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Local San Diego art gallery celebrates National Deaf Awareness Month

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Local visual artist Jon Savage recently set his sights on connecting with other deaf artists across the country using the hashtag #deafartist.  He approached gallery owner Patric Stillman, who recently held a significant exhibition for the LGBTQIA community at The Studio Door in North Park.  Together, they have planned a national exhibition featuring deaf and hard of hearing artists to celebrate National Deaf Awareness month from Sept. 1 – 24, with an artist reception Saturday, Sept. 9 from 6  – 9 p.m.

The exhibition entitled Artistry Through Deaf Eyes showcases a diverse range of works from 18 artists hailing from California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington and DC.

“This is an important moment for San Diego’s community to celebrate the deaf art.  My fellow artists offer a unique point of view and this exhibition celebrates the rich artistic traditions of deaf contemporary artists,” said Savage, whose own works that have been increasing in popularity among San Diego’s art patrons will be on display in HYPE at The Studio Door, which is a co-op styled gallery that The Studio Door also operates.

“I’m thrilled that Jon spearheaded this exhibit where we get to feature general works by Deaf artists as well as works from the De’VIA [Deaf View/Image Art] movement.  This art movement is a growing trend these days among artists seeking to express the experience of being deaf.  Its truly a form of Deaf Pride in that it deals with themes of empowerment, American Sign Language (ASL) and  perceptions based upon the Deaf experience,” said Stillman.

Three of the works that have been singled out as Best in Show include

Nancy Rourke’s Subaltern Resistance Discussion [Loveland, CO]

“It was in 2009, I started painting about the Deaf experience. I grew up in San Diego and went to a deaf oral school. I was not ready to come out of the nutshell to expose my art in the hearing world. De’VIA stands for Deaf View/Image Art, established in 1989 by 9 Deaf artists. My art has a centralized focus that makes a theme. I create motifs with blue tapes, hands and eyes. I use primary colors. Red is empowerment. Yellow is HOPE. Blue is oppression. I capture today’s society that needs attention. Resistance art shows linguistic controversy, genetic engineering and colonialism. Affirmation art shows Deaf culture and Deafhood. I paint how Deaf people have been controlled by predominantly audist environments. I seek to portray on how much suffering Deaf people were, many years when Aristotle (384-322 BC) said “Deaf born senseless and incapable to reason.” I felt this was important for the viewers to see what our human rights are. This is what I am painting today.”

Lynne Bowden’s Hidden Master [Vancouver, WA]

“This piece was created after an illness suddenly destroyed my hearing. It is a deconstructed self portrait of Vincent van Gogh, who, in his madness, subsequently cut off his own ear. The shredded painting denotes the mixture of emotion I experienced from that loss. The reconstruction of van Gogh reflects the rebuilding of my life, piece by piece. My life may not look the same as it once had; however we all have the power to ‘reconstruct’ it into a richer, more meaningful one. It’s a reminder not to take loved ones or circumstances for granted.”

Bridget Klein’s Rise [Bloomsberg, PA]

“I am a doctoral student at American University where I explored the idea of literature of American Sign Language (ASL) combined with film technology.  My current work explores the idea of ASL within photography.”

To enhance the experience for Deaf patrons, many of the artists are including QR Codes that will be on display alongside of the art.  The QR Codes will open up YouTube videos that include either ASL + Closed Captions (CC) or ASL + Voice-over on a video allowing for viewers to see and learn about the artwork directly from the artists themselves.  For the reception, The Studio Door is in discussion with Deaf Community Services of San Diego and several independent translators to be on hand to share information and make introductions.

The exhibition will be open for free to all San Diegans.  Artwork will be for sale.

Following Artistry Through Deaf Eyes, The Studio Door will resume its regular programming for the fall with the return of self-guided artist tours in the 3rd Annual Open Studios San Diego and the extremely popular Holiday Art Market, which features small affordable works by local artists perfect for the gift giving season. For more details on Artistry Through Deaf Eyes or The Studio Door, visit www.thestudiodoor.com.



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Posted by on Aug 14, 2017. Filed under Entertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Local San Diego art gallery celebrates National Deaf Awareness Month”

  1. Thank you for sharing the exhibition with your readers. This is going to be an exceptional show that I hope everyone will come out to see.

  2. Deaf Community Services is confirmed as a partner for this exhibit.

  3. I’m am speechless and so honored to have been chosen!
    Thank you

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