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.
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
( 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’VIA – De = 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 https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/viva-devia-in-olathe-kansas/ 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
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 – http://www.rit.edu/ntid/dyerarts/devia25th/call-to-artists. 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 http://www.aspencamp.org/deafviewartretreat. (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 booths, exhibits, retreats, etc
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
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
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
June 1-30, 2014: First U.S. Deaf Artists Residency Program (funded by National Endowment for the Arts) – https://www.facebook.com/DeafArtistsResidencyProgram
The HeART of Deaf Culture: Literary and Artistic Expressions of Deafhood available for online subscription – https://www.ntid.rit.edu/educational-materials/?controller=product&product_id=34
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) – http://www.rit.edu/ntid/dyerarts/devia25th/call-to-artists
Aug 14-20, 2014 Deaf View Art Retreat Aspen, Colorado (1 night De’VIA reception in Aspen Gallery)
August 30, 2014: Deafestival KY – https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeaFestival-Kentucky/149646748380433
Aug 29 – September 1, 2014 Fords ABE art beats eats Booths
Royal Oaks, Michigan
October 4-5, 2014 Ravenswood Art Walk Booths
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 http://www.rit.edu/ntid/dyerarts/devia25th/call-to-artists)
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
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
Michigan De’VIA retreat ?
To be determined
future museum and gallery De’VIA exhibits