A couple weeks ago I went to a reading of poetry combined with an art show. Each pair of a poet and an artist worked together to create a poem and a piece of art. They each talked about the collaborative process and then the poet read his/her poem. It was fascinating and a great way for me to hear about paintings.
In a different combination of pictures and words, a friend casually asked me if my brightly illustrated children’s book was available in Braille. I probably gave them too much information, but here’s my answer: Your Treasure Hunt is available only for borrowing from state libraries for the blind in print/braille format. Fifty or less books per year are produced in print/braille format that are available for purchase and mine was not chosen to be one of those. So I gave files of it to Learning Ally (formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic) and Bookshare. That way blind kids have access to the text of it in either audio or Braille formats if they know someone with a braille printer or if they have a braille display hooked up to their computer. If a sighted parent wanted to read it with their blind child, the sighted parent could buy the print book or get it out of the library and then download the braille text for their child. Or of course they could ask their state library for the blind to send them the print/braille book. Since there is one copy per state, it might be a while. If this sounds like a lot of trouble, it is.
Appreciating unseen pictures in a book or in an art museum takes thoughtful description and a good imagination. Maybe it’s like those old radio serials, the pictures are in your mind and it doesn’t matter if it’s different than what’s in someone else’s mind.