#WPSD Hunger Strike – a poem by Karen Christie

#WPSD Hunger Strike

by Karen Christie


The grand double doors at WPSD

Do not have a flashing lights button

So the knock can only summon

Hearing folks.

The knocks are one of the few sounds

They are able to ignore.


Without sound,

There is no language.


A new day.


The school windows now have blackout curtains

They refuse to look

At the starving Deaf bodies

On their doorstep


They refuse to see

The young Deaf bodies

Starving too.



The strikers

Have been hungering

For days, and days, and days

Mostly for a response, a dialogue.

Mostly for the children, their/our future.



The adults at WPSD

Feed them all only

long moments of silence and neglect.


And whose soul here

is truly

in the most

mortal danger?

Into the Pit

English is below the video box


NOTE: correction – title of Nancy Rourke’s artwork is “In the Pit” (video has error saying “Into…”)  text below has correct title

Today I’m gonna open this up.

“In the Pit” by Nancy Rourke

(holds up brown paper wrapped painting)

(holds up painting “In the Pit by Nancy Rourke” Black streaked background with black and white hands with blue tape X in the pit and ASL etched in the corner)

Why has this artwork affected me so much?
A while back I taught a course on Deaf People During World War II, which had a focus on the Holocaust. I have also met many survivors of the Holocaust. I have interviewed some Jewish Deaf survivors of the Holocaust, videotaping them and documenting their histories. In doing that, I had to do research in the photo archives of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum – looking for images that would match up and could be edited into the visual history testimonies of the Deaf survivors. I saw many many images of Jewish people being forced into pits. Mass graves. Often the Jewish people themselves were forced at gun point to dig graves, many of them knew what was coming – that they would be shot and left in these pits. I saw images of women and children and babies – everyone slaughtered. And I am always left wondering “HOW?” “How could this ever have happened?”
So with THIS artwork

We see hands with blue tape, representing Oralism, in the pit. And ASL is abandoned there in the pit also. I have put off vlogging or blogging about this artwork. I have even put off opening this artwork.

I have refused to open it for so so so long.

Why? The biggest reason why is because it is too painful. The truth of it – of our situation, of our world circumstances – it is TOO painful.

I do my best to face the truths, I do my best to confront oppressive systems. At the same time sometimes it feels too impossible. The system is too big and I am too small.

This artwork to me – represents the 2nd wave of Oralism. We have already experienced the 1st wave of Oralism, which most of you know of from 1880 Milan.

The 2nd wave of Oralism means what? It means the forcing of Oralism – the banning of signing and the punishment that comes when a child signs. That 2nd wave started here in the US when different corporations began pushing Cochlear implantations, telling parents they “must, must, must” via early “intervention” and the newborn Hearing screening. Once an infant / child is detected to be Deaf the push for cochlear implants and AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapy) begins.

The tandem team of CI implanting and AVT (oral / aural only) has been building momentum for the past 20 years.

Oral Deaf schools are back and increasing all over the country

Deaf schools that use sim-com or some type of signing are closing one by one

Illinois School for the Deaf uses Cued Speech in the classrooms

This is the 2nd wave – the great PUSH – of Oralism

(holds up artwork “Into the Pit”)

Its true.


Its real.

So this artwork affects me because… I know its real.

Because I meet survivors of the 2nd wave every day

I meet survivors of the 1st wave every day

Because too many of us for too long have played the 3 evils of the hear no, see no, say no monkeys

We will say – “oh yeah back then there was horrible punishment against signing.” We always emphasized the “way back then…” as if it were a thing of the past. That is not true. It is happening AGAIN!

I feel emotional why? Because when engaging in different peaceful protests about education, language rights and human rights – who tends to show up? Deaf people who come from Deaf families or Deaf people who had Hearing parents but have their own Deaf children. They have created a 2nd generation of Deaf people. The 2nd generation (or more folks) or the folks who created a 2nd generation know all too well and intimately about the 2nd wave of Oralism. They know both the first and second wave of Oralism. Whereas the majority of members of our Deaf communities often turn away from this truth, they don’t worry about it. They almost seem to not even care.

Why? Most of them come from Hearing parents and they were born Deaf or became Deaf later from illness or fever and later they in turn have Hearing children. To them what it means to be Deaf is just one generation thick. They don’t really care that much about the next generation. Well, yes they do care conceptually but care enough to actually DO something, to take some ACTion on behalf of our beloved communities – no, certainly not as much as it should be.

When it relates to issues of jobs, something that directly affects them – then yes you will see folks be more ACTive. I commend taking a stand on that issue (employment) and support it. Yet to see folks not take a stand on behalf of all our peoples as a people – hmmmm.

Regarding Holocaust studies – a great many Jewish people were murdered and one big reason why was because so many other people did nothing. They said “well I am not Jewish, it does not affect me, or my children or my future.”


That mind set terrifies me. Truly terrifies me.

When human beings become so selfish, hard hearted and cruel.

(added here – indifference to me is often cruel)
Thankfully during the Holocaust there were many good people “rescuers” who risked their lives and the lives of their families. I really commend and admire them. If I were in their predicament, I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done. I’m so grateful to them.

At the same time MANY people were slaughtered. Many children were slaughtered.

While what we are facing here is thankfully not an overt and systematic genocide. It is not. But it is part of a genocide. Some people get upset with the use of the term genocide here. Many scholars and authors have written that indeed what we are facing is a linguistic and cultural genocide. (holds up “In the Pit” and nods head YES)

Its true.

It is true.

If you look at the UN conventions on genocide – many of those parameters fit what the Deaf world is facing today and for Deaf peoples in other nations it is far worse. It is a linguistic and cultural genocide. There is a systematic effort to TAKE AWAY the languages, cultures, values and the rights of BEING Deaf peoples as a group – ethnicity and collective – it is being actively removed, campaigned against by division, mainstreaming/assimilation/isolation, and removal.

That systematic push – the 1st and 2nd wave of Oralism has caused many deaths. It has. We need to face that. That is the thing I hate the most to look at. Because these deaths are horrible, murder and hatred are horrible.

I can express more and more but I don’t want to go on and on. You know peoples’ attention today is geared towards things that are short, flashy, upbeat, or very dramatic ASL that holds the attention. To consider something long, deep, emotional, heavy, upsetting, most don’t want to see such. I also need to protect myself. Putting out ones heart felt feelings on something is very difficult. Often when doing so we will encounter folks who minimize, or harshly disagree, or twist or say prove it. Which makes me feel annoyed and then even after proving all the points, will still encounter more who say “I need to see more proof” and we end up wasting our time when we should be challenging the true systematic oppressors.

Some of us are ready. Some of us have been studying, researching, talking with, feeling, experiencing these truths and are ready to lock arms in solidarity and march forward.

So I delayed opening this artwork because I know it is true. I know it is real and many have already been put into the pit and many more will be thrown into the pit. I feel responsible. I feel have not personally done enough. I feel our communities here and all over the globe have not done enough.

There are a variety of reasons of why we keep getting trapped and don’t make much progress. One reason is because many of our leaders believe they need to imitate the oppressive systems in order to beat it. This means that they think the way to break through is to dress in a tie and talk and walk and behave like the oppressor – to learn their ways to prove they are worthy. Others believe in working in the system so they can try to nudge things this or that way and many other approaches.

From my studies of histories – one thing that has really been effective in changing viciously oppressive systems – to really shake them up and uproot them – is Civil Disobedience, Noncooperation, Direct Action. Those methods that Gandhi taught us (the small bald Indian man with glasses who got England out of India) – how he did this was through peaceful activism. It took years and years and years… Same with the Civil Rights movement here in the U.S. – Black people stood for years and years and years to get schools integrated, laws passed, jobs increased, etc. They are still facing horrible racism today but those laws and actions brought about real change – real important and positive change. Solve everything – no but part of the process which is so important.

This issue is very upsetting to me because I know it is huge and it feels like we are too late. We are not too late. There are many many things we can still do and will do and should do and that is good.

But I have to and I hope you have to too – MOURN. We need to mourn the fact that many Deaf people are gone. (crying) Some were killed directly from cochlear implantation surgery, complications, infections etc. Some have taken their own lives. I believe the Deaf communities may have a high rate of suicides and attempted suicides. Psychologists have not really studied that yet. Folks seem to study everything else about Deaf bodies except Deaf folks emotional well-being in the face of systematic oppression. They never study that – instead all the focus is on studying the ears and mouths and such.

We have really lost a great many people – children, adults, all ages – especially teenagers. Teen age years are often an intense time of crisis for Deaf people. Some people discuss that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is very high amongst Deaf people). Many things.

Thank you for watching me open the artwork.

I’m happy I finally opened it.

Now I am more committed to facing this challenge today and hence forth. At the same time – today or yesterday I saw on Facebook that Nancy Rourke, the same artist who made (Points off screen at “In the Pit”) has a new very large painting – entitled the 2nd Wave of Milan. It’s perfect. I think I was waiting for that painting to be finished before I opened this one. They seem to be sisters.

(looking at “In the Pit” again and getting emotional)

So I hope you will do something. If you feel you don’t know what to do – Deaf prisoners situation, Deaf children, EHDI, Newborn Hearing screening, Illinois School for the Deaf … if it all seems too big – It’s alright. Just pick one thing. Pick one thing and start picking away at it. I really think the situation at the Illinois School warrants our attention – see their FB page “Ban Audism at Illinois School for the Deaf”


the battle

English entry below the video box

i have not written a blog entry in ages but it seems the High Holidays always get me into a deeper time of reflection and other current events have been nagging at me to write this post.  It is kinda the reason for me writers block methink.

Ya see, a few years ago i saw a work by Nancy Rourke and it kinda rattled my soul.  Many of the works by De’VIA surdists really shake me up but this one was like – wow and ugh and then i wouldnt look at it.  just the thought of it would make me cry. Many moons later Nancy R. had a booth at NTID and this work was there for sale.  At first i was surprised to see how small it was.  Some times artworks pack so much power into them i expect them to be larger than life and then when i meet them if they are small im like WOW – the power of the imagination.  The Mona Lisa is one of those works that just seem like it must be very large but in fact she is pretty small.

so when i saw the haunting work by Nancy R. up close and personal – i was like “i have to buy it” “but then i was like – i really do NOT want to have it. but i really should have it”  yes a debate raged

so i said – i will see see if anyone else buys it (then i will be off the hook ; ) and ill know it wasnt meant for me to have. When the weekend was over and Nancy R. had packed up her works and headed home, i still thought about that work.  Later i checked her website to see if it had been sold and it hadn’t – i emailed her to check if in fact it had been sold yet – she said NOPE.  so i asked if i could buy it and her bring it when she came to town soon and she said sure. and when she brought it to me wrapped in brown paper, she looked to see me open it and i said “i cant open it” and my eyes got all teary as they are getting now.  I have had it for over a year now.


i still havent opened it

i began this blog entry with the intention of unveiling this artwork to myself but still i am delaying.  stalling.  i have thought about the image many times and have composed, in my mind, various blog entries in its honor many times and still i have not opened it

when i do – ya all will probably be like – “well that is no big deal.  i have seen much more pow pow coming off the brush of Nancy Rourke” but you dont know what i see and i really dont know how to properly convey what i see and what i feel and what i know when i think about the artwork (just thinking about this image is triggering my flood gates to open) – it is that powerful.  i think i was hoping … expecting etc that by keeping it under wrap that i might tame it a bit. that it might not be so overwhelmingly painful to look at – that instead it would serve as a beacon and a rally cry – which i do believe is what it is meant to be for me.  im just having an awfully hard time of getting from the place of knowing what was, what is, and what may be to the point of “we can change the course of history.”  Fear dances to strongly with this artwork and me but perhaps tomorrow i will be brave.  some very important things have been happening lately and for the things i have participated in – i know they have been fueled by this image and what it means and represents to me and i know we are trying well and rightly and goodly to shift the sands of time so perhaps tmw – i will be brave and strong

patti, the puddle, signing off for now


De’VIA Deaf History 3 Day Challenge March 2015

Broke the Barriers from Black Deaf Brothers by Takiyah Harris

Broke the Barriers from Black Deaf Brothers by Takiyah Harris

Links to pdfs of the De’VIA Deaf History Challenge – honoring Deaf History Month

Day 1 Deaf History DeVIA Day 1 b

Day 2 Deaf History DeVIA day 2 pdf

Day 3 Deaf History challenge revis – Day 3 pdf

28 Day Motif Artworks

ARTivism by Nancy Rourke (this work includes all the motifs from the 28 day challenge)

ARTivism by Nancy Rourke (this work includes all the motifs from the 28 day challenge)

here is a space where i’ll be putting up pdfs of the 28 day motif artworks from the February 2015 De’VIA challenge initiated and coordinated by Nancy Rourke (to see the list of motifs with description that nacy developed click this link DeVIA MOTIFS )

if anyone’s artwork is missing or any corrections need to be made – leave a comment or email me

note – artworks are listed in alphabetical order of the artists’ last names.  some specs are missing (title, medium, size etc because some artists did not provide that info)

Day 1 Chain Day 1 _ Chain motif pdf

Day 2 Light bulb Day 2 Lightbulb revised motif pdf

Day 3 Feather Day 3 Feather motif pdf(2)

Me artworks for the 28 Days of De’VIA Feb 2015

this is a space where i will  be putting up the artworks i have made as part of the #DeVIA28Challenge – see https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/devia-an-artwork-a-day-feb-2015-challenge/ for the motifs for each day and the rules

Feb 28 days calendar

check out the #DeVIA28challenge in FB and De’VIA Central FB to see all the MARVELOUS De’VIA being made this month.

ill try to update this page daily – day one is at bottom then scroll up.  fingerscrossed i can do an artwork a day for a month – will see see. Due to problems with embedding images and text line up – descriptions and specs are listed at bottom

Let There Be Light by P. Durr

Let There Be Light by P. Durr

Let There Be Light - unfinished P. Durr

Let There Be Light – unfinished P. Durr

Let There Be Light - Detail image (Dinner Table Syndrome)

Let There Be Light – Detail image (Dinner Table Syndrome)

Let There be Light - detail Lunch Table

Let There be Light – detail Lunch Table

Let There Be Light - Detail Autopsy Table

Let There Be Light – Detail Autopsy Table

Let There Be Light - Detail. Deafhood round table

Let There Be Light – Detail. Deafhood round table

The Strain of... by P. Durr full image

The Strain of… by P. Durr

The Strain of... by P. Durr - detail of hand written report card

The Strain of… by P. Durr – detail of hand written reportd card

The Strain of... by P. Durr - detail

The Strain of… by P. Durr – detail doll, light, childhood pix, checker board, report card


3rd grade report card


1st grade report card

inside box rcard inside box running girl the strain of lit up

The Annex by P. Durr

The Annex by P. Durr

I$olitary ConFINEment by P. Durr 2015

$olitary ConFINEment by P. Durr 2015

$olitary ConFINEment by P. Durr (detail 1)

$olitary ConFINEment by P. Durr (detail 1)

IMG_3767 IMG_3768 IMG_3769 IMG_3770

solidarity fist paint brush De'ARTivists by P. Durr 2015

De’ARTivists by P. Durr 2015

Dance Baby Dance...Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015

Dance Baby Dance…Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015

Dance Baby Dance...Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015 - Detail - girl breaking strings running

Dance Baby Dance…Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015 – Detail – girl breaking strings running

Dance Baby Dance...Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015 - Detail - doll's face

Dance Baby Dance…Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015 – Detail – doll’s face

eye hand puppet puppet doll

United We Stand by P. Durr 2015

United We Stand by P. Durr 2015

Untitled by P. Durr 2015 nail AFA 3 demands at AG Bell HQ

Untitled by P. Durr 2015

EHDI ? by P. Durr 2015

EHDI ? by P. Durr 2015 (in rourke style)

School Dayz by P. Durr 2015

School Dayz by P. Durr 2015

School Dayz by P. Durr 2015 Detail

School Dayz by P. Durr 2015 – Detail

Untitled mask by P. Durr

Untitled mask by P. Durr

Roots and Wings by P. Durr 2015

Roots and Wings by P. Durr 2015

eyehand tree spray

draft / experimenting – EYEHAND tree spraypainted on map

TROLLING by P. Durr 2015

TROLLING by P. Durr 2015

TROLLING by P. Durr 2015 detail of young AG Bell reeling in

TROLLING by P. Durr 2015 detail of young AG Bell reeling in

hook mouth


Eye doodle P. Durr


Freedom by P. Durr


Cutting through the blue tape at St. Louis EHDI (water color sketch)

V ictory P. Durr 2015

V ictory
P. Durr 2015

Your F A I L U R E  P. Durr 2015

Your F A I L U R E
P. Durr 2015

ST Joseph Survivors

St. Joseph Survivors

Detail of St. Joseph Survivors

Detail of St. Joseph Survivors

Will the Circle be Unbroken?  P Durr

Will the Circle be Unbroken?
P Durr

Flight not fright P. Durr 2015

Flight not fright
P. Durr 2015

Mask of Benevolence P. Durr 2015

Mask of Benevolence
P. Durr 2015

Detail of Mask of Benevolence P. Durr 2015

Detail of Mask of Benevolence
P. Durr 2015

color sketch of Betty G. Miller signing "birth" surrounded by flowers and a butterfly  P. Durr 2015

color sketch of Betty G. Miller signing “birth” surrounded by flowers and a butterfly
P. Durr 2015

open box to have to find

Open box view of “to have…to find” P. Durr 2015

Screen shot 2015-02-08 at 12.08.00 AM

Closed box / front view “to have…to find” P. Durr 2015

back view to have to find

Back View “to have…to find”

Top view "to have ... to find"

Top view “to have … to find”

AFA 5 Handstand  P. Durr 2015

AFA 5 Handstand
P. Durr 2015

Detail AFA 5 handstanders

AFA 5 Handstand detail of 5 people standing at top of Volta Bureau steps

Detail AFA 5 Handstand w public

doodle handstand on black scratch pdurr 2015

“It’s better…” P. Durr 2015

Looking Glass Self Howl v 1 w black scratch pdurr 2015

Looking Glass Self Howl (v. 1 with black ink scratch for mirror) by Patti Durr

Looking Glass Self Howl v alumunium pdurr

Looking Glass Self Howl (v. 1 with aluminum foil for mirror) by Patti Durr

solidarity eyehand fist p durr 2015

Solidarity HandEye Fists P. Durr 2015

Here are my wings P. Durr 2015

Here are my wings
P. Durr 2015

here are my wings detail moon pdurr 2015

Detail of Here are my wings P. Durr 2015

here are my wings chain

Detail of Here are my wings (chain and text)

Detail here are my wings chain and feather

Detail of Here are my wings – chain legs and feathers

edison & co. full p.durr 2015

Edison & Co. P. Durr 2015

detail Edison and Co veditz from ear pdurr

Detail of Edison & Co. P. Durr

detail edison hand film and candle print

Detail of Edison & Co. hand with filmstrip and linocut print of candle

Detail of Edison & Co. - Edison's face with light bulb and film strip

Detail of Edison & Co. – Edison’s face with light bulb and film strip

me as small d with real door chain

updated / upgraded the “me as small d” artwork by adding a real door chain lock on Day 7 of the challenge P. Durr 2015


me as small d full pdurr

“me as small d” by patti durr

me as small d pdurr 2015

detail of “me as small d” by patti durr

  • Day #28 Roundtable

Let There be Light: Which of These Things…
by P. Durr 2015
Acrylic on Canvas
59 1/2 x 40
motif – Round table
Trigger warning – some images upsetting / unpleasant
description: Very Large Canvas – with four rectangular sections separated by a strip of blue paint (like tape) running vertical and horizontal through the middle of the canvas. Each space has an over head light. Top Left light shines on Hearing family members while Deaf child is in the dark (colored red), right section light shines on Hearing classmates as Deaf child sits in dark with FM system, bottom left area white sheet covers a dead body with red hand hanging out with wrist slit, bottom right area brightly lit – eye light and eye table, many people sitting around the round table signing – empty chair in corner with person greeting / welcoming someone off screen

  • Day #27 Checkerboard

The Strain of…

P. Durr
15 1/2 H x 11 3/4 W x 6 3/4 D
Description – glass checkerboard over wooden box inside box sits a red haired doll with a sunflower dress on. Dolls hands are hidden in checkered pockets both eyes are closed. there is a light at the bottom and top of the box. There are small black and white copies pix of young girl with plaid patterned dress with hands in pocket on the checkered board also is a black silhouette of a figure with long wild hair with fists up running. In the box in the back on the left and right side there are report cards one highlights need to improve and the other highlights concentration problems may be due to the strain of listening being tiring.

  • Day #26 Door

The Annex

P. Durr 2015
9 x 12
Description – person opens a secret door into a dark and cobwebbed room while holding a lantern. One wall has a framed image of a figure standing above a sitting man and child (supposed to be Clerc making sure T Gallaudet signs A to Alice properly) and Veditz signing Defend is projected onto the wall (see Dr Paddy Ladd s in Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood for the annex reference) ASL version by Tara Holcomb of Paddy Ladd’s Annex story http://www.deafhood.us/wp/archives/tag/annex

  • Day #25 Octopus

$olitary ConFINEment
By P. Durr 2015
9 x 20
Description: full image and close ups of an octopus with arms holding on to small dark figures. Middle image shows prison bars w hands holding them and eyes in the darkness. I get affected every time we go see the guys. The prison industrial complex sucks in disenfranchised people. Especially poor Deaf POC for whom the systems of family medicine and education already failed them. This $hit Is real
.  Detail images: C – caught up to be tossed out of the country, H grasping at a star, L leaving w no where safe to go. Wondering if and how he will make it. Notice the octopus still clings, J six month in the box, W as a boy and he octopus setting him up

  • Day #24 Solidarity Fist


P. Durr 2015
Linocut print
Description black in print o solidarity fist on beige paper (older work) with purple print paint brush added to be held by the hand and in each corner. Black writing going vertical – De’ARTivist

  • Day #23 Puppet

Dance Baby Dance…Run Baby Run

P. Durr 2015
Mixed  media – Assemblage

Trigger warning – image may be upsetting for victims and survivors
Detail image from Dance Baby Dance … Run Baby Run by P. Durr 2015
description: broken doll face with bandage around head and bandaid on face, black lines around jaw like puppet / ventriloquist mouth, sewing pins near ears for acupuncture, safety pin at shoulder holding FM / Body aid unit strap together with a few red drops

  • Day #22 Hands Holding

United We Stand
P. Durr 2015
Watercolor on paper
Description – fall color tree w eye blue skies red soil line yellow underground brown and tan roots gold each other’s hands

  • Day #21 Nails or Screw

P. Durr 2015
Watercolor on Paper
Description AFA logo black hand tree w blue ribbon in circle w 3 demands to ag bell date April 3 2009. Black nail holding the letter to ag bell volta bureau door

  • Day #20 Baby

Acrylic on Canvas Board – in Nancy Rourke style

  • Day #19 Mask

School Dayz
P. Durr 2015
Pastels copied photos on pastel board
10 x 8
description: enlarged school pix – child with face cut out with black hole where face should be wearing black headsets. child holds a pair of scissors near partial black hole in chest and other hand is chained and holds a cut out mask of real face with painted on smile. black shadows surround both images faint image of audiogram X and 0 with heavy black lines like tombstone slab with small copy of school pix, freaky audiology lab with cymbals at bottom and coloring book page of duck with umbrella and red boots. top right corner has a barred owl carrying a lit lanter with one feather falling away

Painted Mask

  • Day #18 Tree

Roots and Wings
P. Durr 2015
Spray paint on canvas
20 x 20

  • Day #17 Hook

P. Durr 2015
9 x 12
drawing of a young AG Bell in a boat with a large ringing bell and a bent fishing rod. The fishing hook & lure has caught a Deaf child

  • Day # 16 Eyes

P. Durr 2015
pen on brie cheese case

  • Day #15 Blue Tape

P. Durr 2015
watercolor sketch of Karl White at EHDI St Louis

Cutting through the blue tape at St. Louis EHDI
Karl White looms large w blue tape for arms trying to block my way down a public hallway. He had called over one of his rent a cops and I signed up at him – I can walk down this path – it is not part of EHDI exhibit – it is an open space for folks to walk so I’m gonna walk an he was like “your right I’m wrong.” He signed wrong so hard on his chin I was worried he had hurt himself. He really was very ramped up and jittered so I just strolled in down to meet and greet someone at the end of the hall. Later John e of the DBC came out of the exhibit area an give us a hug and again karl white appeared looming and ushered him to go back within the tent and u was like freedom of assembly freedome o friendship. Who knew when u registered for EHDI they were gonna tag stalk and survelinence folks. Later we learned karl white had John e wife (a Deaf grand mother) w her Deaf grandson evicted from the mall area.

watercolor of prison art project

W painting his butterfly in a max security prison. H painting a US of A flag. Hearing prisoner w broom watching through hall window

  • Day #14 Ladder

V ictory
P. Durr 2015
9 x 12
description: George W. Veditz on top of the Volta Bureau (AG Bell headquarters in DC) waving the Sign Union flag (by Arnaud Balard) A tall ladder leans on the left side of the building. There are two yellow police / crime scene tapes making an X in front of the Volta Bureau’s doorway signifying that AG Bell and co have committed crimes against Deaf people and their families. There is a blue outlined human shape on the steps with red mark near ear and mouth would be as alot of experimentation and abuses has been done to Deaf infants and children in the name of pure Oralism that AG Bell the man and organizaiton promote. There is a bit of blue tape on one of the plaque and on the STOP sign blue letters of AGB appear. on the right side of the building are the faint shape of 12 windows/doors to remember the 12 children who died when cochlear implants began being used on children

  • Day #13 AG Bell

“We are YOUR F-A-I-L-U-R-E”
P. Durr 2015
Black Marker and Watercolor on Watercolor paper
9 x 12
(description: drawing of the fingerspelling handshapes for F A I L U R E with round faces at top and round bells at bottom with “shout lines” around the letters to show how they were signed out STRONGLY / LOUDLY. at bottom is a bell like symbol because one of the sit-in presenters was wearing a bell on her wrist and every time she signed the audience and presenter would look towards the sound)
this is a quick color sketch based on the AFA sit-in at the AG Bell Symposium for Listening and Spoken Language in DC at the Omni Shoreham hotel. Audism Free America (AFA) had peacefully protested in the sweltering heat (103 +) for several days. on the LAST day of the AG Bell symposium – AFA engaged peaceful direct confrontation but having a sit-in during the one of the last presentations about Cultural and Linguistic considerations (cultural competency) – we walked into the Hampton Room and had a sit in. We mouthed and signed to the presenter “sorry” for having interrupted her and we signed out our msg about allowing Deaf children to sign. Ruthie Jordan, one of the founders and leaders of AFA, signed out and shouted out with her Deaf voice – We are your F A I L U R E. mark myer reported seeing one of the attendees of the presentation cry to see this truth declared. Susan Boswell, AG Bell’s Deaf replacement communication director – Catherine Murphy had gone over to Gallaudet University to be the director of communication there – Boswell tried to get AFA peaceful protestors to leave. she pushed and signed and spoke to STOP and LEAVE NOW. AFA said “Stop Deaf Against Deaf. Stop Deaf Against Deaf.” Boswel is also Deaf. AFA succeeded in stopping the presentation that did not have any Deaf representation. MANY DC police arrived and a very heated stand off occurred where it looked like the AFA representatives might be arrested. AFA’s lawyer arrived and discussed different options with the police. Once AFA was assured the presentation would not resume and the conference was over they left under police escort. As AFA was leaving several of the police officers hugged AFA members. Video from the AFA Sit-in

  • Day #12 Candle
    “St. Joseph Survivors”
    P. Durr 2015
    water color
    this work is inspired by survivors of St. Joseph Oral school in St. Louis which is run by nuns where physical abuse and emotional abuse was / is? rampant. black background with lights from candle and grey rock formation representing the outdoor chapel and two survivors (darren and shawn e.) at bottom lighting a candle from the other to make one strong flame. they and other survivors deserve much better art than i can give them but ive had a busy week and want to make sure i catch up with the challenge. perhaps other artists will honor them better than i have been able to do here. to see testimony of the abuse the suffered go to the AFA vigil at the old St Joseph site https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwFqTlkh4vo#t=522
  • Day #11 Jigsaw Puzzle

Will the circle be unbroken?
P. Durr 2015
mixed media
32 x 43
this is a total cheat on my part as i was out of town all day and my idea was to put together a puzzle and then do some kinda De’VIA artwork in black over it with the puzzle pieces peeking through – kinda how we did with the De’VIA 2013 mural and to have a few of the puzzle pieces be missing but im too tired to put together any of the puzzles we have at home here so i just went for the Escher jumbo lizzard rubber puzzle pieces and turned them over – arranged and connected added eyes on each, cut off part of a leg on one, added hand for Deaf-blind tactile, partial eye for low vision, and wheel chair etc.
i dont really know if it is resistance – the concept and the wish is that there will be TRUE solidarity – respect – fellowship – intersectionality within our communities and that the Circle will not be broken so i guess maybe its a commentary resisting horizontal oppression / violence and erasing and dismissing and diminishing ?

  • Day #10 Butterfly

Flight not fright
by P. Durr 2015
20 x 16

our daughter had painted the basics of a leopards face on this white canvas just use black paint then she abandoned it. later she told me i could use the canvas. i can never have anything go to waste. last week when we started the De’VIA challenge Feb month – i was looking at the canvas asking it what it wanted to become and it said a spotted butterfly with eyes so i kinda did a wee bit of painting on it from time to time when i would have left over paint out from the other canvas work i had done (see i cant let anything go to waste. and i kinda thought it was done and when i came home today i was EXHAUSTED and thought ill just take a pix of it and post it up with an explanation that it was done last week. instead i fell asleep at 7 pm and and woke up at 9 pm (yes i am OLD!) so when i woke up i went to take a pix of it and it said “NOT DONE” ha – art can be so greedy so i went to my paints and said hmmm purple and and it said NO RED so i said OK you win. (im kinda thinking purple would have been more harmonious but methink it picked red to signify that part of our metamorphosis is overcoming our fears. sometimes we have been hurt and the instinct to fight back or to flee away when we really need to just be firm with love so we can jump at the sun and take proper flight is very real so methink the red is real and fitting.

  • Day #9 PROFIT
    Mask of Benevolence
    Mixed Media
    P. Durr 2015

    description: white mask with oil pastel, markers and nail polish to add black hair, eybrows, eye shadow, eyelashes, rosey cheeks, and red lipstick, behind the eyes 50 and 20 dollar bills – one shows UNITED STATES IN GOD and the other shows WE TRUST, edges of dollar bills serve as ears and Native American like earings dangle form the $. scarf with clock symbol, plastic 3d hand with red nail polish holding a $100 bill. All situated on a black piece of fabric.
    A great many of the LSL (Listening and Spoken Language specialists – ie speech pathologists) are White young women. Their intentions may be good but since they are the front line of the auditory industrial complex – they often beguile themselves and the parents into believing they have the child’s best interest at heart. See Dr. Lane’s Mask of Benevolence: Disability the Deaf Community
  • Day #8 FLOWER

Sketch Birth of the 2nd Wave of De’VIA

no time to make a real artwork today so just quickly sketched an idea that im hoping to make real some day – Betty G. Miller with hat and shirt that she wore in the De’VIA 1989 thinktank surrounded by flowers and butterflies that represent current De’VIA artists / ARTivists

  • Day #7 LOCK

“to have…to find”

P. Durr

assemblage – found objects
clear box with an assortment of objects: real feathers, nest, bee hive, shells, lock of red hair, text from Veditz “Prervation of Sign Language” address, electric candle, plastic butterfly, broken ruler, chess pieces (knights), torn $20, magnifying lens, photo strip, rubber arm and hand on the exterior of the box with key

  • Day #6 HANDSTAND – AFFIRMATION (2 different artworks with Handstands on day 6)

“AFA 5 Handstand”
P. Durr
Watercolor and blue ink
Feb 2015
Night sky Volta Bureau AGB headquarters 5 people stand at the top of the tall steps in front of the fortress doors people at the bottom of the steps in the dark except for waving blue glow sticks

“It’s better…”
Patti Durr
8.5 by 11 black scratch ink paper
Feb 2015

description of “It’s better…”- white scratch marks into black ink sheet – central full length image of an ASL Handstand – doodle boxes / cells at top, weave underneath, sun with peacock feathers and eyes in middle, sunflower in between two fingers, feathers on each standing finger, rays on fingernails, shadow next to fingernails, around the hand at top is a mountain range with crescent moon, falling feathers / petals, arrow pierced into side of hand, dandelion and dandelion floating seeds and a sun.
“It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees” ~ Emiliano Zapata


Looking Glass Self Howl
by Patti Durr
9 1/2 x 12 charcoal paper with black scratch paper and aluminum foil
Day 5 of 28 Days, MIRROR motif, resistance
sad child looks at viewer while holding a mirror – image in the mirror is the child letting loose a howl instead of trying to mimic the speech teacher
(one of the versions has black scratch image in the mirror and the other version there is a face drawn in black marker on foil)


HandEye solidarity fists
linocut w/ ink on paper
8 1/2 x 5 1/2
(description: color pix of two cards – one is red on gold ish paper and one is black on white paper – HandEye solidarity fist with streaks around it and the word OBEY at bottom)
Note: i know solidarity fist is listed for later in this month but i have another idea for that and have been wanting to put this into print making for a while


Here are my wings

P. Durr

Acrylic on Canvas with real blue jay feather
20 x 20
Feb 2015
Description: white woman with red hair stands on edge of cliff with arm wings spread out, large moon on left side, blue sky, brown red mountains, kissing camels, one red tail feather falling, one real blue jay feather rests on the ground near person’s right bent foot as if running, left foot has chain around it which goes off to the lower edge of the painting, black text on chain “Here are my wings”

Excerpt text of “The Hang Glider” by Dorothy Miles
Here are my wings;
And there, at the edge of
wait the winds
to bear my weight.
My wings,
so huge and strong,
built with my life in mind …

I have made other wings
cast aside —
I searched, and asked and
and built again…
and here I stand.


Edison & Co.

P. Durr
Acrylic on Canvas (with print)
20 x 20
Feb 2015
Painting of Thomas Edison with grey vest and black jacket holding a lit up Edison light bulb and a film strip going into his mouth and coming out of another hand. George W. Veditz signing “defend” is being projected from Edison’s left ear, bottom corner has a red lincocut print of a lit candle with yellow flames added while Edison’s other hand holds a film strip that vaguely shows a figure in each frame. background is a glowingish red


“me as small d”
by patti durr
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
16 x 12
description: redheaded child with brown button eyes pinkish face with door chain as mouth to ear (as is the motion for the sign “deaf)) with broken gold crown on head and bluish white skin for neck and torso with skeletal-like hands fingerspelling d e a f and a black with blue gaping hole in middle of chest. background for the piece is black with some shades of blue.
Note: i added a real door chain lock to the artwork on Day 7 (Lock)

De’VIA = An Artwork a Day Feb 2015 Challenge

nancy rourke, De’VIA expressionist extraordinaire, has established a De’VIA artwork-a-day challenge for the month of Feb

see video of nancy explaining the challenge and the list of motifs/themes and rules.  post your works up in De’VIA Central Facebook and if you cant make a new work everyday – just do what you can when you can and ENJOY

video explaining the challenge:


use the hastag #DeVIA28Challenge

28 Days in February Challenge 2015
Theme: Soliditary/ARTivism
Motifs in resistance and affirmative
Number of Participants: 55 (5 from Europe) 1 hearing mother of Deaf child and 1 CODA
Total number of artworks: 677
Most popular theme: Resistance

to see all the artworks made for each motif day go to De’VIA central fb or https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/28-day-motif-artworks/ for PDFs

De’VIA MOTIFS –Resistance and Affirmative themes

Motifs with descriptions (see below or go to pdf (click link) DeVIA MOTIFS
chain, resistance tied down, ASL prohibited, trapped, colonialized, audism.
light bulb, affirmative hope, light so deaf people can see.
feather, resistance parroting, audism, speech therapy, deaf disempowerment.
hand, affirmative hand refers to something that you value of, your hand, to be proud of, cherish, love, ASL. HAND.
mirror, resistance two face, mask of benevolence, two way mirror, what do you see in the mirror that others do not see? or something that you see turns out different.
handstand, affirmative We take a stand, stand for our rights, do something, get involved in the community. We take pride. We stand for solidarity.
lock, resistance Lock refers to being trapped, limited, or to something that is unknown or secret.
flower, affirmative Flower refers to new life, Deafhood, happiness, fragrance, someone to remember. hope.
profit, resistance Profit motif refers to making money off of Deaf bodies. It refers to dollar sign $, so when you make art, it has to be resistance theme, meaning making money, they profit. Another example, for profiting could go to cultural appropriation. It is a political art.
butterfly, affirmative Butterfly refers to Deafhood, journey, acceptance, identity, happiness. jigsaw puzzle, resistance Jigsaw puzzle refers to disempowerment, something is missing, and mystery.
candle, affirmative Candle refers to paying a tribute to, to honour, to remember, to respect, to light, and light Deaf people can see.
AGB, resistance AGB refers to Alexander Graham Bell, oralism, audism, mask of benevolence, anything that you can think of that associates with AGB.
ladder, affirmative Ladder is inspired by Debbie Rennie’s poem “Black Hole: Color ASL” She used a ladder concept in her poem. It is really a beautiful ASL literature. Ladder is a symbol, that shows a way into a Deaf community. Always remember this, to climb up the ladder, is positive. If you climb down, it is negative.
blue tape, resistance Blue tape refers to crossed out, trapped, prohibited, mask of benevolence, tied down, audism, oppression. I use the blue tape symbol in many of my paintings.
eyes, affirmative Eye refers to visual, Deaf people rely on visual, Eyeth, a symbol for Deaf people. hook, resistance Hook refers to being colonized, can’t “escape”, you were forced by, it can also be
eugenic, audism, oralism abuse, brutal discipline. You can use fish hook, wall hook that you hang picture, coat hook, etc.
tree, affirmative Tree refers to life and roots.
mask, resistance Mask symbolizes lies, truth to be told, two faced, hypotrict (sp), mask of Benvolence, hidden, secret.
baby, affirmative Baby symbolizes Deaf rights, journey, Deafhood, protection, comfort and Deaf community.
nails or screws, resistance David Call symbolizes screws in his “Your Joy, My Pain” and nails in “Crucifixion of Sign Language” linocuts. Screws represent surgical solution to “deafness” as in drilling and installing CI with screws and nails represent destruction of Deaf community, identity, natural language so on as in nails of “The Crucifixicion of Sign Language”. I see nail as an attention, alert, warning, wake up call like you go around town or campus and post something important. Screw is something different I think. It is something permanent and painful.
hands holding, affirmative hanging in there, you are comforted, someone is there for you, secured, support you.
puppet, resistance Puppet symbolizes colonialism, submissive, passive, audism.
solidarity fist, affirmative Solidarity fist refers to a group of artivists/activists team together, work together to stand and fight for good cause. It must be affirmative.
octopus, resistance Octopus symbolizes something very big and power seizes over Deaf communities, Deaf world, Deaf society. Takes over, control everything.
door, affirmative Door symbolizes Deafhood journey, enter into your world, a welcome feel, seeking, something about the door.
checkerboard, resistance Checkerboard symbolizes repetition, a pattern, can go crazy, nightmare, clone, seems to get lost abit, that sorta thing.
roundtable, affirmative symbolizes Deaf people can see each other. A gathering together. BIRDHOUSE- affirmative- David’s motif, that refers to Deaf community, close knitted, family. ARROW- resistance- attacking, harming, trying to kill or stop or destroy. NEST- affirmative- home, safety, family, birth, future, deaf community.
BUTTON EYES- resistance- no visual acuity or input, no state of agency or autonomy, a doll, toy, void of independence.
PLAGUE DOCTOR- resistance- is a quack doctor selling false hope to desperate parents for profit. MONEY BAG- resistance- is for profit and greed. PLAGUE DOCTOR HAT- resistance- same as quack doctor. SKULL- resistance- is for eugenics.
MOTHER of ALL DEAF SOULS- affirmative- natural sign language, strength, purity, Deaf birthright, preservation of Deaf communities for generations to come. Mother of All Deaf Souls is a mythical fertile mother of all Deaf Souls. She is an entity that can come in different life forms such as Deaf Baobab Tree graphite/color pencil, Elder shaman in “First Kitchen Table Conversation” color pencil, Alice Cogswell in “Me Your Mother”, “Liberation”, and “Harmony in Silence” linocuts and so on. (David Call)
FAN- resistance- speech practice, repetitive, speech therapy, sense of air coming from mouth.
MOUTH- resistance- represented the majority group-hearing people, spoken language, speech, aura- oral, methods.
STAIRWAY-liberation- life is a journey, sometimes we face difficulty because of expectation from the society, walk up to reach the goal or collapse on the stairway, a missing puzzle feeling “always looking” for a destination.
HANDSHAPE- affirmative- sign language SPEECH THERAPY-resistance- Airplane, baseball, ice cream, apple, hotdog.
HAMMER or SLEDGEHAMMER-resistance- hammer or sledgehammer motif to resist or break down oppression.
STRINGS- resistance-tied down, audism, trapped, colonialism, Deaf person as a puppet. BLACK HOLE- resistance- invasion, attacking, Second Wave of Oralism, Deaf Disempowerment.
MOUNTAIN- affirmative/liberation- Paddy Ladd’s quote, artists keep building mountains to prevent oralism invasion.
HORSE-resistance- from the idiom “Whip a Dead Horse”, AGB whips a Deaf horse. Horse is Deaf people who have been abused by oralism.
MIDDLE FINGER- resistance-curse, political, censorship. Harlequin/Jester- resistance-joker, pathetic liar, abuser. CROWN-

1) Artwork must be completed each day.
2) you can use any medium. Any size of artwork.
3) Do your own creativity.
4) **Must be Deaf Experience.**
5) Post your finished artwork, with title, your name, medium, size, and description on De’VIA Central FB page.
Begin artwork on first day of Feb

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