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<p>The are two ways to define deaf art; one way relates to art produced by a deaf person with the art piece being held to the same standard of the art world, while another way for defining deaf art is called De’Via standing for deaf view/image art), which is a way of expressing the life experience of deaf people. De’Via is art produced by deaf artists who visually communicate the essence of deafness, innate cultural and physical experiences. The most notable artist who experiments with De’Via through his paintings is Chuck Baird. His artist statement says is all: “After many years of seeking for my identity, I today personally feel that I am a cross-cultural person. I was born deaf to hearing parents who felt responsible and wished to raise me as an oralist. However, I had already found the beautiful American Sign Language (ASL), so natural and visually stimulating”. Many people in the deaf community feel that they are part of two cultures, one Deaf with visual expression through signed language, and another non-hearing understanding of the Hearing world.</p> <p><b>Within Two Worlds</b></p> <p>Deaf Art, perceived as an expression of Deafness as a life experience in one perspective, translates as visual communication not relating to American Sign Language (ASL), other sign languages, and spoken English, rather it is a visual representation of a silent experience of a noisy world. Artists such as Irene Bartok, Uzi Buzgalo, Thad C. Martin, Paul Johnston, and many others have contributed to this invaluable interpretation of life without sounds. The concept of De’Via is not about silence, as it implies a lack of communication, what is involved in art produced by De’Via artists is communication within two worlds using different mediums. The deaf are accustomed to expressing themselves through visual means, the hearing can ignore visual aspects and rely entirely on sound. Deaf art connects both worlds by offering insight into the experience of deaf people as a minority in a hearing world. Another perspective on deaf art is simply art produced by people who happen to be deaf, hard of hearing, or with hearing loss, while the subject matter of their art pieces can be anything, not necessarily related to deafness. Deaf artists who choose to create art unrelated to the Deaf experience of life, are held to the usual standards of artistic expression, whether it is in music, painting, sculpting, writing, acting, or other art forms.</p> <p>Understanding deaf art and its place within the art world, requires an appreciation of the difference inherent in creating De’Via art and a person with a hearing disability producing art that is not born of their deaf experience.</p>
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