Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art (CVA) and Department of Art to offer EnChroma glasses for color-blind students and visitors

DENVER, CO & BERKELY, CA – Metroplitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art and Department of Art partner to offer eyewear by EnChroma to students and visitors with color vision deficiencies, or color blindness. EnChroma helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses for color blindness to visitors. The CVA’s art exhibitions and MSU Denver’s art and art history classes will now be more accessible to colorblind students and visitors. Guests at the CVA can now check out the glasses free of charge at the front desk while visiting. Four pairs are available, including one pair sized for children and two pairs adapted to fit over prescription eyeglasses. Students in the Department of Art may check out glasses from the Art office. 

At 10 a.m. on April 25, 2024, the Center for Visual Art will host a launch event celebrating this new partnership and bringing awareness to the availability of these glasses to visitors and students. Six color blind individuals will try EnChroma glasses for the first time and share their experience with members of the media and the MSU Denver community. This event will highlight MSU Denver as the first university in Colorado to offer EnChroma glasses for loan. 

Jill Mollenhauer, MSU Denver professor of Art History, learned about EnChroma and reached out to offer the glasses to students. “Color is used in art as a primary tool to communicate a wide range of information, from the overall mood or tone of a work to culturally-specific symbols that allow a viewer to ‘read’ the central message,” said Mollenhauer. “We hope that by providing access to EnChroma glasses, we can enhance the accessibility of all that art has to offer for our students and other members of our campus community. We are also pleased to support EnChroma’s mission to increase the public’s awareness of color blindness and its impacts.”

CVA exterior mural

While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with red-green color vision deficiency are estimated to see only about 10% of hues and shades. As a result, many colors appear dull, muted, washed out and indistinguishable; purple looks blue, red seems brown, gray appears pink, and green and yellow can look similar. 

“Part of the story an artist tells is through colors, which contain meaning and evoke certain emotions,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “When a student artist or a guest cannot interpret colors properly because they’re color blind, it’s harder for them to grasp the artist’s intent. Thus, we are pleased that MSU Denver has become the first university in the state of Colorado to support the learning challenges faced by color blind students by offering our assistive eyewear.”

According to EnChroma, one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (0.5%) are color vision deficient – over 250,000 in the state of Colorado, 13 million in the US and 350 million people worldwide. On MSU Denver’s campus with 17,505 total students, an estimated 744 are color blind as are 183 faculty and staff.

Commencement Day

EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters that help people with color blindness see colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. A recent study by scientists at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio illustrated the benefits of the glasses. EnChroma glasses are not a cure for color blindness, work for 8 of 10 red-green color blind people, and results and reaction times vary.

About CVA

Center for Visual Art is the off-campus contemporary art center for Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver). CVA provides a year-round schedule of bold, contemporary exhibitions of both local significance and international reach, educational programming open to the community and immersive workforce development for students interested in creative fields. CVA’s mission is to provide access to diverse, high-quality art experiences that advance the global urban dialogue. The Center for Visual Art is free and open to all.

About MSU Denver’s Department of Art

MSU Denver’s mission is to provide a high-quality, accessible, enriching education that prepares students for successful careers, post-graduate education, and lifelong learning in a multicultural, global, and technological society. The Department of Art at MSU Denver is a vibrant, diverse environment full of options for students interested in pursuing a degree in a creative field. Whether interested in being a professional artist, designer, educator or researcher, students learn traditional methods of art production and research as well as innovative approaches to art and design.

About EnChroma

Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for color blindness combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call +1-510-497-0048 or visit

Media Contacts:
Kent Streeb
Vice President, Communications & Partnerships
P: 530.908.9225

Center for Visual Art
Jenna Miles
Communications Manager
P: 303.615.0282