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Transcript of Ann Silver
De'VIA Art Pieces
One of the founding artist to find Deaf Artist Movement (DAM) of the 1960s and 1970s that preceded the De'VIA movement
Her motivational art portray the Deaf perspective on the discrimination of Deaf children and adults in a variety of areas
Well known deaf graphic designer and advocate for deaf culture art
Her work combines Pop Art, product advertising, roadsigns, ASL/Deaf culture, and her own experiences with audism
Silver has been a driving force for over three decades for recognition and inclusion of Deaf Art in the world of art, architecture, public art, and academia
Education and Work
K-12 education was "90% guesswork and 10% art"
Received her BA in Commercial Art from Gallaudet University
An MA in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University in 1977
Worked as a designer/art director for major book publishing companies in Manhattan
Was a sign language artist and a Deaf Studies researcher/writer
A museum guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Along with Betty G. Miller and Harry R. Williams, she has the distinction of being one of the founding members of the Washington DC-based Deaf Art Movement (DAM) in the 1960s-1970s
In 1979, she and the Museum of Modern Art established a 125-museum consortium program for Deaf visitors, which earned her a NY Governor's Art Award
Living in Japan as a 1986 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Fellow, she trailblazed cross-cultural research, which led to Japanese Deaf Studies
Wrote her bio and artwork in a book called "One Way, Deaf Way"
Born Deaf from hearing family in Seattle, Washington in 1949
ASL was forbidden where she grew up
Attended public schools but was not mainstreamed
Support services or ASL interpreting were not available at the time
"Deaf Art is my soul, my heart, my conscience." - Ann Silver
Ann Silver use different media to show the oppression of Deaf people and sign language. People sometimes call her, "the reincarnation of Andy Warhol." She used everyday objects, such as Kellogg's cornflake boxes, Crayola boxes, and license plates to mimic and critique the hearing world's negative stereotypes of Deaf people.
Why it's De'VIA:
It serves as a visual testimony of injustices that Deaf people have faced. It is pencil drawn. The gray suggests a dark time and the oppression of Deaf people. The freedom to speak out is ironic because the hands are tied together. This takes away their right to do so. The stamps are authentic postage stamps.
Why it's De'VIA:
For these signs, Ann wanted to send the message that hearing people do not understand ASL/Deaf culture like two completely different worlds. The street signs to grab the attention of anybody to come across her work. Ideally, if Deaf artists are recognized, people would see their disability and their limitations as "unchallenged" rather than their accomplishments and art.
"I use typical street and parking signs to shape cultural consciousness and popular opinion in ways that statistical reports, legal action and the educational system cannot." - Ann Silver
"I turned to art as an escape from the oppressive world of speech, lipreading, and auditory training." - Ann Silver
At the age of 13, Ann was inspired by Morris Broderson’s watercolor painting
His ﬁngerspelled creations made her pursue a goal years later, which was to legitimize Deaf Art
At Gallaudet, Ann detested the art department, including the professors
Professors wouldn't let Ann do what she was meant to do: create Deaf art
Sought to accredit Deaf art as an art genre and collegiate subject
"I refuse to be labeled as a 'handicapped/disabled' artist, an artist who happens to be hearing-impaired,' or 'an artist who cannot hear or speak.' I am a Deaf artist, and that's how I want to be identified." - Ann Silver
Why it's De'VIA:
Ann charts the evolution of labels applied to the Deaf since 1900. These license place illustrates another community’s experience with evolving labels. The dates are almost a century apart. The names symbolize the stereotypes of Deaf people as "Deaf & Dumb" to the correct label, which is, "Deaf."
In My Opinion...
With all of Ann Silver's art, it shows the hardships of Deaf people
The parody art she creates represent the negative stereotypes forced upon the Deaf
The Deaf are penalized or made fun of for using their hands to communicate
Deafness is looked at as disability instead of a culture or a community
Realistically, there's a separation between the Deaf and hearing world.