|Proudly standing with her three mosaics is artist Maria Vargas (third from left), with SCCO Optometric Interns.|
"My vision loss has not limited my abilities. I'm more than just my eyes," said artist Maria Vargas, one of 48 blind or legally-blind artists whose works are on display at the Shared Visions Art Exhibit at the Southern California College of Optometry's (SCCO's) Eye Care Center.
Three mosaics created by Vargas are now part of the year long Shared Visions Art Exhibit on SCCO's Fullerton campus. The Wilmington resident has a rare genetic condition, microphthalmus, which limited the development of the structures of the eye and caused visual impairment at a young age. Special magnifying devices and bright lighting enhance her sight.
The opening reception for the College's sixth Shared Visions Art Exhibit 2010–11 was held on, Tuesday, September 21. The exhibit includes 90 works of art by 48 blind or legally blind artists from the United States, Canada, India and Israel. A total of 165 pieces of art were submitted for the show and subsequently judged by six local artists.
"This art exhibit provides a venue for the artwork of blind and legally blind artists to showcase abilities, rather than disabilities," said SCCO Associate Professor and Chief, Mary Ann Keverline Walls Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, Rebecca L. Kammer, O.D. "In addition, this amazing exhibition of artistic talent provides a way for our doctors and optometric interns to educate the public about eye diseases, visual impairment and vision rehabilitation.
"The College is most grateful to its generous sponsors," Dr. Kammer noted. "Shared Visions sponsors include Abbott Medical Optics, NVISION, Enhanced Vision, the Low Vision Council, and Foundation Fighting Blindness."
The Shared Visions Art Exhibit, one of only four such art exhibitions of its kind in the United States, is open to the public through mid-August 2011. Added to this year's exhibit is the availability of a hand-held device that allows a visitor with a visual impairment to hear a description of each of the 90 pieces of art. For more information about the Shared Visions Art Exhibit visit: www.sccoeyecare.com
Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS). The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups.
Three photographs by, Kurt Weston, are part of the new art exhibit at SCCO's Eye Care Center. Mr. Weston is a co-founder
of the Shared Visions Art Exhibit.
|Thanking the crowd for their enthusiastic support of the Shared Visions Art Exhibit is Abbot Medical Optics' (AMO's) Head of Global Corneal Marketing, Jim Francese. AMO was the Presenting Sponsor for the annual event.|
|The hand-held "pen friend" enables artist Barbara Talbert to listen to the description of the artwork above.|