Deaf Art Movements: a brief timeline

Contributed by Adrean Clark (2017), et al.

Deaf art movement
Sketchbook by Adrean Clark, 2017.

Deaf Art Movement a.k.a. DAM (1960s-1979s): A general movement of deaf artists, regardless of cultural status.

Spectrum (1975-1980s): Deaf artist colony in Texas. More information: https://youtu.be/2vkl--cR21A

De'VIA (1970-1989). Manifesto signed in July 1989 at the Deaf Way conference in Washington, D.C. Updated Statement of Philosophy signed in June 2016. Statement: https://purpleswirlarts.wordpress.com/devia-statement-of-philosophy-%E2%80%A2-may-2016/


ASL translation on De'VIA.

De'VIA 2nd Generation (1990-): Artists working under the parameters of the De’VIA manifesto but not necessarily active in representing De’VIA.

Signing Community (2000- ): A concept that demonstrates that sign language speakers are connected through shared sign languages more than hearing status. Developed by Adrean and John Lee Clark through their publication The Tactile Mind: Literary Magazine of the Signing Community (The Tactile Mind Press). Also popularized through Marvin Miller and his Laurent town during the 2000's.

SIGNews (2003-2013): The SIGNews newspaper served the signing community and featured Deaf artists and artwork, especially comic art.

Surdism (2009- ): Art movement originating in France. French DeafBlind artist Arnaud Balard created his 'Surdism' manifesto and introduced it to the US De’Artivism group in 2014.

De'VIA 2nd Wave (2014): The loosely-connected group of people who participated in De'VIA 25th anniversary exhibits at Gallaudet University and RIT, plus the 2014 resurgence in the De’VIA Central Facebook group.

De'Artivism (related to Artivism): A segment of De’VIA emphasizing artivism and development of motifs related to Deaf cultural experience.

-Phonocentrism- Deconstruction (circa 2007. Coined and led by Jolanta Lapiak). Manifesto in 2013 at the Canadian Deaf artist forum hosted by Spill PROpogation, a Deaf artist-run organization. The term 'phonocentrism' has a strikethrough line across the word. Jolanta explains "Actually, it's not necessarily a Deaf art movement in particular but it can be a Deaf movement in general (beyond art) but it started in art.

Rourkeism (2012- ) A signature art style from Nancy Rourke that is strongly identified with De’Artivism.

ASLcentric art (2015-): An emergent movement exploring the ASL Deaf cultural identity through language analysis and art expression in various modalities. Coined by Adrean Clark.

Related posts

Related posts: De'VIA.

Resources on Deaf art.

Enter a keyword in the field box below to search or filter the new topic list and click on the link.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.