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ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES Celebrating the Art of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists

Sept 1 - 24, 2017 EXHIBITION CATALOG

The Studio Door 3750 30th Street San Diego, CA 92104-3632 www.TheStudioDoor.com Cover Artwork: Subaltern Resistance Discussion by Nancy Rourke [Loveland, CO] Back Cover Artwork: Rise by Bridget Klein [Bloomsburg, PA] Copyright Š 2017 Draft Exhibition Version. The Studio Door, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Studio Door, Inc. respects the rights of all artist and copyright holders. Consequently, all works that appear on this exhibition do so with the consent of the artist/s or the copyright holder. No image or information displayed in this catalog may be reproduced, transmitted or copied without the permission of the The Studio Door, Inc., artist or copyright holder. All prices shown are subject to change without notice by The Studio Door, Inc., artists or copyright holder. Prices do not include any sales tax, use, value added goods, customs, duties, tariffs or service charges. 1

ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES Celebrating the Art of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists September 1 - 24, 2017 EXHIBITION CATALOG




Jon Savage


Reception Community Partner:

Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. deafcommunityservices.org

Founded in 1974 as the Central Deaf Association, Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. is the only nonprofit agency in San Diego that serves Deaf, Hard-of-hearing, and Late-Deafened children and adults. DCS offers a wide menu of services specially designed to match clients’ needs in their preferred language, whether spoken English, Spanish, or ASL. DCS is an “… of, by, and for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing” agency.



National Exhibition produced by THE STUDIO DOOR September 1 - 24, 2017 Juror: Jon Savage The Studio Door 3750 30th Street, North Park - San Diego, CA 92104 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM The Studio Door TheStudioDoor.com

Gallery Hours: Closed Mon Noon - 7 PM Tues - Sat Noon - 4 PM Sun


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 YOSSI BEN ABU Swirl # 1 - 3 Paper 12” x 16” $ 350 ea. San Francisco, CA

Yossi Ben Abu is an Israeli born deaf artist currently living and working in San Francisco, creating mixed media artworks and sculptures. His work is often about contact with architecture and basic geometrical elements – squares, pyramids and boxes. Shapes, space and forms are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed in absurd ways. In a search for new ways to express himself, Yossi focuses on the use of 3D Tessellations, arrangements of shapes closely fitted together, in a repeated pattern. Yossi began exploring the use of 3D shaped using different materials like clay, fabric, glass, paper and wood. The Swirl collection is a series of 8 handmade paper designs, composed from a mesh of transformed square pyramids. The pyramid tessellation is twisted, extended, dragged and protracted in space to create a new three-dimensional composition. 5


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 DELORA BERTSCH Unbroken with Love Ceramic, Metal 9” x 10” x 3.5” $ 400 San Pedro, CA

My art and my life are not divided into components. I combine them together as one unique, whole personal aesthetic. Whether I am ready or not, my life is constantly changing and therefore, my art changes along with my life. Every day, I seek a new consciousness and wholeness from my perspective. My works speak of dreams, life and mystery. As an artist, I am putting my thoughts and dreams into my works. Beyond this gloss is a part of my history. I don’t see history as always objective because memory shapes how we perceive it. Out of that perception comes a new truth. Mu work is filled with personal marks found within warm earth tones. These appear as symbols, marks or geometric patterns that appear inside or outside the surface. Some marks repeat themselves, while others overlapping one another. Whether they form a grid or a circle, they all hold a special meaning for me.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 CYNTHIA BOEHM Deaf Speaking Flowers Serigraph 27” x 39” $ 1,000 Grand Forks, ND

Exhibitions like Artistry Through Deaf Eyes create an opportunity to educate the public and bring about an understanding of what it’s like to live with Deafness. The majority of hearing people have no idea how much they take their hearing for granted and how much hearing loss Deaf individuals endured daily. I’m happy to be part of a show that increases the awareness of this sensitive subject, the inability to hear everything. Living with Deafness in a hearing and speaking world exposes uncertain circumstances. It’s not always possible to hear every single word, sound, consonant, and vowel. For example, vowels seemingly disappear within words with strong consonants and a variety of sounds come across sounding similar. Life becomes a challenge to navigate when ones’ nerves within the ear are damaged. Listening becomes hard work. It takes a great deal of stamina and determination to learn how to speak and read lips.




LYNNE BOWDEN Hidden Master Encaustic Mixed Media (9) 12” x 12” x 2” $1,800 Vancouver, WA


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


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 KA-YUN CHAN Moon Star Sky - Nighttime Watercolors on Wood Panel 6” x 6” $125 ea Glendale, CA

Growing up with hearing family but also in ASL-friendly environment, I have come to enjoy literal aspects of languages. ASL is a great example of utilizing our body to bring literal meaning to words. In this “HandsOn” series, I’m focusing on nighttime terms, “sky,” “star,” and “moon.” ASL is an unique language that takes a while for one to become fluent, however some signs are easy to imagine. It can be simple as showing crescent handshape to represent a moon. Some are less obvious like stars “twinkling.” My goal in this series is to bridge the languages between ASL and English. English may be one of the dominant languages but ASL is universal. 13


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 AMY COHEN EFRON Disorder Acrylic Painting 40” x 30” $800 Tucker, GA

My art is about my Deaf experience, focusing on how I view society; how society views me; and the relationship between society and myself. All my art works are visually striking, explosive, subliminal and abstract. I do not limit myself to one medium, style or concept. My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the absurdity, resistance and celebration I’ve experienced everyday. I try addressing controversial themes and raising thought-provoking questions through art. I find that advertising imagery with hidden messages, bold colors, strong lines and using symbolism, which serve as significant influences in my art. It is my goal for creating art as an agent for social change. If a viewer stops for just a moment to view, think and reflect on artwork I have created, then I have succeeded.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 ANGUS ENGLISH ASL ABC Handshape Color Ballpoint with Watercolor Pencil 14” x 11” $200 Washington DC

ASL ABC Handshape was created to improve interaction between the Deaf & the Hearing. Hopefully the idea of excluding lettering to indicate what each handshape means will inspire more interaction & enforce increased attempts to improve communication between the two groups. The colors that are found within a rainbow represent openness as well as God’s hope promising peace upon us all. The light within each circle is moving clockwise, which represents good mojo according to Native Americans. 17



BRIDGET KLEIN Rise Photography 11” x 8” $100 Bloomsburg, PA

My name is Bridget Klein. I am a doctoral student at American University. I am also an American Sign Language / English Interpreting instructor at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. For my master’s project, I explored the idea of literature of American Sign Language combined with film technology. Currently, I am exploring the idea of American Sign Language within photography. 19


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 MELISSA MALZKUHN The Double Fuck Risograph Print 17” x 11” $125 Washington DC

“Know Your Fucks” series is an exploration of language play through absurdity. Drawing from the design rigors and propaganda representation of Russian Constructivism, “Know Your Fucks” attempts to contradict that through pop culture by using the fluorescent pink and blue of the Japanese made Risograph. Each print is unique and single-hand fed. The middle finger isn’t often used in American Sign Language, save for a very few signs. We have much more advanced and complex insults, and the middle finger is, ironically, quite tame. “Know Your Fucks” is taking the tame finger on a spin. 21


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 ELLEN MANSFIELD Birth of Deaf Mother and Deaf Baby Oil 30” x 40” $900 Frederick, MD

The Deaf mother, lying on her back, holds out her hands welcoming a Deaf baby, making the sign for BORN. In the far right, near the tree is the Deaf baby—shown as fetal-like abstract form with a pink hand on its back. This fetal form represents cx-26 and cx-30 which are genetic markers for some born-Deaf infants. Additionally, its colorful form communicates a celebration of this new Deaf being. This Deaf child will grow up as a member of the Deaf community -- experiencing oppression by the dominant culture and learning how to resist it, as well as experiencing Deaf cultural affirmation and liberation. The yellow and motif-colored sunray represents a fence. The fence motif communicates barriers and obstacles that Deaf people need to overcome during our walks through life to achieve our hopes and dreams. Tree of (Deaf) life. The elements of nature in the painting (trees, flowers, sun) convey that Deaf people and our sign languages are natural and contribute to the diversity of the world



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 BILL PROCHNOW Ear Acrylic on Panel 24” x 18” $675 Oakland, CA

My paintings and drawings begin with very basic information and resolve themselves as I work. When the art is spontaneous, it creates tension that needs resolution to take form. The outcome of this process is never certain — surprise, frustration and discovery are my trusted guides. Like jazz, the work evolves from chance encounters; sometimes with the frenetic energy of free jazz, and sometimes as smooth as a swing ballad. My art revolves around humans’ relationships and connections, both with themselves and their environment. 25


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 REA ROSSI Resonance Nylon 8” x 6.5” x 4” $2,400 Wynnewood, PA

Sound waves inspire my jewelry. This idea stems from my experience with Deafness. I was born with a genetic hearing loss and rely on hearing aids to amplify and clarify sounds that are otherwise subdued or incomprehensible. My work explores overlapping elements, missing segments, distortion and repetition. I multiply a single element multiple times and flow them along a curve that twists and turns. The pieces entwine and interlace with each other; producing a complex network of parts throughout each form. My work is virtually designed in a computer aided modeling program and 3D printed in nylon, a lightweight, strong and flexible plastic. I design bold and fashionable pieces to visually conceptualize sound. As a Deaf artist I hope to bring awareness to an invisible “disability”. I aim to challenge the widespread misconception that Deafness is a limitation.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 NANCY ROURKE Mask of Benevolence Oil on canvas 40” x 30” x 1.5” $900 Loveland, CO

In 2009, I started painting about the Deaf experience. I grew up in San Diego and went to a Deaf oral school. Before that time, I was not ready to come out of the nutshell to expose my art to the hearing world. My body of work fits into the De’VIA movement. De’VIA stands for Deaf View/Image Art, which was established in 1989 by nine Deaf artists. By De’VIA definition, resistance art shows linguistic controversy, genetic engineering and colonialism. Affirmation art shows Deaf culture and Deafhood. I hope to reveal a closer look into today’s society. I seek to portray how much suffering Deaf people endured, many years ago, when Aristotle (384-322 BC) said “Deaf born senseless and incapable to reason.” My work reveals how Deaf people have been controlled by predominantly audist environments. It is important for viewers to contemplate our human rights. This is what I am painting today. I use primary colors. Red is empowerment. Yellow is HOPE. Blue is oppression.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 NANCY ROURKE Dot-to-Dot Oil on Canvas 40” x 30” x 1.5” $900 Loveland, CO


NANCY ROURKE Subaltern Resistance Discussion Oil on Canvas 40” x 30” x 1.5” $900 Loveland, CO


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 JON SAVAGE Artistry Through Deaf Eyes Giclée on Canvas 24” x 24” $400 San Diego, CA

My artworks take a critical view of blending pop art and classical subjects. In my work, I deconstruct the classical subjects that are a part of my childhood and adult cultures. By incorporating a positive vibe, my work reproduces familiar classical subjects by arranging them into digital art. Often times these themes are combined into installations that feature stripes as abstract bases on sunrises/sunsets with different color temperatures. The color scheme of a sunrise/sunset establishes a good morning or good night, suggests the notion of good vibe, and formally unifies the disparate objects in each installation. The artworks provide clues to interpret the content. Each project often consists of multiple works, often in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During research and productions, new areas of interest arise and lead to a positive feeling.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 JERRY STEFFEN JR. Japanese Sign Language Group 3 Dimensional Paper Cutting 11� x 14� $1,400 Mountlake Terrace, WA

I was born Deaf. I am 60 years old. Before retiring, I was a part-time vendor at Pike Place Market. From 2000 - 2012, I painted and sold original watercolor paintings for tourists. Now, I do whatever I can find new methods and new media to work with. Being retired, I have limited funds so its difficult to afford art supplies and materials. No work no money. My favorite media is 3 dimensional paper cutting. I enjoy making all kind of 3D paper cutting and 3D painting. Art self-therapy really helps me to stay calm, peaceful and stay busy. This artwork is inspired by the Japanese Sign Language (JSL) group that meets every year in spring. They have Cherry Blossom Picnic and always welcome to anyone who wants to learn JSL. So I did. Today I can sign both JSL and my first language ASL, which allows me the enhanced opportunity to share my experiences.



THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 BRANTON STEWART The Fisherman and the Birds Fishing at the Sunset... Metal Print Photography 20” x 30” $250 Temecula, CA

Branton increased his devotion and creativity by capturing life’s moments with passion. Branton travels around the world documenting landscaping, people and nature. He traveled to Guangxi, China, where he observed the fisherman and the birds. In this picture, the fisherman ties the birds’ necks to prevent them from eating the fish. With the birds unable to swallow the fish, the fisherman takes the fish. The relationship between the fish and the birds is similar to the relationship between the Deaf and the hearing. It symbolizes how the Deaf are being treated and oppressed. For example, the hearing makes decisions relating to topics such as cochlear implants, communication styles, and education 37




Mixed Media 24” x 28” x 6” $350

Linoleum, Wood 12” x 15” x 1” $150

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Munira Virji is an artist from Los Angeles, CA. She has been an eclectic artist since 2000.Materials used in this piece are wood, fabric, wire, yarn, beads and mesh. Her style is contemporary with an affinity for street art, reviving “junk” and utilizing a new, creative look. This artwork is titled, “Fall Escape”. The art illustrates a beautiful world and yet, the person depict here feels lost, foreign, and out of this world. As a result, they aspire to escape. So they leap. The irony is to escape, is to leave the beautiful world, and to solve the puzzle of displacement. Although they seek to be found, no one comes near. No one helps this person. On their journey, the central theme is the wire face. The depiction of the wire human face represents a void of expression both in face, and hands. This perpetuates feelings of being lost and alone. And yet further in, the person is encircled a forest and finds joy and fun. And in once incident of playing within the forest, the person falls.Looking up, the person discovers for the first time, the true nature of the tree, the extended branches. The beaded leaf represents language, sign language. Then, the person discovers a dual-compounded true joy, a fluid, expression-filled face. The person realizes then, they have discovered. And, they been found. They have broken free of the control of the world. This is a representation of the deaf experience in the world. 39

This artwork appears simple, but looking closer, the hand is representative of intricate complexity. The hand in it’s numerous, bones, ligaments and muscles, all fused together in one place, works laboriously for months then years, but never leaves. It stays. Dutiful. Purposeful, yes. And yet it is tethered. Confined. Like a prison. There is no escape.


THE STUDIO DOOR ARTISTRY THROUGH DEAF EYES 2017 ANDREA ZUCHEGNO Deaf Aid Cathode Photomicroscopy of a Hearing Aid Battery at 20x using an oil immersion technique 14� x 14� $350 Rochester, NY

I decided to capture this image to show that a hearing aid battery is undiscerning. It does not care if the user is young or old, where it was born, what color its skin is, its gender, sexual preference or what its beliefs are. When looking closely at this Deaf Aid Cathode (the positive side of the battery) the rainbow of colors shows the diversified, unbiased level of access that it offers when allowing one to experience the sounds of the hearing world. It is my hope that one day, much like a battery, prejudice against ethnic, racial, social and religious groups and those with disabilities will be nonexistent. Andrea Zuchegno, a deaf native Rochesterian, is a Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in the Visual Communications Studies Department.



Artist Index ARTIST




Yossi Ben Abu

San Francisco, CA



Delora Bertsch

San Pedro, CA



Cynthia Boehm

Grand Forks, ND


9 - 10

Lynne Bowden

Vancouver, WA


11 - 12

Ka-Yun Chan

Glendale, CA


13 - 14

Amy Cohen Efron

Tucker, GA


15 - 16

Angus English

Washington DC


17 - 18

Bridget Klein

Bloomsburg, PA


19 - 20

Melissa Malzkuhn

Washington DC


21 - 22

Ellen Mansfield

Frederick, MD


23 - 24

Bill Prochnow

Oakland, CA


25 - 26

Rea Rossi

Wynnewood, PA


27 - 28






Nancy Rourke

Loveland, CO


29 - 32

Jon Savage

San Diego, CA


33 - 34

Jerry Steffen Jr.

Mountlake Terrace, WA


35 - 36

Branton Stewart

Temecula, CA


37 - 38

Munira Virji

Los Angeles, CA


39 - 40

Andrea Zuchegno

Rochester, NY


41 - 42






3750 30th Street San Diego, CA 92104-3632

3758 30th Street San Diego, CA 92104-3632


Director Patric Stillman

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Profile for The Studio Door

Artistry Through Deaf Eyes Exhibition Catalog  

The Studio Door's national visual arts exhibition (September 2017)

Artistry Through Deaf Eyes Exhibition Catalog  

The Studio Door's national visual arts exhibition (September 2017)