The Deaf Cultural Center’s mission is to provide educational and resourceful programs and activities to inspire a deeper appreciation and understanding of the lives of diverse deaf people, including their language, culture, experiences, achievements and contributions worldwide.
Some of the art pieces in this exhibit represent De’VIA [Deaf View Image Art]. De’VIA represents Deaf artists and perceptions based on their Deaf experiences. It uses formal art elements with the intention of expressing innate cultural or physical Deaf experience. These experiences may include Deaf metaphors, Deaf perspectives, and Deaf insight in relationship with the environment (both the natural world and Deaf cultural environment), spiritual and everyday life.
There is a difference between Deaf artists and De’VIA. Deaf artists are those who use art in any form, media, or subject matter, and who are held to the same artistic standards as other artists. De’VIA is created when the artist intends to express their deaf experience through visual art. De’VIA may also be created by deafened or hearing artists, if the intention is to create work that is born of their Deaf experience. (A possible example would be a hearing child of Deaf parents.) It is clearly possible for Deaf artists not to work in the area of De’VIA.
This exhibition was made possible through a partnership with InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH), a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment.