Born in New Jersey, I attended hearing schools with a special program for the deaf students until college at NTID/RIT in 1987. I studied Media Production for three years and worked several jobs as a graphic designer after graduation. I decided to move back to Rochester in 1997. I got a permanent job at Democrat and Chronicle in 1999 as Mac Artist/Pre-Press Specialist. After 11 years working there, I got laid off due to the boom of the digital world. I decided to go back to college to get my dream degree, BFA. I entered RIT in 2010 and came out 5 years later with my dream – a BFA degree in Fine Arts Studio. Currently, I have my own small business, Laurie Rose Art Studio, designing, and creating digital works and painting.
I had been working as graphic designer/Mac artist for about 15 years. When I switched to painting in 2013 when I was student at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) studying Fine Art Studio, it was a divergent approach by going back to traditional ways to express my work. Using technology for many years had become tiresome to me so using brushes and paints for a change excited and enlivened me. In my painting, printmaking and digital designing, I am passionate about the beauty of visual textures, varieties of colors, patterns and abstract forms. Employing different media allows for a varied self-expression, which makes me feel free to visually communicate whatever is in my heart and mind. I have been involved with the art movement, Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) for seven years. It positively changed my life. De’VIA gave me encouragement and strength through empowerment to illustrate my feelings about the struggle while growing up as Deaf individual in a hearing family.
For example, Birthday Girl, (16″x24”) is a self-portrait of me as a six years old, I wanted to show my reflection on how I felt humiliated through an image of this flickering red light above me “HI! I am Deaf” when I was wearing a big hearing aid box on my chest in public. The painting is about me being an isolated, depressed young girl with either a party or dunce hat.
In Greedy Ear (5″x7”) I chose to print a huge ear on the top of the head with hearing aid batteries on the face. The goal of this artwork was meant to show how a person was being obsessed with fixing their ear problems and seemed to overlook better approaches to deal with their being deaf instead of medical approaches through hearing aid(s).
Oral Oppression (9″x12″) is a painting of a person with broken glass inside the mouth. It represents the frustration of deaf people who were trying to speak perfectly when they prefer to use American Sign Language. On the positive side, ASL Free painting (36″x24”) represents the freedom of using sign language for deaf people. We were victims of oralism oppression and audism. I grew up with no language until I was 11. The birdcage represents trapped and the bird has hands with the light of hope. In 2016, I established Queer De’VIA in Facebook for those who shares their arts as a queer person. Proud Deaf Gay painting (24×30”) represents a young deaf man using the sign GAY. I used a lot of colors including rainbow colors, to symbolize our LGBTQ* community. I added the color blue and yellow background along with turquoise, representing I am a Deaf Artist In Residence (DAIR). Also, recently I gave recreational after school art classes at Rochester School for the Deaf once a month and volunteered at Rochester Recreation Club for the Deaf (RRCD) as an muralist. I am currently at work illustrating a children’s book.
Click images for titles and specs for each artwork.