Change Makers: A Podcast from APH

National Arts and Craft Month

March 24, 2022 American Printing House Episode 49
Change Makers: A Podcast from APH
National Arts and Craft Month
Show Notes Transcript

Hello and welcome to Change Makers. On this episode, we're celebrating Arts and Crafts month. Listen as we learn about APH products, new and legacy-wise that help users learn about music and those that help users learn how to create. We’re also learning about InSights Art and its upcoming submission deadline.

Podcast Participants (In Order of Appearance)

  • Jeff Fox, Narrator
  • Sara Brown, APH Public Relations Manager
  • Laura Zierer, APH Independent Living and O&M Product Manager
  • Tristan G. Pierce, APH Multiple Disabilities and Physical Education Product Manager
  • Rob Guillen, APH Special Programs

Additional Links

Jack Fox:

Welcome to Changemakers a Potcast from APH. We're talking to people from around the world who are creating positive change in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Here's your host.

Sara Brown:

Hello, and welcome to Changemakers. I'm APH's Public Relations Manager, Sara Brown. And today we're talking about arts and crafts. In addition to March being Women's History Month. It's also National Arts and Crafts Month. So today we'll learn about what APH products, new and legacy-wise that help users learn about music and those that help users learn how to create art. We're also gonna check in with InSights Art and its upcoming submission deadline. Up first, we're gonna talk about, Feel the Beat, a classic APH product that teaches students Music Braille Code by focusing on reading, playing , and memorizing measures through the use of a soprano recorder. We have APH's Independent Living Orientation, Mobility, Product Manager, Laura Zierer, here to talk to us about the product. Hello, Laura, and welcome to Change Makers.

Laura Zierer:

Hi, thanks for having me on.

Sara Brown:

Tell us more about Feel the Beat?

Laura Zierer:

Yeah. I'd love to , um , Feel the Beat is a curriculum designed to teach and learn the Music Braille Code using the soprano recorder. So a lot of people have asked why we centered this around the recorder and recorders are really easy instruments to learn how to play. They have a very small range of notes and student peers will likely be learning to play that instrument in their music class as well. The curriculum includes familiar tunes for the student to read, write, memorize, and play.

Sara Brown:

How does Feel the Beat help students participate in a general education music course?

Laura Zierer:

Well, music literacy is an important part of literacy. The curriculum will not only teach the students the Music Braille Code, but it will also supplement what the student is learning in their music class. What's so great about Feel the Beat is it makes teaching the basics of the Music Braille Code, a lot more approachable for the teachers.

Sara Brown:

Where can teachers or parents get, Feel the Beat?

Laura Zierer:

Feel the Beat is available on the APH website. It is available for purchase using Federal Quota funds.

Sara Brown:

Now I just mentioned Music Braille Code. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Laura Zierer:

Absolutely. Um , the Music Braille Code is a linear representation of music notes, tones values, and so on. Um , print music is the music staff , as we all know to indicate all of those different things. Um, but having access to the Music Braille Code allows students to read all of the nuances of a piece of music that maybe they're not able to pick up when they're just playing by ear.

Sara Brown:

And I understand we have Music Braille Flashcards. That's another item on the Music Braille Code. Can you talk about those?

Laura Zierer:

Yeah. I developed the Music Braille Flashcards in response to the lack of resources available for teaching the Music Braille Code. Uh , originally I designed those to supplement Feel the Beat. However, the flashcards do include many additional terms that students might be exposed to as they move forward with music education, including things like composition and band class , uh , learning, you know, different things about their instruments .

Sara Brown:

And what other APH products would you say help students of various abilities engage in music?

Laura Zierer:

You know what? I actually just recently sifted through our catalog of products, looking for some out of the box ideas to make music education, more inclusive , uh , Picture Maker Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit and TactileDoodle, or two of our , our products that can be used to create tactile representations of print music components. This allows students to understand how music is represented in print and familiarizes them with some of the terms they will encounter in a general education music class. You can easily create these , um, you can easily , you can create and music braille activities using manipulatives, braille labels, and a braille writer . For example, I've, brailled a few songs onto braille labels and then affix the notes to manipulatives that I pulled from the hundreds board. Um , these manipulatives can then be applied to the loop material surface of a Picture Maker Wheatley Tactile Diagramming Kit or any other surface that we sell that belongs to a kit. Um, and you can use them for a variety of activities. Um, additionally, the Joy Player is another great tool to get students involved , um, who lack the ability to stay or to play the instrument and honestly finding a way to include students of all abilities. It can really be tricky, but it can absolutely work.

Sara Brown:

One more question. I was researching Feel the Beat and, oh my gosh. I saw that it won, a couple of awards when it came out. Can you talk about the recognition that received?

Laura Zierer:

Yes, actually the author Christine Short , um, she did receive an award for this curriculum that was turned into Feel the Beat. She is the, the author , um , that is credited to this product and yeah, it did really great. And I , I think that part of that is the lack of resources that are out there for teaching the Music Braille Code. It really filled a need.

Sara Brown:

Right , right . Thank you so much for coming on Change Makers today, Laura.

Laura Zierer:

All right . Thanks so much.

Sara Brown:

In addition to Feel the Beat we have APH's Multiple Disabilities Product Leader, Tristan Pierce , here to talk about another APH classic product that encourages children to enjoy music and listen to audio books . That's the Joy Player. Hello, Tristan, and welcome to Change Makers.

Tristan Pierce:

Hi, thank you so much for having me back again.

Sara Brown:

So talk to us about the Joy Player?

Tristan Pierce:

Um, sure. Uh , the Joy Player is a personal music player that plays digital music , um, that is either in the MP3 or the WAV format. Um, if you accidentally download MP4 files , you will need to convert them to MP3. Now the, the Joy Player has a great story. So , um, all through development, we called it the "Personal Music Player" because we couldn't settle on a name that we felt did it justice. So prior to field testing, I took the prototype to the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville , um, to pilot it with some learners who have visual and multiple impairments. So , um, while they're teachers and , and they learned to use the prototype, I took tons of photographs. And then after I returned to Louisville and I sorted through the photographs, I saw faces with wide open eyes and smiles from ear to ear. When it dawned on them that they were in control, they could turn the music on and off. They could change from one song to another song. Their faces showed pure joy. It was a no brainer to name the personal music player, the Joy Player.

Sara Brown:

And what demographic is this geared toward ?

Tristan Pierce:

Well, the Joy Player can be enjoyed by any one , but it is designed specifically for individuals of any age who experience challenging motor skills in their upper extremities. So this includes those with cerebral palsy who may or may not have cognitive disabilities. Uh, let's see, not all is Joy Player great for young learners who have visual and multiple impairments, but it's also valuable to an adult who has survived a cerebral vascular accident, or what most of us would call a serious stroke.

Sara Brown:

How does Joy Player work?

Tristan Pierce:

For the majority of our young learners who have visual and multiple play and impairments , um, it attaches to a tabletop or a wheelchair tray using two-sided hook and loop strap, and the teacher or the parent has to download media content in either the WAV or MP3 format that I mentioned earlier onto a digital talking book cartridge using a USB cable, both of which come with a Joy Player. And , uh, the Joy Player has five button switches across the top. That work exactly like an old fashioned cassette player. So the center button switch is the "play pause" button. Immediately to the left, is the "previous song" button and right of the center on the other side of the play pause button is the "next song" button. And then on the far left is the "volume down" button switch. And on the far right is the "volume up" button switch. The front of the Joy Player has this shoot that attaches , um, on the front while it's adhered to the front. And it helps guide the user when they're trying to insert the digital talking book cartridge, and then the button switches are they're approximately two inches in diameter. So if an individual's motor skills do not allow the precision required to activate a single button, we have , uh , included external switch jacks in the back of the player. So this means that it accommodates five different external switches, one for each button. So if one's only ability is to swipe sideways, they could use a stick switch. That would be a great choice , uh, to accommodate individuals who require less visual or cognitive complexity. We included solid black , uh, button covers , um , which match the black top of the Joy Player. So it can be used with just one button or , um , then which would be typically your play pause button or with just three buttons choosing between the , um , volume buttons or the music selection buttons. So in one last thing , the Joy Player can be used with an environmental control unit, such as APH's Power Select to accommodate direct activation latch activation, or time, seconds, and time to minutes activations.

Sara Brown:

I understand there's a new offering to assist some Joy Player users. Can you talk about the recently launched Joy Player Cartridge Holder?

Tristan Pierce:

Yes. Yes. I'm happy to talk about that. Uh, the Joy Player Cartridge Holder is an assisted device that people can 3D print. So once printed the media cartridge slides into it. So we , we hope individual may possibly benefit from using , um, either of the two styles we design two styles of, of this one is like a screw on style. You have to screw your digital , uh , cartridge into it. And the other one you can just , uh , slide , uh , uh , top over it and that holds it in place. So we have two different styles depending on what you would like to use. So , um, it we're hoping it will help the , um, users who may have like fisted hands , um, to help participate more in the, the pushing to push the, the cartridge into the player or in the pulling movement to then remove the cartridge. So the, the files are available for free on APHS tactile graphic library. If , if people know about APH's tactile graphics , image lies . And of course, if you do download these files, you are going to have to have access to a 3D printer in order to make them, but this is such a small incidence population, you know, that , um, trying to us to manufacture them , wasn't quite, you know, feasible to do. So if you find you have a student to may possibly need these , um, they are available for 3D printing.

Sara Brown:

For anyone interested, can you tell us where they can buy Joy Player?

Tristan Pierce:

Um, well, it is available online through APH's shopping site, which , um , I think most people might know that it's APH.org , um , or by calling , um , our toll free number 1-800-233-1839, and talking with an APH uh , Customer Experience Representative , um , they can get one to you and the Joy Player is Federal Quota eligible.

Sara Brown:

And is there anything else you'd like to say about Joy Player?

Tristan Pierce:

Um, yes. I would like to say that besides having the Joy Player Cartridge Holder available on the Tactile Graphic Image Library, APH also has files there to 3D print the face of the Joy Player button , uh, button switches. So you can 3D print the front of the play pause or the front of the volume up volume down, stuff like that. You can actually make 3D printouts of those buttons and what people use those for . Um , and so communication partners can adhere them to a tactile connections communication card. So that way a non-verbal learner can request the Joy Player by using the card in their calendar system . So we, we have an another whole set of , um, all that you can 3D print in relationship to using the Joy Player with APH's Tactile Connection Communication System.

Sara Brown:

Wow. That's so that's so cool. The 3D printing and the fact that, that the Joy Player can help make that happen.

Tristan Pierce:

That's yeah. Yeah. And, and if anyone is interested , uh , we have three videos online showing the Joy Player, but one shows a toddler with , uh , with dad. Another shows an elementary student with his teacher doing his personal music player routine, which is following along the guidelines of APH's Sensory Learning Kit. And then our third video shows several adults with their Zoom group, direct support professionals. And if you just search , uh , do a Google search, Joy Player video, all three of these videos will pop up so they can watch them .

Sara Brown:

What other products are there outside of music? I know there's a couple, we got the Paint Pot Palette, Paint by Number Safari series. Can you talk about those?

Tristan Pierce:

Okay. So the Paint Pot Palette is an , an older product. It has recently been relaunched again, but that is really just to make , uh , the braille instructions and the pamphlet inside of it , um , to make that UEB. Okay . So , uh , if you're a print reader , um, there's really no change. It's the exact same product you have always had. It's just that if you did want the pamphlet in braille, it is now in UEB. So the Paint Pot Palette is like a plastic tray that holds these little cups in place, and it comes with an assortment of paints, color paints , uh , that all have braille labels. And in your tray, there's these little areas where tiles can go in and they also have the, the paint number in braille. So if you've, if you've got like three little cups set up and you've got green, yellow, and blue up, the little tiles get put in there to say, this cup is my, my green paint. And this cup is my blue paint. And then it's also got a , a holder show , hold your , um , paint brushes in . And so it , it's just a way to provide a stable stationary place to put your paints, your liquids, so that things don't roll, falling and tumbling all over the place. And then it also comes with an assortment of print and line drawings that you can paint now. Um, but that doesn't mean you have to paint just those, I mean, once you've got a paint set, you know, the world is your canvas. You can paint on anything, anything you like there, you know, I do not know where this is, but a number of years back this little boy, I don't even remember what , um , state he's from in the school, but I'm sure a search, you could probably find this, but APH , um , always has the , a contest that kids can enter to show what's their favorite product they're they're using. And why is it their favorite product? And one year this little boy won the contest, doing Paint Pot Palette and showing all of his paintings. It was so cute, so cute. So that's, that's just a nice product that people can , um, can go to and pretty much use it. And again, it's one of those that it was designed for its stability, for someone who is visually impaired. But again, it's something that any child would be happy to use. It is so inclusive, so universal, you know, it's, it's just a great thing to have.

Sara Brown:

What about the numbers? The Paint by Numbers?

Tristan Pierce:

Yeah. Okay. Paint by Numbers Safari. We started that a number of years ago, and we always said it would be a series of five books, which it is the fifth book in the series is on its way to APH. Right now, I, I have been promised it will be here very soon. So , um , I'm, I'm hoping, I mean, I have my production sample here in my office, but it's the only one. So our, let me see if I can say all the books from memory. So our first book we did was the "tropical rainforest." And then after that, I believe we did "under the sea." Then we did "backyard creatures" then moved into the "desert creatures" and our last and final book, which I'm very excited about is called "endangered creatures." And one of the big things with it is not only does it teach the idea of , uh , endangered species, but we also offered one or two in there that we prove with, with our diligence and our protection of the environments and everything that we can save some of these endangered species. So we have some in there that have been saved. So that was very important to us. So the Paint by Numbers Safari Series , um , all five books have the exact same number of print and braille pages. They each have 10 raised line print drawings. And then , um, the fun facts, the fun facts are to me , one of the greatest things, the , that that really tied us into a lot of educational standards. So when you're learning about a particular animal, you're learning about the geography and their environment , um, you're learning , um, about science and math. Um , because of course we, we give measurements like how big are they? What are they doing? It's in, it's in centimeters and it's in and inches and feet or whatever, you know? So you're learning so many things about social sciences, social studies, art, you know, everything. So it's, it's really a , an inclusive product that not only everyone can enjoy, but it's pretty inclusive, which with all the, the subjects of that you may have in school .

Sara Brown:

And I was just looking at the "desert creatures" the Paint by Numbers desert creatures, and I see the , the Fox and it has the numbers. And I mean, this is something that anybody can do.

Tristan Pierce:

Oh, yeah. Which is.

Sara Brown:

Great because I mean, I remember being little and I had paint . I'm sure. I know I had paint by numbers where, you know, it says, number one is red and you paint all the ones red . And like, so this is really nice.

Tristan Pierce:

Well , and Paint by Number has been around forever and ever, and it never gets old. And because a with each generation of kids, you have, it's a , a great , uh, a great and fun way to learn organization matching following directions, you know, and one of the main reasons that this this series was created was because, you know, art being the wonderful thing that it is, you know, art has no limits. You can do anything you want in art. You know, you look at Chagall (Marc), you know , he painted people with green faces and, you know, one eye or whatever, and that's perfectly okay in art, but if you're visually impaired or blind, it is still important to know what the real world colors are. And that was the main impetus for , um , developing this product. And I would like to give a shout out that both the paint pop palette that I talked about earlier, and the Paint by Number Safari Series APH does that in collaboration with PlayAbility Toys LLC , um , they are a very small American toy company that, you know, specializes in trying to develop , um, nice educational , uh, toys for children that are all in that their products are just all inclusive. Um, APH Rib-It-Ball is also , uh , done , uh , by PlayAbility Toys LLC. Yes.

Sara Brown:

And is there anything else you would like to say about any of the products we've mentioned?

Tristan Pierce:

Um , well sitting here in my office, my eyes just rested on the Braille Beads, which is a craft product. Um, I'm not sure if everyone knows about the Braille Beads. They they're little beads that on one side has the print letter on the other side, the raised braille letter, and they come in eight colors. Let's see if I can say all eight colors and not leave one out. You have white, black, red, green, yellow, blue, orange, and hot pink. So , uh, with the Braille Beads , um, I have Braille Bead earrings in every color. It doesn't, you know, pretty much doesn't matter what I'm wearing. I can find a pair of braille earrings to, to wear with them. You make bracelets and necklaces. Uh , I used to coach , um , the KSB swim team for a good number of years in , and I used to make cane fobs for the kids canes because when you're at a swim meet and they're all laying their canes up on the bleachers and everything. And then at the end, they're all trying to find their canes. And it was just easier to have little cane fobs with their names or initials on them . So there's , um , all kind, you can make, you know, presence for, for people, you know, so it's just a great way to embrace braille, introduce other people to braille, you know, who knows somebody may see a piece of braille jury find that very intriguing and they pursue a career as a TVI, which we it'd be great. So , um , yeah, Braille Beads is one of my favorite favorite items that we have,

Sara Brown:

And we will be sure to include links to all the products mentioned in this segment, in the show notes. Thank you so much, Tristan for coming on Change Makers today.

Tristan Pierce:

Well, thank you so much for having me. It's always a pleasure to come.

Sara Brown:

And we have an entire blog filled with information about Feel the Beat, Joy Player, and even how to make your own musical instruments. We've put a link to all of that in the show notes. For those artists who want to compete, APH has InSights Art. Insights Art is an art contest for artists who are blind or visually impaired, both amateur and professional artists from around the world, enter their artwork in a juried art competition. We have APH's Special Programs Coordinator, Rob Guillen here to tell us about this program and how you can enter. Hello, Rob, and welcome to Change Makers.

Rob Guillen:

Thanks , Sara. Happy to be here.

Sara Brown:

So can you tell us about InSights Art for those who might not be familiar?

Rob Guillen:

The InSights Art program is an art , um, competition and exhibition for artists who are blind. Um, it is an international contest. It been , um, held every year for about 30 years. In fact , uh, 2022 is our 30th anniversary. Um, we are , uh, the host of the InSights Art competition here in the United States. Um, and it is , uh , a really amazing program that highlights , uh, art that is created , uh , by artists of all ages , um, from all over the world , uh , who happen to have a vision loss and some of the artwork is absolutely amazing and it's just a way to be able to expose all people to , uh, the kind of work that's being created , uh , by young , uh , artists and , uh, older artists , um, so that we can become more familiar with the , the kind of work that they do in their career. Um, it is by far one of the most rewarding , uh , programs I've ever had the pleasure of working on. And I'm really, really, very pleased to be able to host it again, this , uh, this coming year.

Sara Brown:

And is there an age range?

Rob Guillen:

Um, artists of any age can enter the InSights Art contest. Um, so for last year's competition, 2021, our youngest participant was three and our oldest was in her mid-nineties. So artistic expression really has no age limitations. And , um , that's a trait that so many people have their entire lives. Uh , we don't limit who is able to participate. We have nine categories, so will be able to fit into one of those categories to make the judging a little bit easier. Uh , one thing I do like to mention is that artists, of course, must be at least legally blind. That is , uh, they must have a , a corrected visual acuity of 20 over 200 or less in the better eye. That's usually determined by a Snellen chart. Uh, are a field division that's 20 degrees or less. Uh , and this would also include individuals who are , uh , what is called FDB that is function at the definition of blindness. And that could be because of a brain injury or some other issue. Uh , for example, an artist who happens to have CVI is very, very welcome to, to participate in the contest

Sara Brown:

And what kind of artwork can someone submit?

Rob Guillen:

That's a great question. Um, artists can submit any two dimensional or three dimensional creative work , uh, that can be something that's considered traditionally artistic, like , uh , you know, painting sculpture or drawing, or it can be like a craft, something that has been knitted or bead work or woodwork. Um, all of those things are acceptable. Uh, the only things that really don't qualify are art kits. You know, those are kits where all the pieces are prefabricated and there are instructions on exactly how to put that together . Um , if an artist, however, has done something like unique with the kit, then it would qualify, but something straight out of the box would not. Um , and this is because this is an art contest. So some impulse to creativity needs to be demonstrated. Uh, mostly though , uh, the things that we get are , uh, most of the things we get are qualified. We're really happy to get them. One of my favorite things I'll add this is that I love it when an artist upcycles, and that's when they take something that would be considered trash or recyclable materials, and they create something amazing from it. So they will take, they will make a sculpture out of , um, cans or they'll make paper flower arrangements from old newspapers, or they'll create a mosaic from a bag of buttons. Um, I've learned talking to a lot of artists that art materials are all around us. So they're in our garages, they're in our kitchens, in our gardens. Um, and a really great artist is someone who's able to do interesting things with anything they find.

Sara Brown:

And how do you submit a piece?

Rob Guillen:

Sure. Um, first of all, you have to have a finished artwork and that means that it's not half finished. Um, sometimes we'll get , uh , a sketch and we'll get a note alongside it that says, well, it's not quite done. Uh, it'll be finished in time for the exhibit. And unfortunately we really need to , uh, uh , have that piece juried at the same time as everyone else's. So we only accept , uh , finished artwork and we only accept one artwork per artist per year. Uh , a lot of people think that, you know, they'll, they'll go ahead and turn in, you know, five pieces, but unfortunately we'll have to select one of those for the , um, for the contest. Secondly, you would go to our website, which is insights-art.org. So that's insights. insights-art.org. And if you click on the link that says, enter the contest, that will take you to a page where there are instructions and entry forms, and you can download them at that location. If you are an adult artist, then you would download the adult entry form. And if you are a student or teacher or a parent , um, and your child or student is interested in entering the contest, then you would download the student entry form. Uh, you also want to download the instructions, just make sure you're familiar with them. Um , and those are separate from the entry forms this year, and that we just did that to make it a little bit easier when you , uh, send the entry forms to us. Also, one thing I might add is that if you, if, if anyone out there is having any trouble at all downloading, or don't want to go through that hassle, we are very happy to mail one to you directly. So just ask us a, it's not a problem. Uh, once you fill out the entry form, you need to make sure that it's , uh, filled out completely so that we can get all of the accurate artist and artwork information. And that just makes , uh, things like certificates, easier to , uh, produce. There's not too many corrections that we'll need to make after. So we would love it if , uh , people can fill out the entry forms correctly. So once the entry form is filled out, you have two ways of sending the artwork in the first way is to mail us the original artwork with , uh , two copies of the entry form. You wanna make sure that when you pack original artwork, that you pack it really well , uh, you wanna make sure that the paint is dry and the glue is dry, and that it's sturdy enough to travel by mail. The second method for sending artwork is , uh , actually a lot easier. And most people tend to do it this way, which is to send us a digital photograph of the artwork along with one copy of the entry form by email. And you could send that to insights, aph.org . Um , you can also send it to me , uh , in my rguillen@aph.org, but it's easier if you send it to insights@aph.org . Um, so when you send these digital photographs , um, if your artwork happens to be, for example, a work sculpture, you can send , uh , photographs that have been taken from different angles of the sculpture. If your artwork is more or less two dimensional, it's meant to be seen from one side and you can take a front shot and maybe one or two shots of really close up details of the, the piece , uh , so that the jurors can actually see closely , uh , your technique, the kinds of materials you made, what have you , uh , the important thing really is to make sure that the artwork, when you photograph it is well lit and that you send us as higher resolution of a photograph as you can manage. That really just helps for clarity. Um , the point is , uh, to get different viewpoints so that the jurors are able to , uh, really , uh, get a sense of your artwork as much as they can. So let me just clarify again. So there's two ways to send us, send us the artwork. You can either ship it to us, or you could email photographs of it to us. Uh , and either way is acceptable.

Sara Brown:

Is there a deadline to submit your work?

Rob Guillen:

There is one coming up. So the deadline for the 2022 season is Friday, April 22nd . Uh , um , so that is , uh , in late spring. Hopefully people are finishing up their pieces and , uh , thinking about , uh , filling in the entry forms, we are already getting a number of entries. So I not only wanna encourage everybody to , uh , enter the contest, but to also consider sending it in , um, as soon as you can. So you'll be , uh , by the deadline of April 22.

Sara Brown:

Now, is that just postmarked by April 22? Or is that received by InSights Art by April 22?

Rob Guillen:

Uh, we need to have received the artwork by April 22. So it needs to be on-site. That's a great question , uh , because , uh , I wanna make sure , uh , since people are turning in artwork by email that every one of those emails are in by April 22, which means that any physical artwork needs to arrive on the same day.

Sara Brown:

Okay, great. So listeners, that want to submit, probably need to sort of do some look at a calendar and figure out when you need to get it out. So that's good to know. Can you talk about some of the work you've seen?

Rob Guillen:

You know, unfortunately I can't talk about any of the artwork that we've received for this season, because it may bias a judge who was listening to this podcast. So we've always made it an effort . Uh , we've always made an effort over , uh , the many years of the contest to not show the artwork too much that any potential jurors will not say, oh, I remember that piece. Um, you know, I really wish that we had a video camera when we're opening up the boxes and the emails, because , um, it's actually really fun. And I know that unboxing videos are somewhat trite, but I find them fascinating. And , uh, one of these days we're gonna be able to do that. And the reason I like , uh , these unboxing videos is because, especially for insights, it's like opening up a Christmas present. Um, uh , there are all these beautiful artworks emerging from boxes envelopes. Um, and, you know, though this sounds really hokey. You can actually feel artistic energy coming from the boxes and envelopes. You can just feel all the work , um , that was done the care and the love. Um , it really is very palpable when we are unboxing , uh, and , uh , receiving some of the art artwork . Um, it's difficult to say if there's a type of artwork that I personally enjoy, but sometimes the best things come in, little boxes. So little sculptures made by little hands, packed up in a little box, and it's like a little jewel sometimes. And you're ex excavating that from packing paper. Uh, and it's actually really exciting. In fact , um, it is really like receiving a little jewel . Uh , I remember once specifically that , uh , we received this little ring that was made from a twisted golden colored wire. There was a little stone that was attached , uh , to the wire that was the color of a Marine and it just glistened, and it was so tiny and delicate. It was really clearly a ring made for a little finger. Um , and you can tell right away there was a lot of work and love that went into it. And those are the types of things that I love. Um, the same thing with , uh , artwork that comes into your inbox. I can't tell you , um, how that has brightened up my inbox. I know that sounds sort of funny, but instead of getting endless meeting requests and spam and whatnot , I actually get these photographs of really, really beautiful artwork. And I'm really thrilled , uh, that , uh , we're able to get them.

Sara Brown:

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Rob Guillen:

You know, I'd really like to encourage all our artists out there to sell their artwork. Um , it's so important to be able to share your artistic creation with people who appreciate it , uh, beauty in all its forms really shouldn't be limited to a stack in a corner of your house. Uh, it really needs to be out in the world, hanging on the wall in someone's house, or, you know, displayed on a podium in a gallery, or even even held up by a magnet on the refrigerator door. It's really important actually, to share that joy with others and to feel you as an artist, to feel the appreciation that comes from your creative work. Um, I also wanted to add that it's been a real honor to work for InSights Art here at APH. Uh , you know, I definitely stand on the shoulders and giants , uh, and this program really wouldn't be what it is today without all of those hard working folks who came before me. So for , uh , this year also , uh , have my assistants, me and Nicole, and they really , um, add to the excellence of the program. Uh, one of the things I really love is being able to speak to artists and teachers and to develop those relationships. Um , but mostly like everyone else. I really appreciate being able to hear what the artists are working on. It's a great reminder because just because someone has a different way of experiencing the world , um, they are not, and should not be excluded from feeling creative, their creative impulses and, you know, implementing their artistic goals. Uh , that's one of the greatest things about InSights Art is that we are encouraging , uh , anyone with vision loss to consider art as something that they can do in their life. And again, so many young , uh , artists and old artists are told , uh , you cannot, you should not. There's no reason to why are you interested? And that, of course are not being that we believe here at APH. Uh , we believe very strongly that , uh, life is full and rich and that those with vision loss should be able to experience , um, all of it in all of its forms. So , uh , I always just like to end on that sort of note so that people know , uh, that the insights aren't program still is really vital and important. Uh, so that's really to , out of all, I wanted to say,

Sara Brown:

Thank you, Rob, for joining us today on Changemakers.

Rob Guillen:

It's my pleasure. Thank you for inviting us.

Sara Brown:

And I have put a link to InSights Art in the show notes. So you can quickly access all that information to learn how to submit a piece, or just learn more about the program. And thank you so much for listening to this episode of Changemakers. Again, we've put links to some of the APH products mentioned in the show and as always be sure to look for ways you can be a change maker this week.