Tag Archives: devia

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

VIVA De’VIA events at NTID Nov 6-9, 2014

below are flyers explaining some of the different events taking place at NTID for the VIVA De’VIA weekend – Nov 6-9, 2014

All other events are open to the public except the banquet which is sold out.  Scroll down for the flyers for the various events

VIVA De’VIA – Celebrating 25 years of Art about the Deaf Experience (Deaf View/Image Art)

Events below with * have live streaming at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/live

Thursday, November 6, 2014

12:30-1:45 pm “The Deaf Union Flag and Vexillology” by Arnaud Balard in SDC 1310

Friday November 7, 2014

*2:00pm-3:00 pm Panel of De’VIA Artists (David Call, Ellen Mansfield, Nancy Rourke, Ann Silver, Jim Van Manen) and Artists booths from 3-4 pm in

5:00pm-7:00 pm RADSCC 3rd Deaf-Mute Banquet in Dyer Arts Center [note this event is SOLD OUT]

*7:00-9:00 pm De’VIA Film & “Surdism Manifesto” by Arnaud Balard in Panara Theatre

Saturday November 8, 2014

10:00 am – 11:00 am Hands on art and booths in Dyer Arts Center

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Panel of Artists (David Ennis, Randy Pituk, Tony McGregor, Alex Wilhite, and Jennifer Witteborg) in Dyer Arts Center

1:00 – 4:00 pm Tours and booths in Dyer Arts Center

6:00 – 7:30 pm Closing Reception of VIVA De’VIA Exhibit in Dyer Arts Center

*7:30-9:30 pm; Panara Theatre; “Chains of Remembrance” Tribute performancein Panara Theatre

Sunday November 9, 2014

12 – 2 pm Artists booths and Special Interest Groups in Dyer Arts Center

12-2:30 pm Deaf-Blind community event with Arnaud Balard in SDC 1310

3-4 pm Deafhood Pedagogies by Dr. Paddy Ladd in Dyer Arts Center


Monday November 10, 2014
*12:00pm – 1:30pm ASL Lecture: A Long Strange Journey: More Than a Decade of Deafhood by Paddy Ladd in SDC-1310-1300

final FULLest DeVIA weekend flyer-3

Nov 7 Fri from 2-3 pm in the SDC 1300/1310 will be a panel of De’VIA artists and booth sales afterward.

2014arnaud surdism panara nov 7

Nov 8 Sat from 11 am -12 pm in LBJ Dyer Arts Center will be another panel of De’VIA artists and various events with booth sales (see schedule for details for other events).

Tribute flyer final

paddy flyerDeafhood Pedagogy


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 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

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 – 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 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) – 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


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 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


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




For YOU and for Me

we could say its me menopause but today i find meself very emotional and while i’ve been very busy and stressed i think that the culprit of my tears to day is just some days the ancestors come a callin’ more strongly than others.

so my morning started with some tears and my evening eases into bed time with tears – what triggered them?  Well Chuck and George.

still from Chuck Baird interview on Spectrum's old property - filmed by Tracey Salaway
still from Chuck Baird interview on Spectrum’s old property – filmed by Tracey Salaway

this morning when showing a short video about Spectrum – a Deaf Artists colony that ran in Austin, Texas from 1975-1980 – Chuck Baird got me all emotional.  Its true it was hard to watch the video after he had passed 2 years ago and then again after Betty G. Miller departed because she too is in the video.  This spring i was a little more prepared to watch it without such raw sorrow but Chuck got me anyways.


well, watching him and his quirky funny way of explaining things got me remembering how about 6 years ago he had contacted me with the idea of having a 20th anniversary for Deaf View/Image Art -De’VIA (art about the Deaf experience) and i was like SURE, YES, and HOW CAN I HELP?

(we had worked on a series of display posters on De’VIA motifs and themes for the 2008 NAD conference to show the evolution and growth of De’VIA and of course Chuck wanted more – not just posters but people coming together to share their work and celebrate De’VIA’s anniversary)

Chuck sent out some emails and postings to see if folks were interested and he felt he didnt get a strong enough response and probably was experiencing health issues but didnt want to share at that time so decided it was best we didnt pursue it.

Now it is De’VIA’s 25th anniversary and we aim to honor it with all our hearts and of course me heart breaks knowing Chuck wont be there in person.  I know he will be with us in spirit – for sure!  But im sad.  It makes me sad.  6 years ago when he proposed the idea – i didnt know he was sick and i didnt feel i had the right to lead such a thing.  so im just a wee bit sad i didnt do more sooner.  I aint angry with myself – just a bit weepy.  He did so much for You and for Me.

I’m sorry chuck.  real sorry.  But we will make your dream come true.  I promise.

my evening tears come when reading a bunch of papers and in one response about an artwork honoring George Veditz, a wonderful person has written: “I know George Veditz and he actually saved my life by preserving a beautiful language and encouraged us to choose ourselves.  We don’t choose by forcing us.”

This just made me so happy.  Years ago i read a quote by martin luther king jr that i latched onto and have not let go “we must have the spiritual audacity to assert our somebodiness” – to me the concept of being encouraged to choose ourselves, to choose our language – this is having the spiritual audacity to assert our somebodiness.  it does not come from force – it comes from encouragement and inspiration.

And this wee comment amongst many other things i have to read and do tonight got me thinking of a short tribute amongst many other tributes to George W. Veditz in the Maryland Bulletin April 1937 Vol. LVII No 7 p. 126 it made me cry and it chokes me up every time since.

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 9.23.48 PM
Maryland Bulletin April 1937 Vol. LVII No 7 p. 126

Makes me cry.


well, im not sure – mostly i guess cuz i feel i should have and could have done more sooner and cuz George really did, has done, and is doing so much for YOU and for Me and cuz so many of us are doing so little for ourselves and our language.

But i have hope – with chaps like these stopping by – we cant go wrong.  And there are MANY good folks on the ground so Forward march.  We are not alone and we are legions.

Viva De’VIA in Olathe Kansas

Olathe De'VIA Mural 2013
De’VIA Mural 2013 – created during the Olathe, Kansas three day De’VIA: Past, Present, and Posterity retreat. Photo from Nancy Rourke

Greetings all –

just wanted to share how awesome the De’VIA retreat in Olathe, Kansas was.  The Retreat, Festival, and Gala were organized by Jeanne Ewald and her superb team of volunteers – really just EXTRAordinary folks.  Thank you thank you thank you for making those events possible.

for those of you who do not know what De’VIA is-

De’VIA –  stands for Deaf View / Image Art and is visual art about the Deaf experience.

In 1989 a group of 9 Deaf artists met before Deaf Way I in Washington DC to have a think tank about what to call art about the Deaf experience and thus coined the term Deaf View (as in point of view / perspective) Image (as in some form of visual art representation ) Art.
(see powerpoint with examples of De’VIA at https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/building-the-mt-the-2nd-wave-of-devia/)

They coined the term in ASL first signing it as: Deaf View (look at) / open hand as if a canvas (represents the word concept for Image) then Art
They then abbreviated it to be De’VIA – De representing the word Deaf but not fully spelling it out so it had a foreign feel especially with the ‘ and also to bump folks out of their locked thinking of “deaf” as a pathology.  De in French means “of” so this is artwork “of” Deaf people.  The French appeal is also a nod of appreciation to Laurent Clerc the French Deaf man who came to the US to help found the first permanent bilingual Deaf school and imported in French Sign language.

The creators of De’VIA do not have to be Deaf but they must intend to represent the Deaf experience in their work and hence De’VIA is most often created by Deaf folks themselves.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.56.58 AM
Kansas School for the Deaf with De’VIA Banner on front lawn (artwork by Diane Squire on the banner). Photo by Jenny Witteborg.

The summer of 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of De’VIA.  When De’VIA’s 20th anniversary had been approaching Chuck Baird, one of the most well known De’VIA artists and one of the signatories of the De’VIA manifesto, had wanted to see some type of retreat and celebration but alas at that time people did not express a strong interest.  Sadly, Chuck Baird died on February 10, 2012 of cancer and did not live to see a De’VIA re-treat.  Nor did Dr.  Betty G. Miller.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 8.20.55 AM
Photo of De’VIA retreat t-shirt and name tags with Ellen Mansfield’s artwork.

Chuck had bestowed upon Betty G. Miller the title of the mother of Deaf View/Image Art because of her steadfast devotion and commitment to art about the Deaf experience – from her teaching, the first one woman show featuring works of truths about the Deaf experience – both affirmation and resistance, to her buying property in Austin, Texas for the Deaf artists colony, Spectrum, to be run, to her hosting the 1989 Deaf View/Image Art think tank, to all of her De’VIA works and her encouraging of up and coming artists.  It is a just right and good title.  Sadly too Betty G. Miller has recently passed of a toxic bacterial infection on December 3, 2012 and was not able to be at the De’VIA retreat this past July in body but both, Chuck and Betty, were surely there in spirit.

If Betty is to be known as the Mother of De’VIA perhaps Chuck shall be come to be known as the King of De’VIA.  He was at Spectrum, the Deaf artists colony and not only created art, acted, and worked on the newsletter, he also constructed the summer festival tents, renovated the horse stalls and barn into workable conditions for the artists, he has also served as artist in residence for many Deaf schools and programs all over the US, was one of the signatories of the De’VIA manifesto, coordinated the international artists and shows for Deaf Way II and has encouraged many many emerging De’VIA artsts.  He also performed in many National Theatre of the Deaf productions, including the King of Hearts where every night on stage he created artistic scenes live during the performances.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 8.00.35 AM
Deaf Cultural Center (DCC), directly across from the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe, Kansas, features a museum, gift store, several artworks by notable Deaf artists, and a beautiful meeting place. Photo by Jenny Witteborg.

So while we deeply missed their presence at the Olathe, Kansas De’VIA retreat 2013 – I know they would be thrilled with what transpired.  Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe was the perfect place for this retreat as Chuck graduated from this school and it is overflowing with GREAT De’VIA pieces.  Not just works of art by Chuck, but many beautiful pieces by students (see bottom of this entry for examples).  it is wonderful to see a school that values De’VIA so much.  I am sure without a doubt that Betty and Chuck would be VERY pleased with the three-day De’VIA retreat.  Everyday was busy from sun up to sun down.  i wish i could accurately describe how truly wonderful of an experience it was.  Not only was it a time free of audism, it was also a time free of egos.  Folks were there to share, care and CREATE.  It really was amazing.  The guardian angel of the retreat was its primary organizer Nancy Rourke – i used to call her the Den Mother of De’VIA cuz she is always right there finding emerging artists and simply and PURELY encouraging them.  Giving them faith in themselves while challenging, stimulating, encouraging, and creating.  i do NOT know how she does it and hence her title has been upgraded to guardian angel of the 2nd Wave of De’VIA.

H Kasher betty g miller 2013
Betty Miller by Hinda Kasher. Photo by Hinda and used here with permission.

The Wine and Cheese Soiree in the Deaf Cultural Center was very enjoyable as it gave me more time to explore this wonderful museum and it allowed for several of the artists to share their works with the community.  I will forever treasure seeing Hinda Kasher explaining ALL of the symbolism in her four piece artwork honoring Betty G. Miller.  It is just a pow pow piece and Betty and Chuck were all about promoting new and up in coming De’VIA artists.  To see such a young person CARE and DARE as much as Hinda does ! and for her to honor Betty such – well i just KNOW Betty would have gotten a big WOW out of it.  Much gratitude to Hinda for honoring Betty’s herstory and dedication to the Deaf-world and ASL.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 8.15.52 AM
De’VIA totem. Photo by Tracey Salaway


Probably one of the biggest high lights of the whole retreat was the creation of the De’VIA mural at the Olathe retreat.  I hope at another time to be able to do a blog entry about the 1989 Mural and the 2013 mural so wont go into detail here except to say it was an EXCEPTIONAL experience.  Just completely fascinating to see the process and to SEE how the organic kept emerging.  How folks negotiated concepts, ideas, visions, spaces to all come together and just shock the socks off of all of us.  Just wow.  The same is true of the De’VIA totem yet on a smaller scale since it had less room to work with but still almost everyone who had worked on the mural contributed to to the totem also – just not everyone at its side at the same time.  Just as the totem has a nod to De’VIA’s for-bearer via the sun logo – IE – Spectrum, Deaf Artist colony – the 2013 De’VIA Mural has a reference to the 1989 De’VIA via the Pyramid figure.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.33.19 AM
Lovely Ruth Ann Wilding, Chuck Baird’s sister, share a bit of her brother with us. De’VIA mural corner in the background. Photo from DCC.

Then to see the totem and mural displayed at the Gala honoring Chuck Baird – front and center and beautifully lit up – i think all of us were just like WOW.  It was incredible.

The Gala was a truly touching tribute to Chuck Baird.

During the live auction – there was a very hot bidding war for a painting that several of the De’VIA artists had created during the Olathe art festival earlier that day (the paint was probably still wet).  When we saw Hardy was one of the bidders and how much he truly truly wanted that work – it was a beauty to behold.  And to see him win it, well that is what art is all about – stirring up the heART.

Ruth Ann Wilding, Chuck Baird’s sister, shared a bit of her baby brother with us.  She really just made everything so much more important and dear to me.  Her presence at the retreat and the gala just made Chuck’s presence all the more real.  I love when she addressed him cuz i was like “yep – hi chuck.  We miss you.”  And im sure i saw him chuckling his sweet CHUCKle.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.46.12 AM
Noah Buchholz performing at the DCC Chuck Baird Gala. Photo from DCC.

Later on Noah Buchholz re-told jokes and stories Chuck had told him.  He did a spot-on job imitating Chuck’s style & quirky humor.  Noah did a beautiful job explaining Chuck’s explanation of his Left & Right artwork (see http://www.chuckbairdart.com/uploads/4/1/1/2/4112403/1790245_orig.jpg) – especially the witness chair and how we are all called to “take the stand” and testify what we know of the Deaf mind.

Noah also performed a powerful story that had been told to him by his Deaf grandmother about a Deaf girl who had died at the hands of Deaf education simply for signing and how we are called to STAND and testify these truths.  Our truths.  He did this via his artform – ASL storytelling – which Chuck too excelled at and loved.

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.38.03 AM
Ruthie Jordan with shadow imagery on the De’VIA mural as she spontaneously incorporates it into the tapestry of her live performance tribute to Chuck at the DCC gala in his honor. Photo from DCC

Ruthie Jordan also rocked the house by sharing her experiences with Chuck, performing live her lovely ABC tribute to Chuck Baird (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEKeFvUAGXM) and then bringing the motifs and themes from the 2013 De’VIA mural to life by having these images leap off the canvas and on to her ASL hands to become part of the tapestry of Chuck’s life & work and that evenings gala.  It was priceless when Ruthie ended with signing TAKE A STAND and the audience did – they all STOOD up.  Just so thrilling.

English doesn’t even come close to honoring what these two performance artists gave to us and Chuck’s memory that evening.  I know im not explaining everything and i know im not giving recognition to everyone – its not cuz it or they aint important – its just cuz its impossible to tell ya all how much i love ya and how much i truly truly truly appreciate having had the opportunity to be part of this amazing experience.  [i havent even mentioned the midnight ER trip ; )]

NOTE: The Deaf CulturalScreen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.28.57 AM Center Foundation even printed out a great De’VIA 2014-2015 Calendar

I could go on and on but you get the point –

it was grand and im forever grateful i could partake.
To all who made it possible – THANK YOU.

gratitude is the memory of the heart ~ jean massieu

Video of KSD art teacher, Takako Kerns, explaining children’s mural at KSD (other short videos of KSD art at this pdurr youtube channel)

Viva De’VIA – Deaf View / Image Art

Viva De’VIA –

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.

De’VIA mural – image courtesy of Nancy Creighton (c)

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!

Link to info and actual De’VIA manifesto with 9 signatories names

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:

Several articles on De’VIA here: https://www.rit.edu/~w-dada/paddhd/publicDA/main/articles/index.htm

PDurrArticle2006(1) Investigating De’VIA article


Nancy Rourke’s Art Letter to AG Bell Assoc.

We are collecting expressions of truth to share with the AG Bell Assoc. and the broader public. Nancy Rourke shares her truth via her De’VIA work entitled “The Hearing Test Room,” which has familiar objects that many of us who endured sitting in that setting will recall. Nancy includes images and symbols to indicate how Bell’s influence on Deaf lives and psyche was and is ever present.
NOTE: several Deaf literary and visual artists have created works around the Hearing test and many folks talk of the freaky monkey, clown, and bears used in the audiology lab (still used to today folks and i found out they are international – used in audiology labs across the globe – geez why dont they ever consult with us cuz if they did we’d say #uck no – dont put those things in that room – talk about triggering nightmares).

———–Nancy Rourke’s Art Letter to AG Bell —————

The Hearing Test room by Nancy Rourke
go to http://www.nancyrourke.com/hearingtestroom.htm for description of this artwork
To Alexander Graham Bell, that hearing test room is yours. You see, the framed picture against the wall? That is a picture
of your house with your flock of sheep in the front yard.  http://www.nationalgeographicstock.com/ngsimages/explore/explorecomp.jsf?xsys=SE&id=603653
Do you see a picture on the left side of the wall with a blue triangle? That is supposed to be one of your favorite shapes, triangle.
A metronome was used in a hearing test room, another favorite triangle shape of Bell’s.

Happy Belated B-Day Betty

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up. ~ James Baldwin

Heye all –

did ya miss me?

Life has been quiet here at the People of the Eye as we all were busy making noise while we made the invisible visible in DC then i was off to the hill with me clan.  mighty fine mighty fine.  All of it  – so to each and all who did, do and will for ever more STAND. You are GRAND.  now take a bow and get busy some more ; )

And speaking of standing –

Dr. Betty G. Miller had another birthday the other day.  Ya hoo and congrats and so glad you were born Betty.  The art world would not be the same with out your vision, fortitude, brave heart, and good courage.

Betty has been and is the ultimate truthseeker and signer.  She will not be denied.  No way no how!

and how she shines – shines in spirit, shines in faith, shines in truth and has shined a spot light on that which is unjust and untrue and that which is grand and beautiful.

Betty has been labeled just about everything – angry, bitter, etc etc but if u meet her u will see she is pure love and honey smile.  She just is truthful (see her pow pow work “Ameslan Prohibited” – oppression aint cool folks) – and for some folks that is toxic.

if ya dont know who Betty G Miller is or what Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) is – shame on ya.  And keep readinb below.  knowledge is power folks.  read ’em, and weep for all that u have been denied (ASL and the right to know the good folks who have come before us and that we have an ART FORM of our own!) and weep for joy for all the folks who have stood long and strong.  Brave-hearts we got.

(and on a side note – in 2008 NTID held a huge one woman show of Betty G. Miller’s work and also the works of her Deaf father Ralph Miller – who Betty inspired to do De’VIA works late in life.  when we had her over for a potluck at our place with a bunch of local great Deaf folks who love art and activism – it was a blustery dark fall evening and when she was blown in through the doorway with her hat, cane, shawl and her partner Nancy Creighton lovingly close behind – my Z turned to me and fingerspelled – “is that Mrs. Whatsit?” to which i laughed very hard.  Betty truly does have mystical powers.  There is no doubt in me mind)

Note: the below is from a Clerc Scar write up i did in 2009 but the 75th has been changed to 77th at bottom and links added.

Portrait of Dr. Betty G. Miller

Betty was given this title–the mother of De’VIA–by Chuck Baird for being one of the first known Deaf artists to create a strong body of work about the Deaf experience. Betty was born to Deaf parents, one of which was a commercial artist–Ralph Miller. Ralph would later follow in his daugher’s footsteps and create De’VIA works. Even though Betty received ASL in the home, as a hard-of-hearing person she was subjected to an oral-aural education. Many of her works resist oppression by exposing the audism behind such programs. In addition to having the first solo show of works focusing on the Deaf experience, she also was instrumental to the mid-1970s Deaf artists colony called Spectrum. It was based in Austin, Texas.

Betty was also a pivotal figure in bringing together the group of Deaf artists that coined the term Deaf View / Image Art (De’VIA) and composed the manifesto in 1989. A few of Betty and her father’s original paintings can be purchased via Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5671697 Her works are also reproduced in calendar, t-shirt, or other forms, available for purchase at http://www.cafepress.com/purpleswirlarts/

Deaf collectors, organizations and institutions should definitely consider investing in a Betty G. Miller original. De’VIA artists need and deserve patrons. The activism and creativity that Dr. Miller has invested in documenting and commenting on the Deaf experience via her artworks has been critical in giving a visual voice to our collective experiences.

Birth of a Deaf Woman Painting by Bettigee
Birth of a Deaf Woman by Betty G. Miller

The artwork explored in this Tour is “Birth of a Deaf Woman” by Betty G. Miller.

The large square canvas’ central figure taking up most of the composition is a full-figured woman in hues of pink. Her face has a quiet intensity with her eyes looking downward, almost closed, deep in concentration. Around her head are ripples of blues and pink. They give a dynamic feeling of energy radiating out from her–almost forming a halo. The hands of the woman are the focal point of the painting. They are positioned as if beginning to sign the word “birth.” The contour of the “birth” handshape is echoed in the outline of the pubic area. Some people upon viewing this work, comment on seeing a double image in the woman’s right arm–the outline of a baby beginning to nurse.

This work sends an affirmative message about womanhood and Deafhood. The nude figure references nature, organic beauty, and the power of birth. Deeper meaning from the title and subject matter, references our ability to be re-born as we journey to our center and our true selves. Many indigenous cultures depict mother nature and humanity as a feminine, nurturing goddess-like form. “Birth of a Deaf Woman” taps into that universal imagery and creation mythology. While this work is not a self-portrait, we are certainly glad that Betty created it.

Happy 77th birthday Betty, the mother of De’VIA–we are so glad you were born.

Note: article about the work of Betty G Miller and Susan Dupor

Deconstructing the Forced Assimilation of Deaf People Via De’VIA Resistance and Affirmation Art

also see Emily Steinberg’s film “Paint it Loud” http://deaftv.bigcartel.com/product/paint-it-loud

Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. ~ James Baldwin

Thank you betty for engaging in positive peace by disturbing false / negative peace

I love you! and you too Nancy!