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Deaf View/Image Art, also known as De’VIA, is art that examines and expresses the Deaf Experience from a cultural, linguistic, and intersectional point of view.

The 4 Elements of De’VIA:

De   Deaf & Deaf-Blind Expression of Affirmation, Resistance, and Liberation

V      View of how Deaf & Deaf-Blind experience the world

I       Images/Motifs/Symbols of the Deaf Experience

A      Art, Activism, Aesthetics, and Authentic Expressions of the Deaf Experience

For more info about De'Via/Deaf Art, visit the following websites:

De’VIA History


Deaf people often are naturally drawn to art as a visual means of communication. Despite the storied history of Deaf Artist, it was not until 1989 that a term was coined for this genre: Deaf View/Image Art, or De’VIA.

In 1989, Paul Johnson and Betty G. Miller formed a four day workshop for Deaf artists to explore works about the Deaf perspective. Nine visual artists came together: painter Chuck Baird, art historian Deborah (Sonnenstrahl) Blumenson, fiber artist Nancy Creighton, video artist Lai-Yok Ho, Fiber artist Sandi Inches-Vasnick, sculptor Paul Johnson, painter Betty Miller, painter Alex Wilhite and sculptor Guy Wonder.

It was at this gathering that they devised the term De’VIA (sign: DEAF-look-at-palm-ART). French in appearance as a nod to Laurent Clerc and ASL’s French origins, they created a manifesto that described De’VIA and a mural to accompany it. The group’s historical work was unveiled at the international Deaf Way Festival that following summer.

A preview of a few pieces of De’VIA art on display at The Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture.

Challenge Collage

The Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture® was proud to have had the opportunity to partner with the Nelson-Atkins Museum in bringing De'VIA Challenge to the general public as a part of the 2016 Annual Deaf Cultural Month Celebration!  The De'VIA Challenge remained on display for the entire month of September 2016 in the Ford Learning Center of NAMA. 

This would not have been possible without the contributions of the following De'VIA Central Artists, for allowing replications of their artwork to be displayed:

Arnaud Balard
Jeff Beatty
David Call
Karen Christie
Amy Cohen Efron
Aurelio Cruz
Patti Durr
Kathy Fisher-Abraham
Jerry Grant
Takiyah Harris

Ellen Mansfield

Laurie Monahan
Stevie Naeyaert
Roz Rosen
Bob Rourke
Nancy Rourke
Paul Scearce
Diane A. Squires
Heidi Storme
Robert Tawney
Daniel Winship
Yusuf Yahya

De'VIA Artists' Motif Statements available in PDF

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