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 September 1 - 24, 2017 with an artist reception on Saturday, September 9 from 6 - 9 PM.
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. Featuring works by Ellen Mansfield, Yossi Ben Abu, Delora Bertsch, Ka-Yun Chan, Bill Prochnow, Branton Stewart, Munira Vira, Nancy Rourke, Angus English, Amy Cohen Efron, Melissa Malzkuhn, Cynthia Boehm, Andrea Zuchegno, Bridget Klein, Rea Rossi, Lynne Bowden, Jerry Steffen Jr. and Jon Savage.
"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.
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.