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Did You Touch the Artwork?
Rachel Bivans is an American artist with poor eyesight. She is a tactile explorer, studio professional, an experienced conservator and preservationist. She celebrates artwork she loves by documenting it texturally and often merging the subject with a dash of irreverent fun. She has a fondness for portraits, storytelling, and Ball Mason jars.
She encourages inclusion in art by offering the vision impaired, tactile explorers, and the blind, multi-sensory artwork to touch. Change happens slowly and sometimes not at all.
"ART IS NOT ABOUT ITSELF BUT THE ATTENTION WE BRING TO IT."
Rachel Bivans was born, a military brat, in 1978. The joint base at Fort Eustis, Va. was an exciting place in the 80's. Base Military Police were some of the first to take notice of her artistic talents.
It's always important to sign your work.
Formative years were spent piping in sunshine to a particular mountain in the Eastern Panhandle of WV. She had some amazing teachers that were knowledgeable, earnest, and kind. They resourced and found opportunities to encourage and challenge her in drawing, ceramics, and painting.
She met more outstanding professors and mentors in the Ozarks. Apparently, the only act that could logically follow such Appalachian isolation was Branson, MO.
As an apprentice, she began working at a mid-western museum. Tiffany stained glass windows, a Bira gun, Maria Montoya Martinez black-on -black pottery, homemade quilts, A. Rolls-Royce. Phantom. II, Thomas Hart-Benton, Rose O'Neill, and occasionally on the way to or from campus, the Batmobile, backwards Herbie-the-Love-Bug, and the Shaggin' Wagon.
Her Mentors encouraged mural projects, research, and lots of inventory. They immersed her in the Ozarks and like honey in coffee, she liked it.
The Elvis impersonator liked to jog down by the park.
Europe and specifically, Rotterdam, was abustle in 2001. She studied social work and education. She traveled and fit in every museum and exhibit she could.
She has continued to explore and has educated and documented a generation and generations through teaching, creating, and conserving artwork. She has left a wake of artwork behind her.
The world is full of some beautiful things.
It's worth knowing how to preserve them.
Everyone deserves to be included in experiencing them,
And sometimes there are some marvels on the way.
Yes, touch the artwork!