Work

Newlink Debuts UnSeen – Miami’s First Mural for the Visually Impaired

With some imaginative thinking by Chief Creative Officer Rafael Ramirez, and a collaboration with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Miniac Films and Julian Smith, Newlink debuted Miami’s first invisible mural, successfully making Miami Art Week more inclusive for the visually impaired community.

190M

online readership with coverage in over 35 outlets in nine countries

104K

unique users reached via an innovative social media campaign

4

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind participants who were able to participate in Miami Art Week for the first time

Objective

How can we include those that cannot see?

This is the question Newlink Chief Creative Officer Rafael Ramirez had in mind when he developed the concept for UnSeen. “In the week where a whole city is seeing art, we saw an opportunity to raise awareness for the blind,” said Ramirez. “While everyone in Miami was ready to view creative works, we would create invisible art; art for those who can’t see.”

Solution

Creative Thinking & Collaboration

Ramirez partnered with Los Angeles based production company Miniac Films and artist Julian Smith, and proposed a fully-developed plan to Miami Lighthouse for the Blind to create art that would be invisible to the naked eye but that could be experienced by the blind through braille and soundscapes and by those with sight through an augmented reality application.

Four blind program participants from Miami Lighthouse were read Smith’s description of a work of art titled Memorizing PCH. They were asked several questions about what they imagined the piece of art to look like. Smith listened to the recordings and created four new unique pieces of art, bringing each person’s interpretation to life.

The final installation was a blank wall. There were five panels with braille writing that described the four new paintings, in the blind participant’s words. Visually impaired people could experience the art through braille, while people with sight could see the paintings using an augmented reality app on their phones or tablets. All of them could also listen to the narrative that had been provided to each visually impaired collaborator to help them understand Smith’s original piece, and their personal interpretation of what they imagined it looked like.


Results

You Don’t Need Your Eyes to See

UnSeen: Interpretations with the Visually Impaired – the innovative invisible mural aimed to make Miami Art Week more inclusive of the blind community – debuted in Wynwood at 2600 North Miami Ave. The gallery garnered both broadcast and digital media coverage, reaching 192 million viewers in two languages and across nine countries. A successful social media campaigned reached 104,102 users for 130,781 impressions and reaping nearly 11,000 post engagements.

“We are extremely excited with the unveiling of UnSeen - Interpretations with the Visually Impaired, a unique collaboration that offers art for the both the blind and sighted using augmented reality application technology,” said Carol Brady-Simmons, Chief Program Officer at Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. “The Organization and our program members are thrilled to be part of this unique experience.”

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