Stella the Stegosaurus gets hands-on with Monmouth Museum visitors, as the found-objects sculpture by the late Jim Gary forms the centerpiece of a special PLEASE TOUCH! show for visually impaired art aficionados.
She’s stood vigilant on the grounds of the Monmouth Museum for ages; her colorful steel skeleton delighting thousands of young visitors to the interactive exhibits at the Lincroft landmark. Welded from repurposed auto parts by the late Colts Neck-based sculptor Jim Gary (and named by a young contest winner), Stella the Stegosaurus is a permanent fixture for sure — but beginning this Sunday, the dynamic dino becomes the star centerpiece of an unusual new hands-on exhibit.
Dubbed Please Touch!, this “breaking all the rules” installation ignores the trepidation of touch-sensitive museum curators everywhere, with an experience in which visually impaired people enjoy a collection of wall-mounted and free-standing three-dimensional artworks, by feeling the materials, shapes and textures.
It’s a display designed to help the visually impaired “overcome the barrier they experience at most museums by allowing everyone to experience art by touching;” with a further guarantee that “sighted people will also learn to experience art without relying on their eyesight in addition to a visual artistic experience.”
A free opening reception for Please Touch! will be held from 4 to 6 pm on Sunday, with the exhibit remaining on display during regular museum hours through September 6.