Deaf View / Image Art
Some folks have been asking me about De’VIA – Deaf View / Image Art
do ya all know how much i love ya when u wake up! smile
De’VIA is awesome – plain and simple.
It is a term coined by 9 Deaf artists in 1989 on the eve of Deaf Way I in which they sought out to coin a word for art ABOUT the Deaf experience. It was a follow up to the Deaf artists colony in Austin, Texas that ran from 1975 – 1980 called Spectrum. The De’VIA think tank of 1989 was a four day workshop where the nine Deaf artists looked at slides of various Deaf artists works to see a pattern, common motifs, compositions, use of colors, etc and give a name for this movement. The term they came up with originated in ASL first – they all sat around and brainstormed and played and came up with –
VIEW (as in point of view and perspective)
IMAGE (they used the hand shape of an open piece of paper or canvas that the “V” handshape for VIEW looks at)
They then abbreviated it to be De’VIA – to give it a French look as a nod to Laurent Clerc who brought LSF (French Sign Language) to the US of A and of which ASL is largely composed of.
Kudos to Dr. Betty G. Miller and Dr. Paul Johnston who organized the De’VIA think tank and the other artists who attended and contributed their big hearts and souls to rock and roll the good stuff.
The signatories of the De’VIA manifesto:
Dr. Betty G. Miller, painter;
Dr. Paul Johnston, sculptor;
Dr. Deborah M. Sonnenstrahl, art historian;
Chuck Baird, painter;
Guy Wonder, sculptor;
Alex Wilhite, painter;
Sandi Inches Vasnick, fiber artist;
Nancy Creighton, fiber artist;
And Lai-Yok Ho, video artist.
They even made a group mural as a visual signature of their manifesto but the mural was later taken from Gallaudet and is now missing – it is not clear if it was stolen or where its whereabouts are now.
I’ll try to vlog soon so u can see see the sign for De’VIA but im in a rush and my isight no see-see my imovie lately – no idea why.
Just know De’VIA rocks cuz it speaks the truth VISUALLY!
Below are some links cuz knowledge is power and know that in the Dyer Arts Center of NTID on Wed Nov 2nd from 2-4 pm De’VIA artists Nancy Rourke and Warren Miller will present on their work and a reception will follow. (interpreted for non-signers) I’m so pumped. Nov 4 fri from 1-2 there is a workshop by nancy and warren in the RADSCC in the SAU
Nancy and Warren’s canvases have been pulled out of the crates and it is an explosion of primary colors and affirmation and resistance art. Ya hoo! Feed my soul, feed my soul!
The role of the artist is to disturb the peace ~ James Baldwin
(he was speaking of negative peace and i agree)
Seriously – Nancy Rourke and Warren Miller’s art is rocking!
And just in time for the Day of the Dead and Hallow’s Eve, which are times to remember our ancestors, since Rourke and W. Miller have several tributes to Deaf ancestors in this show.
Also this weekend NTID performing arts has the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which while not Deaf -themed has a great deal of shadows and puppetry and is promising to be a visual feast for the eyes.
Matt Hammil is at the Little Theatre tonight for the screening of The Hammer (sold out) but other showings locally this weekend and next week.
Kim Bianco Majeri is in Rochester presenting on activism and Deaf education – NTID last night, RRCD tonight and RSD tmw
Leon Lim got cut from Bravo’s A Work of Art last night – boo (i didnt see the episode yet but got the news via a friend – will watch it on my tivo later but me pal said the art critics said – “where is the Deaf of you in your art?” – see even Hearing folks know the importance of De’VIA even if they dont know the name for it). ADDED: i just watched the program. Oh, it made me so sad to see him get cut. Especially cuz the trash bin guy’s work really shouldnt have beaten out Leon’s. Boo and Grr but i often dont agree with judges on these types of shows. Very sorry Leon. So glad u were on it though! Keep making art.
ok links to some good stuff:
Posters examining themes and symbols of De’VIA
De’VIA: Investigating Deaf Visual Art
https://ritdml.rit.edu/handle/1850/6260 – scroll down for PDF or click the link below
Deconstructing the Forced Assimilation of Deaf People via De’VIA
Elements of a Culture: Visions by Deaf Artists
My Experiences as a Vis-a-Vis Deaf Artist (Ann Silver)
De’VIA Art Talk (Chuck Baird)
For more articles about Deaf artists in general and/or about De’VIA go to: