MOUNT DORA — Here's a first — you're supposed to touch the art in the new exhibit at the Mount Dora Center for the Arts.
In "See It My Way — Sight Unseen," which opens at a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, a traveling exhibit meant to be touched from the Florida Craftsmen Museum in St. Petersburg and a solo exhibit of raku-fired clay by Eustis artist Lois Crisp Stover come together for people with low vision or blindness to enjoy.
After exploring the work by touch, people can listen to recordings that describe the work's subject, the materials and techniques used and any cultural context of the work. Descriptions in Braille also will be available.
Docents trained by Leesburg's New Vision for Independence will assist gallery-goers.
Sighted people can put on blindfolds and "see" the exhibit the way people with low vision or blindness will experience it.
Stover said she understands the concept because when she teaches she asks her students to close their eyes.
"It's the first, most basic part," she said. "You must feel the clay to know where it's thick and where it's thin. It's one place where you can see better with your fingers than with your eyes."
Stover's highly-textured pieces often employ smooth face masks, sometimes with complicated headdresses and embellishments.
The first tactile exhibit meant to travel with 17 pieces of art made by members of the Florida Craftsmen Museum includes a carved fir head, a Renaissance psaltery, a sweetgrass basket and a fiber art banner.
Also in the exhibit are ceramic bells, ceramic seed rattles and a bronze turtle.
The exhibit will continue at the center, 138 E. Fifth Ave., through April 12.
For more information, call 352-383-0880.