Save the Planet … Save the World

people's climate march | Shepard Fairey

poster by Sehpard Fairey

greetings all

tomorrow (21 september 2014) is the People’s Climate March in NYC

its hugely hugely hugely important

it is the most important thing of our times

i cant get to nyc tmw – wahhhhhh but i been studying up on divestment – how more and more colleges are divesting from fossil fuel

i been studying up on how HORRIBLE climate change claims the life of folks in the lowest altitudes, lowest economic groups, and lowest education ranking

i been studying up on how capitalistic corporations have been sacrificing the folks who benefit the least and have contributed the least to pollution – indigenous people and people of color

i have been studying up on how no matter how many research studies are conducted, how many reports are issued, how many true scientist verify – we are in MAJOR trouble – there are still politicians and the corporate bosses who own them saying its false, its untrue, its just mother nature just going through a natural change of life

there is NOTHING natural about climate change ie global warming – it is MAN made folks


Poster by Favlanna Rodriguez

and if humans created it – humans have GOTTA slow it down real fast or our kids and our future have no hope

so if you too cant get to NYC and join the People’s Climate March at the very least take 50 minutes today or tmw or the next day and watch this film DISRUPTION

its captioned – YA HOO! and THANK YOU. Aint it nice when we aint gotta beg and plead for #captionthis – when folks already think and know and do – so no excuses now folks WATCH IT (note when i had it in full screen the captions would bounce at times so i just got out of full screen and enlarged the viewing via the + key – problem solve)

This film is Pow Pow – awesome visuals, animation, information and human beings – im a gonna watch this film AGAIN AGAIN

it opens with a quote from our beloved Fredrick Douglass “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” and uses one of me favorite quotes from Alice Walker about how resistance is the secret to possessing joy and has a ton more quotable stuff from new faces to me. Lots and lots of beautiful faces sings songs of social justice and social activism. Heroes – my eyes and hearts are full of new heroes

So don’t feel hopeless at how big and scary the climate change reality is – just get real and get active and get busy and GET FOLKS TO DIVEST NOW.

Poster for the film "disruption"

Poster for the film “Disruption”

Solar Power

Wind Power

People Power

they be the future

pete seeger said he realized that all his activist for peace – anti-war and anti-nuclear proliferation would be for naught if we did not become active for the environment

this is how im a feeling

if we dont throw our full hearts and spirit into stopping fossil fuel we are pretty doomed

STAND folks

at the very least watch the movie

as noted in the film – climate change affects how we live, where we live, and if we live

get involved


poster by Ceasar Maxit

Text ‘PCM’ to 97779 to join

Share the link to the film Disruption

Tweet at media outlets to cover the People’s Climate March

Check to see if anything is happening locally near you

be part of the MOVEment

thank u in advance


Poster by Cesar Maxit.   Don't let Obama or anyone else turn their back on clean energy and our future

Poster by Cesar Maxit.
Don’t let Obama or anyone else turn their back on clean energy and our future

S T O P in the name of love cuz that’s what…

so i havent blogged in ages

i dont know what to say

the world worries me

too much goin’ on

lots and lots of uncool sh#t goin’ down

the planet is dying fastly folks – STOP!

Stop fracking

Stop drilling

Stop driving

Stop wasting


slow down

live simply

live with less

and the WARS

the wars are breaking my heart

too many deaths

too much corruption and destruction

and the police brutality is making me hopeless

they supposed to keep the peace not destroy it

RACISM is real and im tired of seeing us white folks say..




their aint no but – its wrong


and the erosion of our first amendment rights make me feel dismayed

you HAVE the right to freedom of ASSEMBLY – use it – go places and take a STAND

you HAVE the right to freedom of press – use it – write and vlog stuff – get the truth OUT

you HAVE the right to petition the govt – do it

you HAVE the right to freedom of religion – dont shove it down others throats and LISTEN to what ur religion really teaches us cuz all religions are rooted in “love your enemy as you love yourself” – problem is? most folks dont love themselves too much or well so they be mighty mean to their neighbors and friends and enemies

the gun madness is making me shut down

noBODY in this country needs an uzi

noBODY in this country needs an automatic rifle

we are a vengeful and violent people

we forget whose image we are created in

folks r thinking we need to planet hop – well maybe we should just white flag it – we have made a mighty mess of things – us humanUNkind

WAKE UP and just try for a day or two to think of others and to L O V E

its the least and the best we can do

and now for a poem from Robert F. Panara – a grand Deaf man who recently passed:



“Peace!” the newsboys shouted loud,

“The battle’s fought and won….”

But the amputee lay

in the feverish away

Of a war that had just begun.


“Peace!” the weary G.I.’s grinned

“Arrivedon time to-day….”

But their spades gave birth

in the desolate earth

To a hundred graves that day.


“Peace!” the cannons echoed high,

And the flash lit every cloud ….

But the shell-shocked stared

as the fireworks flared,

And their nurses wept aloud.


“So this is Peace” the sergeant cursed

As he finished his glass of rum,

“Poor devils,” he said

and he rolled in bed

And he wished that his brain was numb.

- – Robert F. Panara

(from RF Panara, TB Denis and JH McFarlane (eds.), The Silent Muse: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry by the Deaf.  Washington, DC: The Gallaudet College Alumni Association)


And from another cool guy – Bob Marley  (yes i know im a pacifist – still am and will be forever more – im just tired folks)


Until the philosophy which hold one race superior
And another
Is finally
And permanently
And abandoned -
Everywhere is war -
Me say war.

That until there no longer
First class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes -
Me say war.

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race -
Dis a war.

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace,
World citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued,
But never attained -
Now everywhere is war – war.

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
that hold our brothers in Angola,
In Mozambique,
South Africa
Sub-human bondage
Have been toppled,
Utterly destroyed -
Well, everywhere is war -
Me say war.

War in the east,
War in the west,
War up north,
War down south -
War – war -
Rumours of war.
And until that day,
The African continent
Will not know peace,
We Africans will fight – we find it necessary -
And we know we shall win
As we are confident
In the victory

Of good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah!
Good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah!
Good over evil -
Good over evil, yeah! [fadeout]

- – Bob Marley





Spectrum – A place of our own

Spectrum – A place of our own

Spectrum: Focus on Deaf Artists was an artists’ colony that ran in the late 1970s in Austin, Texas.  Video and Text summary of Spectrum by Christie and Durr – HeART of Deaf Culture: Literary and Artistic Expressions of Deafhood 2012–cR21A

Spectrum: Focus on Deaf Artists
Length: 17:32

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 6.43.03 PMNote: This is a summary of the signed commentaries made in the video on Spectrum and not a verbatim translation. Text summary by Karen Christie and Patti Durr.  See video for all of the images mentioned below.

Variety of Deaf artists signing the word “spectrum”

Dr. Betty G. Miller signing Spectrum with fingers spread out as she sits in front of her painting of the Ranch at Spectrum

Dr. Betty G. Miller signing Spectrum with fingers spread out as she sits in front of her painting of the Ranch at Spectrum

Illustration for the sign for Spectrum appears
Spectrum: Focus on Deaf Artists 1975-1980
Deaf Artists’ Colony Austin, Texas

Chuck Baird: This was a new place where a variety of us Deaf artists could come together and do our thing. Such a thing had never existed before. A Hearing woman from Texas came here to start an art program for disabled kids. She was concerned about accessibility issues in the arts.

[Image from Spectrum Newsletter: Janette Norman with Deaf student in front of a bust in an art classroom.]

Betty G. Miller: Janette Norman, her namesign was a “J” on the palm of the hand, showed up at Gallaudet. I met her and she explained her idea about setting up a Deaf artists program, which I became fascinated with. I began to tell my Deaf friends about it and some of us decided to make the big move to Austin, Texas.

[Image from Spectrum Newsletter: Gathering of Deaf artist at World Congress of the Deaf, WFD 1975 in Washington DC to discuss the possibility of forming a Deaf Artists' colony]

Chuck Baird: Janette Norman came to us and asked us Deaf artists, “What dreams do you have?” We all looked at each other and said, “We’d like to have something like a Deaf artists’ colony,” and she returned to Austin and found some people with money. Then she notified those of us Deaf people who she had met in Washington, DC.

Paul Johnston: Chuck Baird had just graduated, and went to participate in the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) convention. It was there that the idea got percolating about founding a Deaf artists’ center; a “utopia” so to speak. They decided to establish it in Austin, Texas. That was Spectrum.

Betty G. Miller: Some friends and I came out to Austin, Texas.

[Image of Betty G. Miller's painting "Spectrum: Focus on Deaf Artists"]

[Image showing Spectrum's Goals and Aspirations]

Chuck Baird: At that time we wanted to showcase the talents of Deaf artists nationally; to share their accomplishments and frustrations and how to make it across the communication barrier as some artists had done. We would publicize this via our newsletter, and we acted as a clearinghouse. Spectrum really served as an umbrella under which many of the projects were housed: theatre, TV & film, visual art, literature and dance. Spectrum had different projects for schools, and hosted art shows and theatre productions involving Deaf children and families. There was a summer camp for Deaf youth related to the arts and theatre. This is how we served the Austin community.

[Image of a map of the U.S. indicating the number of Deaf artists from each state who were part of the Spectrum Clearinghouse]

[Image of flyer on Spectrum]

Chart Vol.2 #2 May 1977[Image of Spectrum's organizational structure and representatives in 1977.

Image listing Spectrum's executive advisory board, its working board, its administration and office staff, and its Deaf artists advisory board]

[Image of Deaf Dancers painting by Betty G. Miller]

Chuck Baird: We got a federal grant for job training called CETA under Jimmy Carter’s administration. This was awesome, and for two or three years it allowed us to expand and grow. Many Deaf people from across the U.S. were thrilled to see what was happening here in Austin — something founded by, for and of Deaf artists, with a few Hearing people involved as interpreters or for fundraising and development. We, Deaf artists, were able to see ourselves as visual artists, theatre performers, writers and dancers.

[Image of Helen DeVitt Jones — patron to Spectrum] Patron Helen Jones

Nancy Creighton: She (Helen DeVitt Jones) was from a wealthy oil family and Spectrum was just one of her minor philanthropies. Her money paid all of the salaries for Betty, Charles, and Janette. CETA money covered everyone else, including myself.

I believe when Helen Jones’ sister – or someone in her family – was dying, and they needed to reconfigure their finances, so she had to stop supporting Spectrum.

The Ranch

[Illustration of the Ranch area entitled "Mt. Spectrum" by Chuck Baird]

c baird drawing of spectrum p 15 map drawing vol 3 no 2 june 1978

c baird drawing of spectrum p 15 map drawing vol 3 no 2 june 1978

Betty G. Miller: My friend, Clarence Russell, and I brought the ranch together.

[Image of young Betty with Clarence in front of wooden gate]

[photo of the ranch area with headlines Flash! Flash! Flash! We Move to the Ranch]

Betty G. Miller: The Ranch is where we had many of our Spectrum activities. We had Deaf artists there. Not everyone made works that were Deaf-themed, but there was a focus on Deaf life and providing Deaf artists with an opportunity to move forward with their artistic lives.

[Image of Chuck Baird from the late 1970s wearing a Spectrum t-shirt]

Chuck Baird: Welcome to Spectrum (fingerspelled and then signed) ranch. A group of us came together here to form the organization Spectrum: FODA — Focus on Deaf Artists. That (indicating building behind him) is where we would have meetings in the living room. The den became an office space; there was a kitchen, and down the hall was the bedroom area. This building belonged to Betty G. Miller and Clarence Russell, whose name sign was CR. At this time, many people were moving to Austin, and those two bought this area, which became our “headquarters.” Over there a bit was a small horse stall that we converted into a studio for producing our newsletter; doing the layout and illustrations, collecting slides, preserving materials and so forth. We also had a small outdoor stage, which was a platform. We had a home-made tent, which I made, and we erected it during the summer festivals where forty-plus Deaf artists would all convene for one-week. It really was our hey-day. We had a wonderful time. The first summer festival was in ’77 and the next one was in ’78. The second was a little larger, and took place here. Most people came from out of state and would stay with us as guests; we’d come together and leave and come together again. We also had an outdoor evening theatre with lights and people would flock to see it. There was about fifteen of us working here during the day with the two owners staying in the ranch house. Now there are many buildings here and guess what this has become? The Austin Zoo — believe it or not!

"Dr Betty G. Miller on Arts and the Deaf" vol 2 no 2 May 1977 - pix of Betty signing "art"

“Dr Betty G. Miller on Arts and the Deaf” vol 2 no 2 May 1977 – pix of Betty signing “art”

[Image with headline Dr. Betty G. Miller Director of Visual & Performing Arts School with a picture of Betty signing the word "art"]

Paul Johnston: I met Betty Miller and we kept in touch. She invited me out to visit Spectrum. This was during my senior year at RIT. I flew out and was really just an observer, chatting with people without having any real role or responsibility in Spectrum, as I was still a senior. When I visited her at Austin, Texas she showed me her portfolio at her home. Chuck had already mentioned what a phenomenal artist she was. I think Chuck had even shown me some pictures of Betty’s work — like a face with wires coming down from the ear and mechanical instruments. I could see how her work influenced Chuck’s work with his “The Mechanical Ear” painting. It was not a direct influence, but more of something that rests in the subconscious. It is typical for someone’s art to impact others from the same school of art. When she showed me her work, I thought wow — it was so strongly political. At that time, writing did not have a big effect, whereas art produced a much more powerful statement.

ASL and Acting

[Image of headlines "Unite in Support of Deaf Actors" and the ASL Column]

Dec. 1977 Vol.2 No.4 p.5 a play of our won[Images from Spectrum's "A Play of Own Own" production]

[Image of Liz Quinn with short biography]

[Image of Liz Quinn from the production of "Blue Angel"]

[Scroll with text: “… to Summer Conference for Deaf artists in Austin. ‘Land Ho.’ I found deaf feelings, deaf ideas, the deaf making decisions: the same motion as the sun, the sea, and the merry go-round. Sometimes I think, ‘Have I stayed too long with the sun and sea?’ My heart says, ‘NO, sail on Spectrum.” — Liz Quinn

Nancy Creighton: Liz Quinn sat me down and explained, “ASL is different. ASL is a visual language. You sign ENGLISH. We are STRONG ASL here.” She explained it all to me and I replied, “Thank you for teaching me because I’m totally clueless.” Although I realized at the time that their emphasis was on using ASL, it wasn’t until years later that I found out that everyone using and promoting ASL was a very radical and unique idea for that time. I didn’t know it then. I didn’t know anything about the history. I didn’t know anything simply because I had grown up entirely in the Hearing world. It wasn’t until much later that I realized how fortunate I was to have been exposed to that so early on.

Chuck Baird: In the living room of this house, we would have lively discussions about Deaf art lead by Betty G. Miller. Ten years later, De’VIA would be formulated but really its birthplace was right THERE through that door. Betty was really ahead of her time. De’VIA was coined later. Wow, I’m moved to see that coming towards me. (cuts to peacock walking towards Chuck) See that peacock there — you know how its back feathers will open up just like the sign for Spectrum. Far out, huh? Spectrum; it was colorful. It is like the feathers of that bird.

We had a stage, a platform here. I would say it was 30 by 30 feet. I remember there was a telephone pole that had an electrical outlet, and we powered the lights from it.

This building used to have horse stalls, as I told you before. We converted it into a studio space for layout work and a darkroom. It took us one year to renovate the building because it was stop and go depending on the funding coming in, which enabled us to buy the supplies, such as wall board. Five or six of us worked here in this space: our editor in chief, our photographer, another person who was responsible for the newsletter lay-out, and someone who typed up the articles.

[Images from Spectrum newsletters — Three people digging in front of the horse stall, a woman working on the framing for the renovation and other images of the renovations]

[Painting of "Spectrum Deaf Artists" by Betty G. Miller]

Betty Miller: This is a painting of a building that was part of Spectrum ranch. It was not the building we lived in but rather one in which we did various activities. There are three different artists featured in the painting. The man on the right is Clarence Russell (CR), the man in the middle is Reggie Egnatovich (name sign – R on the chin), and the man next to him is Guy Wonder. You may have noticed that in many of my paintings I have lines running down from the mouth to the bottom of the chin — this is to indicate they had been raised orally. This man in the middle was VERY Deaf, which means he was ‘very ASL,’ but still he had been raised being required to speak. In the background, you can see an American flag where the stars have been replaced with hands. This shows that we were AMERICANS — not just some folks out in the world, but that we were part of the U.S.A.

Summer Conferences: Images from Spectrum Newsletters

[Images from newsletters - Susan Jackson handling registration, Ralph Miller signing with Guy Wonder in the background, Ralph Miller posing for a painting by Bill Sparks, painting of Ralph Miller by Bill Sparks, festival participants watching a presentation under the tent, the advisory board in discussion under the tent, Charlie B. signing, Patrick Graybill signing "English!," Dorothy Miles signing "Spectrum."]

[Text from Dorothy Miles' poem]


Pure colors
Red, orange
yellow, green
Purple deep, purple light —
each one alone
beautiful, strong and free —
into a clear
shining that we may see
the Sign.
let us unite —
each one alone a color
beautiful, strong and free —
join hands
finger by finger
into a clear
light . . . .
errors, misunderstandings,
jealousies, frustrations
receding from
the light of our world,
that we may understand
the Signs.
Dorothy Miles
July 13, 1976

Betty Miller: Really, it was an amazing experience to be involved with Spectrum. It affected every one of

Betty signing "look back"

Betty signing “look back”

us. I learned to appreciate dance, and I hadn’t seen Deaf dancers prior to Spectrum. Meeting so many Deaf artists was really inspirational for me. Even though we had many conflicts, as a whole it was remarkable. We were all brave Deaf people to move from our homes to start such a venture. Now, when I look back I’m in awe. Since that time, I have never seen anything like it.



De’VIA’s 25th & Beyond – Building the Mt More

Deaf View/Image Art De’VIA is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style.  Don’t know what De’VIA is – dont feel badly – lots of folks dont but once they do – wow wee they really do take off.

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 11.05.12 PM

Dr. Betty G. Miller standing in front of a large blank canvas wearing a enormous smile and a flowered black shirt – still frame from historical footage from the 1989 De’VIA think tank.

Deaf View/Image Art is a term that was coined in 1989 by 9 Deaf artists to name works expressing the Deaf experience.  Works about the Deaf-world had been created prior to 1989 but they were usually lumped in with any works by Deaf artists not depicting the Deaf experience and generically termed Deaf art.

See a short 19 minute video on the history of De’VIA think tank at:

The name came from ASL first – the group of artists discussed at length what to call this new art movement and can came up with:

Deaf View/Image Art

chuck devia


( sign for view is pointed at a 5 handshape for image which represents a canvas or piece of paper) – the slash / connotes it is a combination sign.  So the view is about how Deaf people see the world they live in and the image is how they express this experience (the motifs, themes, colors etc they call upon)

They came up with an abbreviation of De’VIADe = Deaf (they wanted to keep the Deaf pride without having Hearing people think of the full word as they so often think in pathological terms) and added an to give the term a foreign feel as many Deaf people note that they feel alien (not treated as an equal member of their country or even this planet) and also to indicated that the term De’VIA came from another language (ASL) and as a nod to Laurent Clerc and France for having given us LSF that evolved into our ASL.  the VIA part stand for the View/Image Art 

De’VIA has embedded and flowed over the past 25 years – often soaring based on the profound and prolific images of its strongest artists.  the De’VIA exhibits curated by Brenda Schertz for the Deaf Studies conferences and other shows hosted throughout the country from time to time were a huge boost to the growth of De’VIA before the digital age but it was not until the advent of an understanding of audism, Deaf gain, and Deafhood that we have seen De’VIA move from being a movement of art to a movement of the people.

With an increased collective consciousness via Deafhood and critical literacy about human rights, language rights, the art and activism of disenfranchised groups, and of course the huge heart and hardihood of our contemporary De’VIA artists and the use of social media, we have seen an invigorating and inspiring amount of De’VIA creations and on the ground activism.  A subset of De’VIA is emerging via its ARTivists – folks who are not just content to create and showcase their works but artists who are eager to get their feet on the ground hitting the pavement to bring about social change via their work and their feet.  We STAND. ^

The artivist (artist +activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation. ~ MK Asante, Jr.

So last year when the Olathe, Kansas’ Deaf Cultural Center (DCC) and the Kansas School for the Deaf (KSD) invited a group of De’VIA artists to come together to examine the past, present and posterity of De’VIA at the threshold of De’VIA turning 25 – we had a grand time.  An extraordinary time.  An audism free time.  (see and scroll down for the PDF which contains many new De’VIA works from a wide variety of artists).  A marvelous mural was made and is being reproduced to be included in a De’VIA curriculum kit to be sent to

De'VIA Totem 2014

De’VIA Totem 2014

Deaf schools and programs so that children and young adults will not have to say “I wish I knew about De’VIA a long time ago.”   A De’VIA totem was also created at the Kansas 2013 retrea and can be seen along with the mural at the link above. 

Gallaudet hosted a De’VIA anniversary exhibit in April of 2014 and NTID is hosting a De’VIA exhibit and banquet Oct-November, 2014 – see the call for submissions –  There will be numerous other shows and booth/festivals throughout the country this year and a retreat for Deaf artists is happening at the Aspen Deaf Camp Aug 14-20 (scroll down for complete listing of events)

At the retreat last year in Kansas, several artists expressed a need for a De’VIA curriculum as so many Deaf schools and programs do not teach about De’VIA.  This past week (June 27 – July 1, 2014), fifteen artists and art teachers came together to work on lesson plans, create materials and develop a curriculum.  It was an intense and whirlwind time.  We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have been able to stay at the Rochester School for the Deaf as we worked all day and long into the nights.  Hopefully a pilot set of materials with a mural replica will be tested out this year during De’VIA’s 25th and tweaked and finalized so that we finally have a NATIONAL De’VIA curriculum.  Its long overdue and im so happy it is happening.

It was my great honor and pleasure to get to know all of these amazing, caring, creative, kind, funny, generous, and good folks.  It really feeds my soul to discover more and more folks who share, dare, and care.  I would like to go on and on but im still trying to catch up on my sleep and my brain is still a bit scrambled with so much ground we covered.

my heart is grateful and will be so eternally.  “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” ~ Massieu

I can feel all the good souls who fought so long and so hard for Deaf* equality and justice smiling upon us.  Our cup runneth over. In a good way.

Much peace folks

keep shining and never stop jumping at that sun

(even when it was scorching hot and humind in Rochester – jump we did)

De'VIA Curriculum Working Group at RSD 2014

De’VIA Curriculum Working Group at RSD 2014. We need to photo shop in Kyle Hoffer. Back row Michelle Mansfield-Hom, Laurie Monahan, Tullos Horn, Randy Pituk, Christine Parrotte, Patti Durr, Nancy Rourke, Hinda Kasher. Middle: Emily Blachly and Ellen Mansfield Front row: Karen Chistie, Gino Caci, Takako Kerns, Susan Dupor. Background: De’VIA 2013 mural created at Olathe, Kansas retreat


De’VIA booths, exhibits, retreats, etc


Summer 2013

Jun 6-29, 2013 Olathe, Kansas

Deaf Culture Center and Kansas School for the Deaf

De’VIA artists retreat

Group mural created and donated to KSD

Booths at Olathe art festival


Fall 2013-2014

November 20? – Feb 7, 2014 NTID Dyer Arts Center

People of the Eye Exhibit

October 11-12 De’VIA marketplace, Brick City NTID 45th Anniversary


Spring 2014

March 25 – April 14, 2014 Washburn, Gallaudet

New Wave Exhibit


May 25-28, 2014 – exact dates of the De’VIA workshop 25 years ago in Washburn building at Gallaudet before Deaf Way I


Summer 2014

June 1-30, 2014: First U.S. Deaf Artists Residency Program (funded by National Endowment for the Arts) –

The HeART of Deaf Culture: Literary and Artistic Expressions of Deafhood available for online subscription –

June 7, 2014 Orlando, FLA Deaf Art Show

June 27 – July 1, 2014 De’VIA Curriculum Working Group at Rochester School for the Deaf

July 1-5, 2014 NAD Atlanta, GA booths and silent auction

August 5, 2014 – deadline for online submissions of up to 5 De’VIA works for NTID exhibit juried show consideration (self-portraits strongly encouraged) –

Aug 14-20, 2014 Deaf View Art Retreat Aspen, Colorado (1 night De’VIA reception in Aspen Gallery)

August 30, 2014: Deafestival KY –


Fall 2014

Aug 29 – September 1, 2014 Fords ABE art beats eats Booths

Royal Oaks, Michigan


October 4-5, 2014 Ravenswood Art Walk Booths

Chicago, Ill


October 17, 2014 Opening Reception De’VIA 25th anniversary Access Gallery in Denver, Colorado Santa Fee Art District Exhibit and reception

Oct 17-18th CAD 110th anniversary


October 3 – November 8, 2014 (deadline for submissions Aug 5 see

Dyer Arts, Center NTID

De’VIA 25th Anniversary

Oct 10 4 pm Opening Reception of Exhibit

Oct 16-19 Brick City – De’VIA market place Booths?

Nov 7 Deaf-Mute Banquet 25th Anniversary of De’VIA

Nov 8 6 pm Closing Reception of Exhibit


Spring 2015

Pepco Edison

Washington, DC


Summer 2015

June 10-13, 2015 (tentative dates)  De’VIA retreat –Kansas School for the Deaf and the Deaf Cultural Center

June 13-14, 2015 Downtown Olathe Arts Festival

End of June De’VIA curriculum group TBA

July 15-19, 2015 De’VIA exhibit, Deaf Women United Conference Berkeley, California

July 28-Aug 2 Istanbul, Turkey World Federation of the Deaf booths?

Aug 10-Sept 8, 2015 De’VIA Exhibit at Pepco Edison, Washington, DC

Summer 2016

Michigan De’VIA retreat ?


To be determined

future museum and gallery De’VIA  exhibits




What’s your number?

What's Your Number?

What’s Your Number?

Note: see video at bottom for ASL version with pix of some of the guys in prison artwork and ellen and nancys

so i havent been able to sleep for the past two nights

this is unusual for me – rare for me to be wide awake and restless.  sure ive been busy a doin’ running here and there and sure i got lots on my mind but this AWAKE is the type of awake that says – u have someTHING to do.  something specific.  so what i did last night is i just made to quick sketches and then was able to sleep.  Tonight (now morning) the blog calls.

So what is keeping me up?

some Deaf fellows in prison.  I only got to know ‘em for a short while but clearly they have made their mark.  Some good souls (thank you nancy rourke, ellen mansfield, and kc for making this sojourn) and i went to a maximum security prison in western ny to do a De’VIA Deaf View/Image Artwork workshop with some Deaf guys in prison there.

I learned things.  Im still learning things – piecing together what i saw and what i feel.

Number one it feels sad / heavy to walk out FREE.  im not carefree about it.  im just like WOW! 14 years, 30 years, 59 years and counting.  it makes me weep

The guys were mighty sweet – nice, funny, engaged.

This i loved

1- how they helped out their brethren who don’t know ASL understand us and how they helped us to understand them.  I suspect we on the outside dont know the first thing about being collective.

2- how when nancy and ellen explained a few things about their work they were like – OH, Wow, that’s good

i especially loved when W figured out Ellen’s use of fish in her self-portrait was to represent how a fish as stared at in an aquarium – he came to that interpretation on his own but then looked at me and nodded his head in awe as if to say “she’s a clever one, that artist” and i was like yep she is

3. how when W asked Nancy Rourke to serve as his model signing his name sign of W from lower chin to near the ear (indicating a beard) – i thought he just wanted to be able to see it signed so he could then copy / portray it on his own face but instead he was painting red hair and i was like “wow you are painting Nancy!” and he said “yes” and i asked “why did you want to paint nancy signing your namesign W on chin?” and he replied “so she will be calling me name” then he signed it “W on chin W, W” as if someone was calling out to him and i thought that was super cool

4. when H had finished painting his self-portrait, he was struggling to incorporate his name sign (H moved from right to left on his chest) and having someone model the signing for him to look at wasn’t helping, nancy rourke decided to paint H with his name sign.  He was enthralled.  To see his own name.  He then added the H handshapes to his own artwork but asked to keep Nancy’s work for his cell wall.

im like a child5. when KC’s eyes glowed with enthusiasm when Ellen and Nancy held up each of their own works to discuss with the guys and when she chatted with each of them as they worked away.  I didn’t see her writing back and forth with one of the non-signing inmates but she did mention he wrote that he was like a child due to so many years being isolated.  “im like a child, im like a child” kept playing in my mind.  (this man has some serious art skill by the way) later i found the note and it still really just holds on to me


some things i didn’t love

1. that all the staff referred to the different folks in prison by their numbers – not by their names

2. that even thought they do have a few folks to sign with – there days do not have the same level of intellectual stimulation as the Hearing folks in prison do

3. that when they left after our good connection, robust handshakes, great interest in coming back – when it was time for them to leave the room as they passed by the window they all looked straight ahead – normally Deaf folks would look through the opening at us and flash a wave, a smile, something but nothing – just staring straight ahead – ahhhhhh “EYES FORWARD” – they probably learned that QUICKLY and HARSHLY

Count the Brushes - the guard counted the number of paint brushes we were bringing in had emphasized we must count and make sure we have the same number coming out (they dont want the guys using them as shank) - we had brought markers and pencils but all of the guys went for the paint and returned them all.  glad we brought them

Count the Brushes – the guard counted the number of paint brushes we were bringing in had emphasized we must count and make sure we have the same number coming out (they dont want the guys using them as shank) – we had brought markers and pencils but all of the guys went for the paint and returned them all. glad we brought them

- especially if they didnt hear it the first time or the second time or the third time…..

4. how mixed i felt as we left.  i felt good we had been there and connected but i felt – i cant find the word – i

felt …. im free and they are not.  that sucks (and yes i know that if they committed a serious crime they should be deprived of their freedom – i just know that correctional facilities RARELY correct and there is boat load of folks who have caused more death and mayhem than some of these folks – im talking about Corporations who are run by PEOPLE who do HORRIBLE things that cause some folks deaths and they NEVER see a single day of jail time) I also know that the Criminal Justice system leans toward white – they are more lenient and less likely to arrest, beat, incarcerate White folks than they are Black and Brown folks that that simply is NOT cool

we can argue that uneducated poor folks do more crime than educated middle and upper class white folks but really we should look at what types of crime do time and what types dont and we should look at why they system does so little towards REHABILITATION

5. how when Mighty Joe Y…. asked me “What is your number?” and i said “Huh?” and he said “oh i mean what is your name?” i was like whoa

Later when i thought about these artworks they made – three incorporated sign language – two used name signs and another was a painting of wife signing ILY.  these men wanted to be called by they name and known and important to someone on the outside.

Its an important question – What is your name?

One that we never think carries any weight or meaning – but for these men to be known by their name is so priceless that that is the dominant feature in the art.

a human by any other name ….

love seems to be the answer and im a studyin’ on it








For Felix and others like him

I’ve been writing to Felix Garcia for a while now.  He is a Latin@ Deaf* man serving life for a murder his Hearing brother has confessed to.  Felix has been in prison for over 30 years and many of those years were spent alone – amongst hundreds of other men – all Hearing and non-signing – a virtual sentence to solitary confinement for no crime other than being a Deaf man walking.

You can see Felix and other Deaf men and women in the Deaf in Prison documentary that H.E.A.R.D will be screening June 27-29 | 12am-11:59pm.  If you can host a group viewing in your area – let HEARD know so they can list it.  (you can see a list of different locations that are hosting a screening at scroll down for list)

See Trailer for the event and documentary below

I hope more and more Deaf people and allies will get involved with HEARD and start advocating for rights of Deaf people in the criminal justice system (Tmw 6/23 HEARD will be at a Teach-In on the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) discussing sexual assault of deaf, blind and disabled persons.)

For an update on Felix’ case – see Pat Bliss’ write up and scroll down for links to sign the petitions –

Its hard for me to write about this subject because it feels so hopeless and overwhelming but as Felix always reminds me, our “words help.”  Karen Christie’s poem does a superb job expressing the plight of Deaf, Deafblind and other people in prisons.  Thank you for letting me reprint it here KC.  Thank you Pat Bliss (Felix’ advocate), Talila Lewis (TL) and all the good folks at HEARD and the Deaf in Prison blogsite for all you are doing.

Felix and friends – stay strong.


For Felix

            And others like him

by Karen Christie


I imagine it started as a misunderstanding

And then

the handcuffs

Behind your back

so the right

To remain silent

was never


But enforced


I imagine it led to miscomprehension

of the lawyers vocabulary, the court proceedings,

the uninterpreted expressions

And the right

To be represented

Never represented


Your story

Your truth


I imagine the worst miscarriage of justice

Was the cruel and unusual sentence

To years of solitary confinement

Among other inmates

Whose physical proximity

Endangered and violated

your arrested life.


HEARD trailer for the Deaf in Prison screening and discussion groups

2nd Deaf-Mute Banquet and Film Night

In the Fall of 2013 the 2nd Deaf-Mute banquet was held in Rochester, NY.  The first took place in the Fall of 2012 to honor the 300th birthday of L’epee and the 2nd was to honor his 301st birthday and the 100th anniversary of George W. Veditz’ Preservation of Sign Language film along with other films made in ASL in that year.

part 1 of the panara presentation is at

at 2:30 is Veditz (portrayed chris brucker)
at 9:30 is Hotchkiss (pat graybill)
at 2:40 is McGregor (scott cohen)
part 2 of the panara presentation is at
at start is Mary Williamson Erd (diana pineda)
at 5:15 is gallaudet family (5:20 mark holcomb, 9:35 dorothy wilkins, 13:00 matt salerno)
Snips from the Banquet:
Characters from the past sharing info with banquet attendees:

George and Bessie Veditz

Robert McGregor

John B. Hotchkiss

Mary W. Erd

Agatha Tiegel Hanson

Gallaudet Family


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