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Selected Touring Works

Chuck Baird, Art No. 2, 1994, Acrylic, 24" x 30" (Courtesy of Jaime Harter)

This is the second in the " Art" Series, the first of which is on the cover of his book "Chuck Baird, 35 plates." These are crisp illustrations, seemingly drawn in mid-air, of the sign for "artist," a concept that is essential to Chuck. "Art is my whole life. When I sign 'art', a ray of light represents the ray of Hope. Those flying objects in front of myself represent my various mediums." In the first painting, the sign is seen from the viewpoint of the signer/artist, but in the present work, it is seen from the viewpoint of the receptor/viewer.

Art No. 2 was chosen for the tour poster.


Betty G. Miller , Ameslan Prohibited, 1972, ink on paper, 20" x 18"  (Courtesy of Sandi Inches Vasnick)

This drawing of hands with chains on wrists, and fingers chopped off depicting that Ameslan or sign language is prohibited in many schools for the deaf.

"Much of my work depicts the Deaf experience expressed in the most appropriate form of communication: visual art.  I present both the suppression, and the beauty of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language as I see it; in the past, and in the present.  I hope this work, and the understanding that may arise from this visual expression, will help bridge the gap between the Deaf world, and the hearing world."


Thad C. Martin, Articulatus (Read My Lips), 1994, ceramic, 34x78x48

This work is a composition of heads, the details of which are named after primal sounds. The relationships within it tell a wordless story of a deaf experience: from an awakening to one's sense of self, through a struggle for footing in the hearing world, to an affirmation of one's wholeness and an acceptance of the journey to come.

The group relates on many levels. As a whole, it represents a tale: it begins with the head "ooo.."representing the point of embarkation with complete and serene acceptance of one's deafness, showing enthusiasm and anticipation with none of the negative connotations imposed by society. The next head, "ahh..," represents a deaf person in the greater world, whose struggles in that world are neither heard nor comphrended. The next 4 heads, "err.." "ege..," "mmm…," and "uhh..," tell, respectively, of the retreat into oneself in the face of the inherent limitations to the deaf in the hearing world, of the realization that one is facing a problem, and looking for an answer, of coming into awareness that there is nothing wrong with oneself, that there problem is out there and one is whole, and of a brave but perturbed outlook on the journey ahead.


Ann Silver, Deaf Identity Crayons: Then & Now (Crayon Box Series), 1999, Mixed Media, 20" w x 16" h

Centuries ago Deaf people were a box of crayons, not human beings. Through the 20th century has witnessed shifts in terminology, the painstaking removal of poisonous power from archaic descriptors accorded our unwitting community is far from finished. As such, we must not allow others to define who we are, how we should be identified, or what is semantically apropos for us.

The SEEING crayon is a tribute to the late John Darcy Smith, one of the proponents of the Deaf Art Movement. During the Sixties, he waged an unsuccessful word-conversion campaign at a time when political correctness has not become fashionable. His reasoning was that if humans who depend on sound are called "hearing" people; others who rely on sight should likewise be labeled "seeing" rather than "hearing-impaired."

[For the uninitiated: CODA stands for child of a Deaf adult or Deaf parents]

Copyright © 1999, Ann Silver


Susan Dupor, Delavan, Wisconsin, 1891, 1999, diptych, oil on masonite, 13" x 9.25"

This is a homage to deaf children who attended the Wisconsin School for the Deaf before the 1900s. Also, the painting is open to any interpretation as there are symbols at display within the diptych.


Susan Dupor, Family Dog, 1991, Acrylic, 61" x 58"

This work is expressive of feelings typical to isolated Deaf children living with non-Signing hearing families. The faces of the other members of the family are blurred, likening the experience of lipreading to the experience of listening to a TV program disrupted by static. The deaf child, who wears hearing aids, is made analogous to a family pet that is patted on the head while being told "Good girl, good girl.".


Orkid Sassouni, Being Deaf and Free Spirit, 1998-99, page 9 from book of black and white photographs, 3.5x4.5

This photograph is one example selected from the 27 in Orkid Sassouni's  8" x 8" album.

It portrays two Deaf persons signing in a nightclub/bar setting.  In this photograph, blurs indicate hands in motion.  The photograph also captures facial expressions in the middle of a signed conversation, which showing clearly the earnestness of the signer. The signer is expressing emotions freely and sharing her life with her friend. Hearing people who participate in Deaf community activities have commented that closeness and kinship between Deaf persons are stronger and more obvious than among hearing people. This is a reminder of the times when Deaf people were reluctant to sign in public because of the stares they would get from hearing people. This has changed dramatically over the past 20 years because of the public's changing perception of sign language and Deaf people.