Guest Author - Carla Ruschival
Legally blind children and adults from all over the world participate in the annual InSights art competition sponsored by the American Printing House for the Blind.
Each year children from preschool through high school, as well as adults, enter all kinds of art in the InSights competition. Painting, drawing, and printmaking are examples of two-dimensional art that may be submitted; three-dimensional pieces might include sculptures in wood, wire, ceramics etc. Fiber arts may also be entered, such as needlepoint, knitting, and crochet.
Any visual art piece may be entered, so long as the design is original. Pieces made from a kit or mold will not be accepted.
The InSights competition is juried (judged), and there are several ways entries receive recognition. About 500 pieces are entered in the competition each year, and approximately 80 pieces are selected to be placed on exhibit at the American Printing House for the Blind annual meeting, held each October in Louisville, Kentucky. Judges also choose the top three entries from each of the nine categories, and these winners receive special certificates and cash prizes. Several honorable mentions may be selected for special recognition. All winners are invited to attend the APH annual meeting to receive their awards.
Outstanding work may be recognized in two other ways. First, special pieces may be chosen to appear on birthday, Christmas and other holiday cards. These cards feature braille and large print text, and are truly beautiful. Second, the collectible annual InSights calendar features a different work of art for each month; the calendar has both braille and large print numbers and text, and is spiral-bound for easy use.
According to an APH press release, artists who enter the InSights art competition "must meet this definition of blindness: corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less."
Each artist may enter only one piece in the general competition. Artists wishing to participate in the special art card competition, new in 2007, may enter a second piece; this section is limited to works appropriate for birthday and December holiday cards.
The deadline for submitting entries is April 1 for children (preschool through high school), and April 15 for adults.
All entries MUST be accompanied by an application.
Applications for the InSights art competition are posted to the APH website in February. Visit the APH website at:
For more information, or to request a paper application, call the American Printing House for the Blind at 800-223-1839, x357.
To order beautiful calendars and Christmas cards featuring art from past competitions, visit: