Tactile Art Show: First Friday in Olde Town Arvada

For the month of June, Balefire Goods is hosting an art exhibit that focuses on tactile art, which allows you to engage with art in a new, truly hands-on way, while also being more accessible to those with vision loss. We are so honored to welcome 3 different artists creating tactile art: Ann Cunningham, Jennifer Boyd, and Luanne Burke.

Ann Cunningham is an artist and teacher from Denver, CO

Ann Cunningham is a stone sculptor who focuses on tactile art or art that is accessible through touch. She has been teaching art at the Colorado Center for the Blind since 1999. In addition to being an artist, Ann is also an award-winning author and innovator recognized by the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the National Federation of the Blind. Her work spans diverse areas as she develops connections for people to fine art through touch. Her tactile artwork can be seen in public works of art across the United States and into Canada.

"My art is not just about my ideas and concepts, it is also about the abilities and experiences of the people who interact with my work. For me, a work of art is completed when people engage with it. I base my work upon this belief."

Jennifer Boyd is a Legally Blind artist creating in Denver, CO

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest I find a lot of creative inspiration from nature, bold colors, dynamic shapes and contrasting textures. A self-taught artist, I began painting with acrylics as a form of therapy to help deal with sight loss and as my vision continues to change so does my art continue to evolve. While I still enjoy creating traditional paintings I find myself being drawn more and more to creating multi-dimensional tactile art that is often a reflection of how the world looks through my eyes. Adding a tactile dimension to art takes me on a journey of exploring and creating different mediums, tools, and techniques. I often incorporate everyday items like broken jewelry, glass, electronics, and records that get repurposed and transformed to take on new life as something unexpected. My goal is to create art that even when abstract is all inclusive and an expression that can be experienced with or without sight. I want my art to be felt…literally.

Luanne Burke is an artist, sculptor, and writer from Boulder, CO

Luanne Burke is a graduate of Adams State College with a BFA in Art. Her area of emphasis was landscape watercolor. As her vision diminished she gravitated toward more tactile forms of art. She studied, for many years, with Peter Durst of Art Students League of Denver, creating life-sized and larger than life human sculpture in high fired clay. She is currently a member of Boulder Potter’s Guild and continues to take classes when time allows.

Luanne has also taught art to sighted and non-sighted students as well as PTSD Veterans and other people’s with disabilities. Her teaching background includes No Barriers USA, the Maker Space - Boulder Public Library, the city of Boulder with USABA grants for the Arts. Luanne has also taught Creative Writing and is currently working on her first publication of short stories.

Join us for drinks, snacks, and a wonderful evening celebrating these pioneering female artists. In addition to our opening, Olde Town Arvada is a great destination for First Friday with openings at Vouna, The Cereal Box, Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters, Gallery 1874, Light Rail Gallery, Grand Lake Brewing, and Leprino Home.