Elevating Art for the Visually Impaired

The National Audubon Society approached Arius with an irresistible challenge to digitize and elevate a few of the iconic Audubon prints for a new, immersive exhibition they’re building at their Mill Groves estate in Audubon, Pennsylvania.  

While this project was like no other, we’d undertaken, our dedication to helping make art more accessible, and to help nurture an art-rich culture for everybody was the perfect match for Audubon Society.  

Working with ultra-high-resolution images of the three Audubon prints in the project, our digital art experts set to work in studying the forms of the birds to add elevation to every minor detail of the print. From the intricate scales on fish in a Kingfisher’s beak, to the delicate feathers on a Pewit Flycatcher’s tail, we set out to make the birds’ form feel as realistic as they looked. 

After weeks of 3d sculpting, working the “digital clay” into life-like forms, we succeeded in creating touchable, elevated prints, which were also colour matched to the original 2D prints. Today, the new John James Audubon Centre at Mill Grove hangs the tactile prints in displays dedicated to the three birds: A Great Blue Heron, Pewit Flycathers and Belted Kingfishers – all of which are birds that can be spotted living in the grounds of the estate.