The 2016 Youth De’VIA Competition established to honor the memory of De’VIA artist Chuck Baird
This competition was for all deaf school-age children and youth. Artists were encouraged to incorporate one or more aspects of Deaf people’s communication, culture, or history in their submissions. Submission of art was solicited in three categories:
Art was judged in three grade groups in each category:
The Youth De'VIA Competition received 437 pieces of artwork from 10 states. The artwork was incredible and KSD is very proud of all the submissions. All winners in each grade group received a certificate of recognition and a gift.
Learn more about the competition judges Ellen Mansfield, Nancy Rourke, Alex Whilhite, and Marie Jo Earls below.
Born Deaf in Tuscumbia, Alabama where is the Birthplace of Helen Keller 1960. Become interested as an artist in the age of 5 years old. Attended to the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis. Awarded Master of Fine Art in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York 1990. One of the founders of De’Via while working with Chuck Baird and Betty Miller at Deaf Way I at Gallaudet University 1989. Had exhibited all over the USA, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Russia. Teaches ASL at the Woods High School, Houston, Texas since 2005.
Currently, Ellen is a proud De’Artivist who has combined her twin passions of being a De’VIA (Deaf View/Image Art) artist and Deaf rights advocate. Ellen has led a life richly filled with art and experiences. Her background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and other media has brought her to her current place in her journey. Highlighting in Ellen’s career is Solo exhibition,” My Deafhood Art: Traveling Through the Darkness to the Light” of her 50 artworks at the Greater Lafayette of Art Museum in Indiana for four months in late ‘15 and early ‘16. Ellen was born Deaf in Manhattan, New York but grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. She attended public school where she learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. She spent her summers in Golden’s Bridge countryside, north of New York City. Later, she earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. When she moved to Maryland, Ellen began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been emerging from her artwork. Surrounded by Deaf culture and ASL, her life started to blossom and increasingly colorful images grew from her watercolors, oil paintings, and tile paintings. Her Tile Painting works resulted from a self-taught endeavor after taking a community center tile-making course years ago. Since 2011, hands and eyes have been a dominant motif in her tile designs. She has developed a strong voice—as a Deaf Activist who uses art to take a stand against injustices experienced by Deaf people. At the same time, she celebrates the language and culture of Deaf people---affirming our unique ways of being in the world. Thus, themes of darkness/light and oppression/liberation are often shown in her art. Ellen keeps a home studio called Ellen’s TileStroke Studio in Frederick. The studio has a kiln and she had commissions for hand-painted tiles for mural decorations, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace mantel surroundings, and murals behind ranges for past 25 years. She led many workshops in ceramics, drawings and paintings for over 350 Deaf children, hearing children of Deaf parents, and Deaf adults. Ellen recently curated the first-known public gallery exhibition of Deaf artists’ works in Washington DC. The Let There Be Light: De^ARTivism exhibit ran from August 12th-September 4th 2015. This juried exhibition drew over 135 submissions with works from a variety of mediums: painting, drawing, sculpture, digital computer art, assembly art, and fabric art. The participating Deaf artists include professional artists, amateur/emerging artists, prisoners, and children.
Nancy Rourke is known as an international De'VIA Artist in the Second Wave of De’VIA movement. She is one of the most prolific De’VIA artists, widely recognized for her strong use of primary colours. She is a full-time artist committed to De’VIA and often undertakes a painting a day commitments for a month at a time. She has numerous works examining resistance, affirmation and liberation themes, drawing on important issues that surface within the Deaf world almost as quickly as they surface. Many of her works contain hidden text, symbols or meaning. Today, she trains art teachers from Deaf schools across the country, on developing De’VIA curriculum for Deaf children and youth from Kindergarten to High School levels. Nancy has her own book, Deaf Artist Series: Nancy Rourke. She resides in Colorado. www.nancyrourke.com
Mari Jo Earls:
Mari Jo was born deaf in Mankato, Minnesota on October 30, 1971. She has been a Deaf artist since her childhood years. She attended Minnesota School for the Deaf until 1983, then enrolled in St.Clair School so she could be with her mom, with whom she was very close. After graduating in 1991, she went to Gallaudet University from 1991-1993. She graduated from RIT,(Rochester Institute of Technology) in 1998 with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree. Her major was Graphic Design and Wood Design. As a child her work was honored out of 75 schools in Minnesota. One of her paintings was displayed in a mall in Mankato, Minnesota. She won competitions with stained glass as well. She likes painting murals of farmland.
Thank you to these special event sponsors!