Almost Live | Crowd-Sourced Description Project

Wednesday April 28, 2021 at 6:30 pm Pacific Time via Zoom

VocalEye shares the results of our first Crowd-sourced Description Project, co-facilitated by our season intern from Adler University, Jiten Beairsto.

This project is an experiment in alternate forms of description with the intention to broaden the lens and practice of description. We’ll be asking members of the blind and partially sighted community what they think of this approach and how we might use it in the future.

Phase 1: We asked members of the blind and partially sighted community to send us their requests for a specific artwork, an artist or style of art they would like described. Out of the many submissions we received, we selected 6 paintings for the description phase.

Phase 2: We asked a wide range of volunteers to provide descriptions of the paintings and to tell us:

  1. what they saw in the painting
  2. how they responded to the painting

No experience in art history or audio description was required, and no research, either! The guidelines were intentionally open to allow describers to tell us how they perceived the painting, what stood out for them and what it evoked for them, using their own experience and vocabulary.

We were thrilled and impressed with both the quantity and the quality of the submissions we received! Huge and heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who participated in this project!

Phase 3: We’re sharing the results with you in this virtual tour! Due to time constraints, we won’t be able to share all the paintings or all of the descriptions during the event, but we will be posting them on the VocalEye website afterwards.

This virtual tour will focus on 4 paintings:

  1. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
  2. The Cow with the Pearl Earring by Caroline Shotton
  3. The Canoe by Tom Thomson
  4. Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock

At least one description from each of our volunteer describers will be included, plus supplementary curatorial information about each work.

Host Amy Amantea will be joined by project facilitator, Jiten Beairsto and art educator, Jessa Alston O’Connor.