Founded in 1832, Philadelphia’s Overbrook School for the Blind is renowned for its variety of programs for children of all ages and abilities. The school’s singular mission is to help people with visual impairments and blindness – some with additional issues, and some are deafblind – to achieve their highest potential and to provide the greatest opportunity to experience active and fulfilling lives. Most of the students come from Pennsylvania counties including Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery. There are some students from other states while others come from across the globe. The Overbrook School for the Blind is a dynamic and responsive educational organization that provides leadership as a local, national, and international resource.
Of its many educational programs, students also participate in a variety of artistic endeavors such as the school’s visual arts program that includes fabric arts, painting, and sculpture. For this exhibition, the students learned about the ancient Maya calendar, which is considered to be highly sophisticated and accurate for its time. To better understand the culture, they studied pictures, tactile illustrations, Maya sculpture, and glyph reliefs. The students, using assorted textiles, created mixed media collages that tell stories inspired by the Maya calendar. Like all students, they are learning to embrace their creativity and uniqueness, both in their art and in themselves.