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March 27, 2009

Harn Museum event offers blind and visually impaired people a tactile art experience

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Touching art displayed at museums is typically against the rules, but the Harn Museum of Art and the Gator Lions Club are inviting people to do just that April 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held annually at the Harn Museum, MindSight is a program that encourages all participants, including those who are blind or visually impaired, to experience art through senses other than sight.

“This partnership celebrates a real connection between the mission of the Gator Lions Club and the mission of the museum to promote the power of the arts to inspire and educate people and enrich their lives,” said Bonnie Bernau, director of education at the Harn Museum. "Both groups endorse the concept that there are many ways to experience art, and this program gives everyone the opportunity to use senses beyond that of sight.”

Community artists and University of Florida student and faculty artists provided works of art to be explored through touch while the works are verbally described by student guides or the artists themselves. MindSight also invites those with sight to experience the artwork in the same way by wearing a blindfold.

To learn more about volunteering at the event, contact Allysa Browne at 352-392-9826 ext. 2149 or

Admission is free. For more information about the program, contact Gator Lions Club member, Shelly Flanagin at

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
The Harn Museum of Art at SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. is one of the largest university art museums in the country with nearly 7,000 works in its collection focusing on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art and photography. The museum enhances the activities of the University of Florida and serves a culturally diverse audience through educational programming. Admission is free. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free on weekends. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit

Media contacts:
Tami Wroath, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
352.392.9826 x116

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