- Issue 3
Lancer American Sign Language students participated in a National Art Competition.
With over 800 entries, Olivia S. earned a silver seal certificate, placing in the top 10% of entries. Madeleine S. received a certificate for participating and is eligible for scholarship in ASL related post-high school study.
What inspired you to create this art?
Olivia: The competition is based on a different Deaf artist every year and this year it was Ann Silver. When looking at her art, she uses a lot of road signs or common objects such as crayons or cereal boxes to show different parts of Deaf culture and spread awareness. I was really interested in one piece of hers titled “Freedom to Speak Out in ASL,” where a man stands in the middle with his arms tied together, showing that he wasn’t allowed to sign. I wanted to create a piece where a person was on the same spot of the canvas but with more of a free feeling. I also noticed that despite all the road signs she uses in her art, I haven’t seen her use a stop sign before, so I figured I wanted to try to incorporate it.
How has ASL helped you communicate in new ways?
Madeleine: In ASL you learn to include everyone in what you say and do. I am now able to reach out and help someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing.
How have you used what you’ve learned in ASL class outside of school?
Olivia: I’ve been trying to teach some family members how to sign basic signs and finger spell - they do seem to really enjoy it! I also find that sometimes I have difficulty articulating words so trying to sign what I want to say has helped me process my thoughts better.
Madeleine: As a requirement for the class, we must go to an ASL event. After using what I learned in Ms. Holmberg's class, I was able to communicate and understand what was going on around me. It is a really fun experience!
How have your feelings towards the Deaf Community changed since taking ASL?
Olivia: I’ve gained a whole lot more respect for individuals in the Deaf Community. Hearing about things they’ve had had to endure through history makes me feel for them & learning more about their culture is really interesting to me - it shows how strong and intelligent they are.
Madeleine: From the beginning, I wanted to learn ASL as a way to help others. Now it is still that way, but I’ve also have learned so much about Deaf culture along the way. I've learned to love this new way to communicate with someone that really is similar to me.
What would you like to communicate to people with this piece of art?
Olivia: I guess I wanted to show people that even though strides have been made for the Deaf Community, we are still not fully there. Deaf people are still not shown the same respect hearing people get in everyday settings, but I truly hope one day that will change. Even though the girl in the painting is deaf, that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, she’s still just a person who can be strong or anything she wants to be.
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