A Mural-a-making

My definition of art has always been the same. It is about freedom of expression, a new way of communication. It is never about exhibiting in museums or about hanging it on the wall. Art should live in the heart of the people. Ordinary people should have the same ability to understand art as anybody else. I don’t think art is elite or mysterious. I don’t think anybody can separate art from politics. The intention to separate art from politics is itself a very political intention. ~ Ai Weiwei (Chinese artist and activist)

hand-stencilsPublic art is an important part of place making.  Murals as an art form have a very long and rich history.  Perhaps the first language ever recorded was the rock and cave art of prehistoric times – these hand prints, hand stencils, animal and hunter figures and petroglyphs were often part of a larger body of work forming collective murals that are still alive and well today.  Visual markers of a people from the past and a promise for the future. Many cultures throughout time have relied on mural-a-making to communicate ideas, values, identity, messages, politics, aesthetics and more to the public at large.  Murals are ideal transmitters of information and positions since they do not require literacy of written words and are not specific to any one language.

Dabook worms csd.jpgvid Call, a teaching artist at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, CA and one of the leading De’VIA Surdists, has along with the students of CSD been transforming the campus via creating unique and masterfully done Deaf-centered murals.  Go to https://deviacurr.wordpress.com/devia-curr/lesson-plans/pp-of-art-projects/ and scroll down for PP on Mural Making at CSD

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When the Rochester Deaf Awareness Week (RDAW) 2016 decided it would like to have De’VIA Surdist Nancy Rourke come to town to give a presentation at NTID and some painting workshops for Rochester School for the Deaf and community members, we discussed the possibility of Nancy doing a public mural at RRCD using her trademark three primary colors (red, yellow,and blue) with black and white in her Rourkeism style..  Fortunately RRCD agreed and Nancy was up for the challenge.  She researched the history of RRCD and drafted some sketches and revised with feedback from RRCD President Teddy and Rob.She then went to a top paint store for advise on primer and type of paint and color matching.  As soon as Nancy landed in Rochester, NY she went straight to the RRCD to see the wall and project the sketch onto the wall for outlining.  She realized the dimensions for the door hadnt been given in advance and she had to decide what she would do for the door.She mused on that for a few ideas – asking folks their thoughts as she went along.

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ASL Roc by Nancy Rourke

Everyday for one week (except when Nancy had other commitments like giving a Rourkeism workshop at to maximum security prison with Deaf prisoners and giving a workshop with RSD middle school and high school students or presenting at NTID), Nancy was hard at work on the mural – rising by 5 am and ending her day by 11 pm. Other volunteers worked very hard committing long hours and sore backs and knees for this community mural (thank you each and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

See the video (2nd from the bottom – to see Nancy explain each section of mural and see the bottom video for some specs and more pix)

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Photo by Laurie R. Monahan

The RRCD Mural was unveiled to the public on the last day of RDAW (October 2, 2016) and the crowd was in awe of the design, colors, message and hardwork.  The unplanned for door design ended up being a happy accident as Nancy quickly decided to have the ASL Roc artwork be a central part of the door and then added three other De’VIA motifs: a tree stump to represent a foundation and long life to show that the RRCD has had a long life, a heart to show that the RRCD is one of the pillars of the Deaf Community and thus the HEART of ASL Deaf people of Rochester, and blood flow to illustrate that the life blood of Rochester’s Deaf community is ASL which flourishes and grows and spreads at the Deaf Club – RRCD.

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Below: Video of Rob Tawney introducing the Rochester Recreation Club of the Deaf (RRCD) mural during Rochester Deaf Awareness Week (RDAW) – designed by Nancy Rourke and painted by Nancy Rourke and community members.

Below: Video of Photos of the RRCD mural-a-making process during Rochester Deaf Awareness Week (RDAW).

We Stand w/ YOU NTID/RIT students

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Latinx child’s hand signing “STAND” on a tree trunk

So the students of NTID/RIT have been schooling the administration, faculty and staff on a lot of important concepts and realities like social justice, intersectionalities, language access, safe space, White fragility, microaggression and more.

as an alumni of NTID – #istandwithyou
#NTIDAlumniKnow #AlumniStandWithNTID
#NTIDAlum
niCare #NTIDAlumniGotYourBack #EnoughIsEnoughNTID #WakeUpNTID #NTIDconvocation #NTIDConvocation2016 #DeafEd

as a faculty member of NTID – #istandwithyou
#NTIDfacultyknow   #facultyStandWithNTID   #NTIDfacultyCare #NTIDFacultyGotYourBack #EnoughIsEnoughNTID #WakeUpNTID #NTIDconvocation #NTIDConvocation2016 #DeafEd

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detail of Nancy Rourke painting – hands signing “STAND” and other hand with bent ring finger for Nepali sign for “Deaf”

thank u for teaching us and for not giving up.  Keep standing

See the results of a survey students conducted at the NTID Convocation on November 19, 2016:
(go to the Stripeticle Newsletter and scroll down for the full story and video and picture of students taking to the stage in a peaceful protest)

http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=9bc8e90a19e5a450777179b4c&id=2ebb5ff4eb

Survey Conducted at NTID Convocation

Question: Do you feel CONFIDENT that the administrators fully listen to your concerns and is doing their best to solve these concerns in the community’s best interest?

Staff/Fac.

YES= 94

Both/unsure= 6

NO= 77

 

Student

YES= 8

NO = 72

 

Alumni

YES = 7

NO = 5

 

Adm (administrators)

YES = 8

Blank = 1

This is a significantly high vote of no confidence –
90% of the students at the convocation voted NO CONFIDENCE in the administration
43% of the staff/faculty voted NO CONFIDENCE

this is a H U G E red flag to the administration that changes need to be MADE – not just talked about.

What are the issues:
lack of faculty of color
lack of knowledge of intersectionality and privilege by the faculty and administration
communication access
fully understanding, recognizing and utilizing ASL as a language of instruction
and more
i aint in facebook but i assume Ebony Club, Communication Access Now (CAN), NTID Student Congress (NSC), Deaf International Student Association and Deafblind students letters are shared some where out there in FB. Students have been lobbying hard and justly on these issues since 2015 – many of these issues have been around for a long long long time.
methinks we ought not to repeat bad history and instead heed the wisdom Jesse Jackson shared in his letter to another group of protesting Deaf students
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to see the full letter go to:

http://www.gallaudet.edu/dpn-home/issues/letters-of-support/rev-jesse-jackson.html

the students are asking that we truly understand them. methinks it is understandable why they think that we do not since so many of us dont even know as much as the students currently do.  They have progressed ahead of many of us in the quest for equality for all.  would that we heed their hearts and words and work WITH them for equality of condition and affective education.

see the video below for an awesome collection of amazing NTID/RIT alumni supporting the students – it made me weepy as i know so many of these good folks.  See, the current students and graduates (recent and from many moons ago) have much to teach us. Would that we learn.

Stand on NTID – #istandwithyouNTID

Me Art for 2015 and 2016

Trying to put all my recent artworks in one place

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Days of Awe (2016) Acyrlic on Canvas

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Tree Heart (2016) Charcoal on paper, painted red wooden frame made by dad, glue metal key

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Tree Heart (acrylic painting) (2016) Upon seeing the charcoal drawing above Nancy Rourke told me to paint it so i tried to : )

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2nd Wave of De’VIA is SURDISM (black ink on paper) (2016) Text: 2nd Wave of De’VIA 1989 SURDISM 2009

August 14-31 De’VIA Central Facebook hosted a challenge to use De’VIA animal motifs everyday – click for pdf of my drawings for the #DeVIAanimalmotif challenge 2016
animal-motifs-2016-pdurr-pdf

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Fall 2016 – Acrylic on cavas board – for Tom

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Amalfi Coast (2016) Watercolor (non-De’VIA)

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Snow Owl (2016) Graphite (non-De’VIA)

link to the artworks i made and exhibited at the To Deafhood with Love exhibit at AMoR in Sept 2016 https://deafhoodwlove.wordpress.com/pds-art/

link to the artworks i made during the Feb 2016 De’VIA motif challenge
handeyes.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/devia-29-challenge-2016-me-art/

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De’VIA Heart for DC (2016) Polyform with Acrylic on canvas

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Deaf Grassroots (2016) Charcoal on paper

EARLIER WORKS:

Feb 2015 De’VIA Challenge https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/me-artworks-for-the-28-days-of-devia-feb-2015/

 

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Where there is a vision, the people flourish (2015) Mixed media encaustic painting
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L’Chaim (2015) Acrylic on Canvas (right image has text for various symbols) (For Steve J.)

 

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Life and Death of a Deaf Woman (2015) Acrylic on Canvas with gold foil (for Betty G. Miller’s wife – Nancy Creighton)

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Moshe (2015) encaustic painting – made at De’VIA curr II (CSD)

Veditz with Sign Union Flag at Volta Bureau (2015)  – Mixed media – ASL Sculpture made at De’VIA Curriculum II (CSD)

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Self-portrait (2015) Foam and acrylic paint made at De’VIA Curr II (CSD)

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Veditz Building the Mt (2014) Acrylic on Canvas (for the Balard Family)

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Phone Home Q (2012) – Mixed Media

To see 4 mixed media pieces from the NTID Mythology exhibit (2005) – go to:
https://www.rit.edu/~w-dada/paddhd/publicDA/main/artists/PattiDurr/Art/portfolio.htm

rEVOLution

yep we need a revolution – plain and simple

backlash is more than just a b#tch.  its deadly

RepubliCANT party couldn’t stand a Black man as boss so they blocked any good thing he ever tried to do and the one big bill he got through (Health Care Reform) – they tried to get overturned and have vowed to repeal or reform the reform

seriously so so so so wrong

and of course the RepubliCANTs vowed that if a Vagina-bearing person became boss they would again block anything she ever tried to do

so mature

so healthy

so egalitarian

so humanitarian

nope – nah

what it is – is again so so so WRONG

and so the RepubliCANTs because they gained power by allowing for misogyny and hate to be preached via folks like Rush Limbaugh and Fox news and the Tea Party – realize they have created a monster.  By being such obstructionists – the Republicans made the US of A distrust the government and Congress and thus a candidate with NO EXPERIENCE in any governmental capacity and someone who is totally a wild card and unpredictable and anti-establishment WON. Trump won against everything single Republican (and Democrat) they put forward.  why because hate begets more hate

yep – the Republican National Convention – you did this

but you aint too upset cuz your chairman is gonna be tight with Trump and cuz you also won the Congress and you will get conservative justices on the US Supreme Court and you will have 4 years to plan and plot to get someone more controllable at the helm while maintaining and GROWING your power and undermining any and all progress that has been made towards social justice – White boy power – yeah! you say

and you got Bannon to help lead the way – so so so wrong!

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You will never see a Trump crowd responding to a little birdie like this – true progressive reform calls for a Love rEVOLution.  May we all aim to be extremists of love as Martin Luther King, Jr and others taught us

and Dear DemoCRAPic National Convention – you did this too.  seriously – you were so deceitful in your quest to undermine bernie sanders and pave the way for hillary clinton. Hillary is as established as “establishment” gets and this is what you ran – one of the most hated and vilified who if she had managed to win the electoral college, the Republicants would have blocked EVERYTHING she ever proposed. AND YOU KNOW THIS

so yes i wanted OBAMA in the White House – i didnt want him there as a figure head and to see Black folks (men and WOMEN) being killed in the streets by the police under Obama’s watch

so yes i wanted a woman in the White House – i didnt necessarily want Hillary and i would have much preferred Bernie

we do need a rEVOLution

Michael Moore is right – the Democrats need to run a celebrity that everyone loves and who would want the job – he suggests Tom Hanks or Oprah Winfrey

As long as they have a truly progressive plan – id vote for ’em

first up – do away with the electoral college and then overturn Citizen United and establish a department of peace and restorative justice

this country was founded on brutal racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, capitalism … and bloodshed – its time to right that wrong

peace
p

Dear Hillary & the U S of A

Dear Hillary:

My deepest sorrow that you did not win the election (well you really did because you won the popular vote so far – its just the bonky electoral college bs that beat ya. boo and grr).  While i did not vote for you in the primaries – preferring the progressive of Bernie Sanders – i did vote for you in the national election.

And i did stay up all night almost gnawing at my nails and pulling out my hair as i saw the voting results tumbling in.

it felt as if we all were in free fall – that the impossible, the unbelievable, and the inane was coming to be.

im still a bit shell shocked.

yesterday afternoon a wee little girl came up to me and asked
“who did you vote for?”
and not knowing her or her parents politics i said
“well im not sure if i should say”
and next she said “my mommy voted for the girl.”
and then “did you vote for the girl?”
“yes” i said.  “i voted for the girl”
and she said “the boy is mean, isn’t he?”
to which i said the truth “yes, he is rather mean”
and then she said “if she wins – she will be the first girl president”
to which i said “yes she will”

and this reminded me of another wee child who held my hand as we skipped down a sidewalk in manhattan many moons ago who said looking up at me
“are you going to vote for Obama?”
and i smiled big (as i had not reservations about voting for Obama nor of what his parents might think)
and he said “good because Obama is just like me”
and when i raised my eyebrows to ask him to elaborate
he replied “his parents are Black and White like mine”
to which i looked back at his parents and smiled
and then he said “imagine someone in the White House that looks like me”

and so i did and we all did and many of us made it possible and it came to be

and the Republicans spent every second they had fighting this beautiful person and they vowed to fight the person who “looks like me” if she became president

and so we see Sexism and Racism and Capitalism and Nationalism are very dangerous

but as the earth moves around the sun today – i am thinking of some positives because to live in fear is to feed hate.  and i am not a hater.  i know LOVE triumphs over all – so i am looking for what WE – the people – are to do in the days and years ahead.

1. dont believe polls
2. get everyone you know and love to register to vote and to vote in every single election until the next presidential election and vote then too
3. challenge the Republicans to be just, right, and good
4. know that while social media is great a sharing information – it is also great at spreading lies
5. the electoral college prevents direct democracy

we need a truly progressive party to raise up and make the US great

cuz she has never truly been great and i love the US   i truly do but the electoral college is bullshit

Hillary won the popular vote – that should be enough

why do we have this gate keeper – this electorial college with its weird assortment of voting delegates that throws an election away from what the people voted for?

we are not a democracy and we perpetuate this shit – the powerful stay in power

and little girls have to say – not today.  not today will there be someone like me in the White House – when all over the globe in developing nations and developed nations – Women have ruled their world.  But nah not so much in the US of A

and this is what trump means when he says – make America Great Again – he means return to a society where women are property and objects and Black people are treated like criminals and Latinos are assumed to be rapists and disabled people are mocked

the people should and can be trusted – demolish the electoral college

direct election – popular vote wins
one person one vote

or just keep on with the same ole same ole – 2 steps forward and 3 steps back

see ya at the rEVOLution folks

and now i continue to grieve – not just for family but for our country tis of thee

V
p

NAH

nah

 

i cant do it

 

i cant resume blogging

 

all i want to do is to shout out that folks need to vote and i will.  at the same time im really nervous – more nervous – ie TERRIFIED about The Donald sexual predator running the country – but also worried about Hillary Clinton running the country – too hawkish and too complicit / corrupt for me but vote i will for the candidate with a vagina cuz:

  1. its long overdue and
  2. Donald is dangerous – period

so there is no need for me to returning to blogging or vlogging just to rant with the rest of folks on social media and…

i dont have the energy or the desire

grief is too big and many other things are calling

this space may grow dusty and cobwebby but still has some old gems that lots of folks still visit and many colleges seems to be linking too so ill keep it up but not so much alive as in i wont be adding post unless of course until i do.  or i dont but for now …

gone fishing

me

V
p

Hello – its me!

heye all
thank u to the various folks who have inquired about the silence over here at People of the Hand Eye.
nothing personal – its just that Facebook has taken over the lives of many folks my age who live on their handheld devices and the past few years i’ve been busy with something important
sunrise sunset
enough said – i dont feel like sharing my grief with the world but i will venture out to make a post and see if it feels right to dust off the cobwebs and get this little space rolling again or ill roll back up the carpet and close the door
will see see which way the wind blows me
for now this:
1. thank you to each and all who have reached out to comfort me – much appreciated. greatest thing we can all do – is L O V E
so mucho gracias (see trump i can use a wee bit of spanish in a nice way instead of the only time u use it is to malign my brethren – u scoundrel u – which leads us to my next point…

2. Nasty Woman = V O T E R
yes i am a “nasty woman” and i hope you will be one too
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Vote vote vote all ye all
all ye weary and poor and huddled masses (yes i’m quoting from the statue of liberty and yes she is a 10)
vote cuz our country depends on it as do our liberties and our civility and our humanity
and yes while i aint really “with her” as in – i got some concerns about Hilary – i do definitely qualify to be categorized by Donald Trump as a “Nasty Woman” so what am i gonna do do ?
Vote for the first future woman president of the United States of America
(sorry bernie)
Ill be happy we have a woman – ill be happier we dont have trump and ill continue hoping and watching and worrying about the police state that wants to emerge and our imperialism and capitalism run amok.  but at least i wont have to be packing
UNLESS of course – enough of us Nasty Women and Allies do not get out and VOTE

so ya all just go ahead and do it – VOTE

then we can watch trump pitch a fit “rigged rigged rigged” your boat gently down the stream…

3Durr_BLM_mm.jpg. i made a bunch of art – i made it quickly because my wrist were majorly messed up after getting arrested at the Black Lives Matter (and they really should folks – Black Lives Should TOTALLY MATTER IN THE US of A so pls keep standing and making sure that they do)
you can see the art i made at: https://deafhoodwlove.wordpress.com/pds-art/
from the To Deafhood with Love exhibit at the Art Museum of Rochester (AMoR) and please hit the ARTISTS button so you can see the works by my comrade Surdists – Karen Christie, Laurie Monahan, and Nancy Rourke that were exhibited there also.

Thanks to each and all who attended and asked questions and discussed and dared to care.  It really moved me when someone would be looking at one of the pieces and they would put their hand up to their heart and shake their head from side to side.  Yep that shit sure do hurt and that other stuff sure do shine.

4. if ya got anything u wanna chat about or see me blog or vlog about, pls do leave a comment or send me a note – it will help more to move forward in opening up the windows and well u know – just move forward.  sometimes that is mighty hard to do cuz it means we will be moving further away from when a certain someone could hold your hand or give you a hug or sing your name or look deep into your eyes and say everything or just say “shit head” and make you laugh.  yeah i made myself cry.  and now we know why i aint been around here of late.  grief’s a beast.

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