Shannon Rusnak

Deaf Joy
by Shannon Rusnak

Plaster and cloth on canvas, 2020
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Most of my ideas originate from my experiences as a Deaf person and reflect my belief the world does not necessarily present itself fully. My ability to bring to life emotions and perceptions with the illusion of movement is what drives me to be an artist to explore the mysteries of my language, culture and history.

When I was working on my BFA degree, I discovered the barriers I experience in my daily life also exist for viewers of my art. Most viewers have never experienced hearing loss and don’t use sign language, so it became clear why they struggle in interpreting my work about being Deaf or sign language. My questions about abled-bodied viewers understanding of how information can be lost or discovered with fewer human senses was a turning point for me. Making my work accessible became one of my goals, to use a variety of mediums such as clay or digital media to achieve that end.




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