• An exhibition aimed at visually impaired people that the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and Iberdrola launched in 2012
  • The exhibition increases its offer and incorporates the signature of one of the most outstanding painters of the cubist movement, María Blanchard

The Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao and Fundación Iberdrola España have presented this morning at the Bilbao art gallery the exhibition Art to Touch, a program aimed at visually impaired people.

The Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao and Fundación Iberdrola España have presented this morning at the Bilbao art gallery the exhibition Art to Touch, a program aimed at visually impaired people.

Since 2008 Iberdrola, through its foundation, and the museum has shared the goal of extending accessibility to a wider public and raising awareness of its meaning through proposals that use art as an educational tool. Among the activities and workshops developed by the museum’s Education Department for this purpose, Art for Touching stands out for its pioneering nature. This exhibition, launched in 2012, has subsequently been adopted by other museums such as the Prado and the Thyssen in Madrid and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

The inauguration was attended by Miguel Zugaza, director of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum; Fernando García, president of Fundación Iberdrola España; Ramón Castresana, director of Fundación Iberdrola España; Rafael Orbegozo, advisor to the Chairman of Iberdrola and member of the Board of Trustees of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Foundation; and Mercedes Andrés, director of the Resource Center for the Educational Inclusion of Visually Impaired Students IBT-CRI Donostia.

In its first editions, the program was developed in situ and, after receiving nearly 600 participants, thanks to the proposal of Fundación Iberdrola España, the Department of Education decided to expand the scope of its objective beyond the museum itself, initiating its exhibition by educational centers in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. This extension of the museum’s educational activity beyond its headquarters has been carried out since 2018 and, since then, 32 educational centers and 7,482 students have participated in it.

This January, Arte para Tocar resumes its activity after its suspension in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will begin a new tour through the educational centers of Gipuzkoa for which it has joined, in addition to the support of Iberdrola, the collaboration of the CRI -Resource Center for the Educational Inclusion of Students with Visual Impairment-, which is part of the support services for diversity and inclusion of the Department of Education of the Basque Government. Reservations are channeled through the Museum’s Education Department: deac@bilbaomuseoa.eus / Tel. 94 439 61 41.

Arte para Tocar has been expanding its offerings from the initial five works to the current eight, including a new one this year. In addition to increasing the number of panels, the incorporation now of María Blanchard (Santander, 1881-Paris, 1932) represents a qualitative improvement in the representation of women artists, in this case with one of the most outstanding painters of the cubist movement. Her work Femme assise (Seated Woman) -the figurative representation of a woman following the cubist code of faceted planes- makes her especially appropriate for this program.

Thus, these eight works complete a journey through influential periods and artists in the history of art: Noah’s Ark, a work of the Catalan Romantic dated to the last third of the 13th century; The Annunciation by El Greco and Saint Sebastian cured by the holy women by José de Ribera, both belonging to the Spanish school; Italian Baroque painting Lot and his daughters by Orazio Gentileschi; Seated Woman with a Child in Her Arms by Mary Cassatt, one of the most emblematic painters of the Impressionist movement; Lying Figure in Mirror by Francis Bacon; The Little Village Girl with the Red Carnation by Basque artist Adolfo Guiard; and, as of today, Femme assise (Seated Woman) by Maria Blanchard.

Fundación Iberdrola España, committed to society

Since its creation, Iberdrola has been committed to the energy, cultural and social development of the communities in which it is present. In this regard, Fundación Iberdrola España represents a further step in this commitment by promoting initiatives that contribute to improving the quality of life of people. One of the areas on which it focuses its activity is a cultural development and, especially, the care and maintenance of cultural and artistic wealth.

This area includes collaboration with the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which includes support for the Conservation and Restoration program, the creation of scholarships for training and research in the field of conservation and restoration of works of art, and collaboration in the development of educational activities specifically designed to raise awareness of the museum’s collection among audiences with special needs due to visual or cognitive disabilities, or in social insertion programs.