Visually impaired Lincoln artist teaches to inspire and advocate for inclusiveness
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A visually impaired senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University is inspiring students on campus this week by showcasing his artwork.
Taylor Sullivan grew up in Okoboji, Iowa, where he says most weren’t familiar with his rare visual impairment.
“I wasn’t met with many teachers, let alone people in my community that were familiar or knowledgable about how to work with me,” he said.
Sullivan says often he was left out of sports and activities most children his age participated in but found solace in creating artwork.
While at NWU, he has dedicated his time to creating and teaching art.
“My vision is notably different and lesser than my peers,” he said. “Although the first iterations of my exhibition were to show the world what this looks like, this later took a more conceptual approach.”
Sullivan spent the better part of the year creating the concept.
Last Wednesday, Sullivan debuted “Perception in an (UN)sighted World” at the Vance D. Rodgers Center for Fine Arts building on campus.
“You’re shown a world where you have to be very diligent,” he said. “This also goes for how I navigate the world around me.”
Beyond his artwork, Sullivan teaches at a local Lincoln middle school while also advocating for inclusiveness.
“Art is a safe place for people to push their boundaries and grow, both in their arts understanding their core content areas, and as people.”
Through his work, Sullivan says he wants to inspire new understanding and perspective in those who view it. He also wants to change the mindset that comes with disabilities.
“I’ve run into a lot of students who give up, and the only time you truly lose is when you give up,” he said. “The only way you can actually improve is if you keep fighting.”