Please Touch the Art Workshops

Woman working with clay.

Please touch all of the art.

Art is traditionally a very visual experience. When visiting museums, attendees are encouraged to look, but not touch the art. This creates a disadvantage for individuals with visual impairments who usually rely on other senses to explore things around them. Outlook Nebraska is supporting Dr. Jeremy Johnson, UNO Professor of Art Education, in offering a series of 4 summer workshops that challenge the notion of art by putting the power of creativity in the hands of the visually impaired themselves. Participants will receive instruction from artists who have been trained in working with individuals who are visually impaired. Each workshop will feature a different method of creating tactile art, art that can be experienced through touch.

Whether you’ve been creating art for years, or if this is your first time stepping into an art studio, all levels of art experience are welcome. These workshops are suited for teens through adults with all levels of visual impairment and for those who have attended in previous years or never before.

All workshops will be held at the Weber Fine Arts Building, Room 128, on the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Dodge Campus, located at 6505 University Drive South.

Workshops are held from 9:00am-2:00pm on the following dates: July 20, August 24, September 14 and October 12. A short description of the topic for each day is provided below. Students can choose to enroll in one or more workshops. Space is limited to approximately 20 students per workshop. The cost of each workshop is $10, which helps defray the cost of supplies. Scholarships are available to anyone in need. Transportation assistance is also available.

Saturday, August 24, 2019 – Tactile Painting

This workshop will focus on painting. Instruction will be provided on creating tactile acrylic paintings. Participants will have the opportunity to select from a variety of canvas sizes to complete their work. Additionally, there will be instruction on painting with drywall joint compound. This unique material allows participants to create works with a variety of tactile experiences. Participants will have work time to create their paintings during the afternoon portion of the workshop.

Saturday, September 14, 2019 – Clay: Throwing and Building

This workshop will focus on advanced instructional techniques for the creation of coil and slab vessels. Individuals will also have the opportunity to throw pieces using a pottery wheel.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 – Sculpture

This workshop will focus on creating three-dimensional sculptures using variety of mediums including, but not limited to: wood, wire, foam and string.  

Workshop Schedule:

8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.– Students arrive at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Weber Fine Arts Building

9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.– Students will receive instruction and participate in artist led activities using a specific art medium (3d drawing, weaving, clay, painting)

11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.– Break for lunch. While light snacks and beverages will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.– Participants have time to work in a supportive environment to create their own pieces

1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.– Clean up and departure


While participants are encouraged to find transportation to and from the workshops, transportation is available to anyone who wishes to participate. The workshop sponsors do not want transportation to be a barrier to any participant. If participants choose to use Moby, bus or Uber to travel to the UNO campus, the address of the building is 6505 University Dr S, Omaha, NE 68182.  A workshop assistant will meet participants at drop-off locations and assist them in locating the workshop classroom.

The Instructors:

Dr. Jeremy Johnson, professor of Art Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will lead the instruction. He teaches courses for future art educators and focuses much of his instruction on creating accessible learning spaces for all students. Dr. Johnson also teaches courses in comic arts. Dr. Lisa Johnson will assist in the workshops. Lisa focuses her work on disability studies and accessibility in the classroom.


If you have questions about the workshops, or would like more information, please do not contact Outlook Nebraska. Instead, contact the workshop coordinators directly:

Dr. Jeremy Johnson: or by phone at 715-563-4965.

To arrange transportation, call or text Lisa Johnson at 715-563-6817


This project is sponsored by Dr. Jeremy Johnson and Dr. Lisa Johnson, in collaboration with the following organizations: Outlook Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Omaha, WhyArts?, Nebraska Art Council and Omaha Association of the Blind. We thank all of our sponsors for their support of this important work.