-Tennessee and Mid-South Ceramics. Each year, Mid-South Ceramics hosts a reception shortly before the Super Bowl where bowls created by TSB students in their favorite team colors are displayed. Admission to the exhibit is a can of soup and attendees also vote on their favorite bowls by donating cash in them. All donations are presented to Nashville Rescue Mission in time for the Super Bowl.

“The work that the Tennessee School for the Blind’s students do is truly inspiring,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I encourage people to check out this exhibit while they are in the Nashville area.”

The exhibit is sponsored by the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is part of the Tennessee Department of State. The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides audio, braille books, and large print books and other free library services to Tennesseans who are unable to read standard print due to visual or physical disabilities. More information about the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is available at: http://tn.gov/tsla/lbph.

The exhibit will run through October 31. The State Library and Archives building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in Nashville. The exhibit can be viewed Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Parking is available in front, on the side and in the rear of the building. The exhibit is free and open to the public.