Through Our Eyes: Henry Art Gallery Exhibition

Through Our Eyes Exhibition in the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington.
June 2019

Through Our Eyes was an exhibition on the University of Washington campus for the month of June 2019. The exhibition was among the projects of my MFA/MDes colleagues. This is a yearly exhibition was created for Master students to feature their thesis projects.

For my exhibition, I wanted to focus on creating an interactive space where guests could participate and have a slight glimpse of being in the position of someone who is visually impaired. The exhibition, however; does not even attempt to help someone know what it is like to have a permanent disability because that would be impossible but create a platform that helps the sighted community understand the physical challenge of vision loss. The scope of this project does not even go into the mental and emotional challenges of visual impairment.

I created sections for my exhibition. The first, the where guests could go up to a shelf with eight pairs of glasses and put them on. Each pair of glasses were created to stimulate a different eye condition and level of vision loss. These glasses represent different parts of the visual spectrum and show the full range of permanent visual conditions. I wanted to make sure to show all parts of the spectrum and not focus only on the most severe conditions. This was to help visualize we all fit in the spectrum and we can learn from one another, even those who are fully sighted.

 The glasses included the following:

  1. Fully Sighted
  2. Low Vision
  3. Mild Visual Impairment
  4. Moderate Visual Impairment
  5. Severe Visual Impairment
  6. Legally Blind
  7. Severe Blindness
  8. Total Blindness
The process of making the glasses.
Testing the glasses for the exhibition on colleagues.
A photo showing the process of putting the exhibition together/
An overall view of the shelf with the glasses lined up. Each pair of glasses has an image showing a visual stimulation of what it would be like to see with that condition.
A close-up shot of the Diabetic Retinopathy glasses. The glasses are on a stand with braille below it to aid those who can’t see the words on the picture frame above.
Shows a girl trying on a pair of the glasses and looking at the picture that goes with it.
A group of people looking at the exhibit.
A young boy trying on a pair of glasses.

The second part of my exhibition is an activity the visitors can choose to participate in. I had three full sets of my activity cards for guests to look through. And then for the activity, they would follow the instructions on the wall to pick an activity card and their corresponding simulator glasses and attempt to use a provided object with them on and record what their experience was like. They could then hang their activity sheet on the wall so they could look to see what other people’s experience was like. I thought this could be an interesting way to collect data from visitors. 

An overall view of the activity part of the exhibition.
An image of the activity table and with the activity cards and an activity sheet to fill out. Guests were invited to wear a pair of glasses while trying to use an everyday object. They were then asked three questions in response to their experience.
A group of people participating in the activity.
A young girl and boy participating in the activity.
Wall displaying all the activity sheets.
Wall displaying all the activity sheets.
A young girl hanging her activity sheet on the clip of the display wall.