We wanted to be sure you were aware of an exciting new book that has been recently published and should be a part of all libraries, especially those in schools where young Deaf students are educated. Many publishers have recently harnessed the power of beautifully illustrated children’s books highlighting the accomplishments of people who have been underrepresented in our history books. To ensure that Deaf people are also part of this genre, Surdists United first published ABC Portraits of Deaf Ancestors following a successful kickstarter campaign.
We now are offering our second book—De’VIA Ancestors, a colorful book spotlighting the lives and art of three founding members of Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) movement: Betty G. Miller, Chuck Baird and Guy Wonder. These amazing artists worked to recognize and celebrate art specifically about Deaf people’s experiences.
De’VIA Ancestors was created by a group of Deaf artists and writers. Each short, linked biography is illustrated by a contemporary Deaf artist inspired by original pieces of the De’VIA ancestor being featured. Laurie Monahan’s digital work illustrated Betty G. Miller’s story; Bob Rourke’s approached Guy Wonder’s story with mixed media illustrations, and Nancy Rourke’s watercolors brought Chuck Baird’s story to life. Each story features an English poem as a tribute.
From the Introduction: All cultures have art about their people here you will meet three Deaf people who created art. Betty G. Miller, Chuck Baird and Guy Wonder all grew up with Deaf family members. These artists made different kinds of art. They were painters, sculptors, and mixed media artists. They helped start De’VIA—artworks about Deaf people’s experiences. Betty, Chuck, and Guy are no longer alive so we now honor them as our Deaf ancestors.
De’VIA Ancestors was designed for young Deaf children, their families, and their communities. We hope it will become part of your library. To order, please go to: https://surdistsunited.square.site/
In addition to the short children’s story about each of these De’VIA leaders, the book also has a poem honoring each artist.
Below Betty G. Miller’s poem, which was written by Karen Christie, is available in ASL with Dorothy Wilkins performing.
Guy Wonder’s poem created in ASL by Patrick Graybill is below. English translation by Karen Christie and Patrick Graybill is in the book.