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Helping Ellie Feel Her Way through Art Class

Elle Morgan, a blind student, feels her way through art class

Helping Ellie Feel Her Way through Art Class

Student Ellie Morgan is blind. But she didn’t let that stop her from taking a fall art class. A junior—with a dual major in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities—she enrolled in the class Yoga and Art: Creative Possibilities through Contemplative Practices.

Students engage in such re?ective practices as yoga, meditation and walking to ?re up their inner artists when tackling such assignments as drawing, painting, collage making, journaling and more.

Professor Guillermo Delgado, who teaches the class, said Ellie helped deepen his understanding of how to help students with visual impairments to express themselves through art.

He adapted one assignment in which students embellished photographs of themselves to convey their creative auras. He outlined Ellie’s photograph with hot glue and applied textured gel to just her picture, leaving smooth white space all around the edges. Ellie could then feel the areas outside her image and apply paint, beads and other decorative objects.

“Working on the portrait project was quite fun and interesting,” she said, adding it was the ?rst time she’d ever tried such a project.

She enjoyed it so much that she’s currently taking another art class with Delgado. Called The Prison Poetry ’Zine Project, the class gives MSU students the opportunity to con-duct art and poetry workshops with teenagers in Ingham County’s Juvenile Detention Center.

Delgado said, “I’m more the teacher I want to be because of my experience working with Ellie. It’s allowed me to ?ex and stretch my creative muscle by creating course goals that are accessible and inclusive.”

Contributing Writer(s): Morris Arvoy

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Helping Ellie Feel Her Way through Art Class

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