Art is the glue which holds a culture together, this is applicable in the deaf community as well. These artists have not let their disability be in the way of creating amazing art and following their passion. Some deaf artists are well known, yet there are many who are not given due recognition. This article will look at some of the amazing artists from around the globe.
Born and raised in Zambia, Victor Sitali lost his hearing at the age of 3 years. He found a way to express himself through painting. Sitali earned a degree in Graphic design from the school of Audio Engineering Institute in Dubai. Victor Sitali is a teacher of art and showcases his art around the UAE. "My voice is heard by the works of my hands" is a motor Sitali lives by. His work speaks for itself. He often uses oil paints and acrylics and portrays African people, birds and landscapes. In 2019, he held an exhibition, "Speak volumes without saying a word" was featured at the 2019 Noor Art Gallery in Dubai.
Ellen was born deaf in 1960, in Manhattan, USA and all her life, she has experimented with many different forms of artistic expression, drawing, painting, ceramics and batiks. She obtained an Arts degree with a specialization in illustration from the School of Visual Arts New York City, which is one of the leading art universities in the States. After this, Ellen became aware of how her deaf identity has been a part of her work. She is also an advocate for the right of sign language, giving lectures on autism which she experienced as a child.
At the small age of 2.5 years, Chen's parents found out that she was deaf. Art became her escape. She graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Art. She is now based in Singapore and works as a freelance art illustrator mostly for children's books. Ziyue Chen wishes to work on a book which tells her story.
Heather Nurse, an American, was born deaf. She attended the Iowa School for the deaf during her early childhood. Nurse found her confidence in art while watching Bob Ross. She covers a wide range of art forms, which include realistic portraits, acrylic paintings and tattoo designs. "I thought I had to be hearing in order to be an artist, because I didn't know any deaf artists". Nurse believes that the world needs to give the deaf artists a chance to show themselves more.
Charles was born deaf on Long Island. He studied art at the Pratt Institute and at Yale University. His beginnings were not easy; he was not able to sell his art as he could not talk on the phone. Wildbank usually paints people he knows or admires, but one of his most common themes is the sea, because he grew up on the coast. He also takes on Hyperrealism and photorealism.
Gaukaran Patil is an artist who paints not with his hands but feet. This is because he is born without hands and has a speech and hearing impairment. He communicates by using sign language with his feet. He receives a Masters in Fine Arts and started painting for a living. Up to now, Patil has sold over 500 paintings via social media and word of mouth. He also mentors students with hearing loss in computers and painting.
Born in the Phillipines, Jennifer later moved to the United States where she graduated from RIT College in Rochester with the degree in computer art and design. With great patience and detail, Jennifer Tandoc uses the pen or pencil to create her abstract illustrations.
Manesha Pieris (2022)