April 17 - May 31, 2015
A celebration of the rich musical heritage of the blues, A Cast of Blues features 40 resin cast masks of blues legends created by artist Sharon McConnell-Dickerson. The exhibition also contains the life-cast hands of the late bluesman Johnny Winter, short biographies and photos of each musician. “A life cast is like a 3D photograph to someone who is blind,” says McConnell-Dickerson, who is also blind. “It captures the flesh, muscle, bone, hair, and subtle expressions of emotion. I wanted to discover the faces behind the music I love, so I went to Mississippi and other places, following the migration of the blues, to map out the visages of many of the older generation of blues men and women.”
McConnell-Dickerson insists that patrons must touch her art and that it be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.
All of the text for the exhibit is recorded for persons who are visually or print impaired, with sound clips of the performers music and Braille labels for each life-cast. And the faces are installed at a height that is accessible to persons in wheel-chairs and to children. “This is a ‘please touch’ exhibit so the viewer can fully experience what I felt behind the masks”, McConnell-Dickerson says.