Archive | April, 2012

Important Person in the News

30 Apr

This blog posted a bio on Chen Guangcheng as a blind person who is determined and committed to human rights for all people.  In the news today, we are told that Chen climbed a wall and walked 20 miles, working with China’s underground railroad to escape, receiving political asylum at the U.S. embassy.  Read the story and hear/see the video.

This is the link to the bio that Vision Through Words posted about Chen Guangcheng:

Creative Person of the Week

27 Apr

Angela Geis (1966-present).   Angela Geis was born in Ohio and now lives in Chicago, IL.  She has been legally blind in both eyes since birth.  Over the years, she has developed many other eye conditions.  Currently, she has lost all vision in her right eye, and only has limited vision remaining in her left.

She first got interested in photography in college while pursuing her degree in psychology, looking at the effects of visual impairment on artistic style.  For Angela, photography became a way to extend her vision beyond her impairment.  She is able to compose a picture, set the exposure, and let the camera’s auto-focus capture details that she can’t see.  Only when she gets the photos processed and enlarged on her computer screen does she get to see the world that’s normally blurred.

As a photographer, Angela feels that black-and-white has more depth, history and emotion.  She uses very little digital editing and she prefers using film.  For her, photography is about capturing the world as it is, and digitally changing things to create an artificial image lessens the impact.  Angela is one of the 3 visually impaired artists participating in the Visions In The Dark Art Show on May 5, 2012, in Chicago.  Angela’s website is

I Am Who I Am

24 Apr

by Stella De Genova

If you have followed this blog or read a little about me in the Statement of the blog, you know that my creativity lies in my artwork more than my writing.  I present myself as the visually impaired artist that I am – in my website and even in the Visions In The Dark Art Show I am in, which is art exhibited by 3 visually impaired artists.

Through trying to build a career in art and marketing myself, I’ve wrestled with the presentation of me as a visually impaired artist.  Am I exploiting myself or my blindness?  Or will fellow blind people feel that way about me?  I think about that a lot and I am content to say that after years of denial about my vision, or lack of, I am who I am and this is part of what makes me who I am.  Rather than an attention getter, I share my blindness to help others understand that if we don’t limit ourselves or let others set limits on us, we can follow our dreams and be proud of our accomplishments.  Being honest about myself also opens the conversation about my process of creating art and what it means for me.  Most importantly, I hope when people learn about me and see my art, they understand the bigger picture: for all of our personal differences, it is our strengths, not our personal challenges that make us shine.

Creative Person of the Week

21 Apr

Sir Francis Joseph Campbell (October 9, 1832 – June 30, 1914[1]) was an American anti-slavery campaigner, teacher and also the co-founder of the Royal National College for the Blind in the United Kingdom.

He was born near Winchester, Tennessee, USA, and lost his sight at the age of five following an accident. A talented musician, he taught music and at the age of 16 was appointed music master at the Tennessee School for the Blind and later went on to become musical director at the Wisconsin School for the Blind. He also taught at the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts.

It was while he was teaching at Wisconsin that his anti-slavery views became publicly known and at one point he was given twenty four hours to renounce them or face being hanged. He refused but was spared death because of public sympathy for his blindness.

He would later become a frequent traveler between the United States and the United Kingdom and Europe, and in 1871 helped Thomas Armitage to establish The Royal Normal College and Academy for the Blind near Crystal Palace in London. It was during a visit to London after studying in Berlin that he called on Dr. Armitage with a letter of introduction and was invited to dinner. Over dinner, Campbell told his host about his plans to establish a training college for the blind in the United States, but Armitage urged him to make London its home. The college was founded with two students, and Campbell was its first principal. The college continues to the present day, and is now known as the Royal National College for the Blind.

Campbell was also the first blind person to climb Mont Blanc. In his later years he became a naturalised Briton and in 1909 was knighted as a Knight Bachelor by King Edward VII. He retired as principal of RNC in 1912 and was succeeded by his son, Guy Marshall Campbell

(Excert taken from

A Little Blind Humor

17 Apr
(“The best medicine in life is laughter.”  This one is for you, Jeff!)

Non-seeing Eye Dog

A blind man was seen waiting at a street corner with his guide dog. After a short wait the dog started leading the blind man across the street against the red light.

First a car comes screeching to a halt inches away from him, but still the dog leads on, then a bicyclist almost wipes them out and curses as he goes by. Finally in the last lane a truck swerves and barely misses them.

After they reach the far corner the blind man reaches in his pocket and pulls out a cookie and offers it to the guide dog. At this point another person who has watched the entire episode interrupts asking why he was rewarding the dog after the dog had endangered his life and almost got him run over by a car, bicycle and truck.

The blind man responded: “I’m not rewarding him, I’m just trying to find out which end is his head so I can kick him in the ass.”

The Stretching Fruit

13 Apr

by David Simpson

— This piece is an alternative mythological story about where gay people come from and what they might mean or bring to this world that I wrote to describe a painting called “The Stretching Fruit” or “The Yearning”  

Carefully tip toeing over the waters that flow between this world and that, Lev and Tev balance the wheels of life passed the specters of the self-confident peacock and the darkly playful raven. Risking soiling their finest robes with bird poop, the two of them come for the rare but very special fruit to bring back to the people of earth. A bounty that is not always going to be appreciated or understood as a gift to be cultivated and nurtured but will add to the variety of life in very important ways just the same.

When this fruit is brought back to this world, it will divide and scatter to all parts of the world to surprise the person and the communities around him or her. It will at first cause a spiritual, psychological, and physical diaspora, but in the darkness of marginalization and alienation the fruit will begin to blossom in its’ host causing such a powerful surge of talent and cunningness to survive that it will cause the boundaries of normal to be put in question and stretched. This stretching and questioning is what increases the powers of imagination of what it is to be human and humane. What could be more important?

David Simpson is a Chicago artist and legally blind as of 2000 with macular degeneration and retinal scarring. Simpson was born in Norman, Oklahoma in 1962 and has lived in the mid-west his whole life. He started seriously painting for a living when his eyesight made him a danger to himself and his fellow employees at a local newspaper. His paintings always have a couple of stories to tell.  David also happens to be one of the participating artists in The Visions In The Dark Art Show taking place in Chicago on May 5, 2012.  His website is and


9 Apr

by Nancy Scott

I lust after its single feet
brought from Alabama
to Kutztown’s summer festival
where I’m invited by the builder
as if on his veranda,
“Sit with me on the wider,
two-person model.”
Motion benevolent,
bench and arms
hand-carved mahogany;
comfort without cushions.
No squeaking, no splinters;
wood silk-smooth like the glide
he swears weather or age won’t hurt.
“Seven hundred eighty-three to ship,”
says the velvet Southern voice
with its twinkle of angelic craftsman
and knowing entrepreneur who drawls,
“Take my card.”
Just the light push toward memory
of a backyard hammock
that saved me in childhood,
toward a lawn swing
that slung off my adult grief,
toward knowing I might still go
so many wide-arced places
moving safely without struggle
or a cane
in motion of love and art
closer to cloud-fur
on my third-floor balcony.
I still have his card.


Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is an essayist and poet. She is blind.  Her over-500 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries.  Her third chapbook, co-authored with artist Maryann Riker, is entitled “The Nature of Beyond.”