ANN SILVER: Deaf Artist Series

ANN SILVER: Deaf Artist Series


Ann Silver: Deaf Artist Series by Empyreal Press, is about Ann Silver, a Deaf Pop artist who works in the Deaf Art/De’VIA (Deaf View/Image Art) genre.  Its pages are filled with vibrant images of Silver’s compelling artwork, along with descriptions of art and biography. While barely 20 and an undergraduate, along with a few others, she started the Deaf Art Movement. The book includes a timeline of the Deaf Art Movement (DAM) from 1968-1989 and gives compelling evidence of the strong foundation that the DAM created for the small group that created the De’VIA Manifesto in 1989. She has been involved in many types of artwork, so many that some readers may think the book is about several artists. Indeed, the majority of the artwork in the book was created by her. This book is an art biography because it is about her art, but it is also about her life. It reads in chronological format, starting with her birth and leads the reader through various stages in her life and artwork up to the present. In the book, Van Manen not only explains much about her art and life.

Ann Silver: Deaf Artist Series is a wonderful educational resource for art enthusiasts, and for aspiring artists, and for people interested in Deaf Culture or Deaf Art / De’VIA art. This series brings attention to the artwork and lives of contemporary Deaf visual artists who are important to the Deaf Art Movement and De’VIA (Deaf View / Image Art). These are Deaf artists who place a perspective on their artwork which relates to American Sign Language, Deaf heritage, and Deaf culture. Each book contains biography, art interpretation, and some art description. The availability of this important series offers readers an insight into the world of culturally Deaf people through their artists. Furthermore, the series serves as an useful guide for art historians, curators, and docents in recognizing Deaf Art and De'VIA's contribution to American art.

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In 2012, this book was published under the name Ann Silver: ONE WAY DEAF WAY but has since been revamped including new pages.  Below are some of the reviews from Amazon:

By ArronB on March 7, 2014
I owned a copy of this book shortly after it's publication. I read it through with a friend in one setting - we couldn't put it down! The intense colors coupled with the pop-art-style layout makes Ann Silver: One Way, Deaf Way fun to look through while engaging the reader and telling a story.
It's not merely a biography, history book, textbook, or picture book. It's all of these and more! I have used it countless times to help explain facets of Deaf culture and to hearing friends. I have also been in classes that used Ann Silver: One Way, Deaf Way as a textbook. Through this book I've developed a deeper appreciation for art in general and Deaf art specifically. If you're an art enthusiast, collector, teacher, or just an average hearing person (like me) who enjoys art then this book is one to add to your collection. If you don't have that book collection yet, let this be the first! It's not just "some book about a deaf person". It's a visual journey through the life of a Deaf artist and it will make you reconsider what it means to be an artist. One doesn't need to hear in order to be an artist and have a story to tell.
The author, Jim Van Manen, PhD, weaves his wit in and around 200+ pieces of "Silver Art" as he masterfully explains things like the Deaf Art Movement (DAM), De'VIA, and the impact Ann Silver has had across generations of artists and art enthusiasts - both Deaf and hearing - in American as well as internationally.
When you hold Ann Silver: One Way, Deaf Way in your hands you are holding a one-of-a-kind text! Regardless of who you are there is something for you in Ann Silver: One Way, Deaf Way that makes this book worth reading. It's a must-own-multiple-copies kind of book. Have a copy on your coffee table, in your classroom, as part of your personal library, and public library too! Read it, enjoy it, and pass it on.


By Jacalyn Swanson on March 3, 2014
I'd recommend this book to anyone - I enjoyed taking the journey through Silver's life, seeing her amazing Deaf Pop Art and learning more about Deaf culture. Throughout the book, you sense the emotion of Ann Silver's description of herself: "Deaf Art is my soul, my heart, my conscience."

I had the very good fortune to meet Jim Van Manen and Ann Silver at a "Meet the Author" event at the Seattle Public Library. This presentation provided a provocative overview of the biography, "Ann Silver: One Way, Deaf Way", and introduced me to the fascinating life of a Deaf woman/artist/activist growing up in a hearing world. Silver's wit and cunning use of the English language -- mixed in with a strong, sometimes, cleverly disguised Deaf message -- permeates her Deaf Art work and forces you to pause and think before you grasp the full meaning behind some of her pieces.

In his book, Van Manen takes us through Silver's life from infancy to present day. Using art at a very young age as a way to communicate with her hearing family, Silver teases that her native language is art and wonders if using art, along with English and ASL (American Sign Language), to communicate throughout her life make her trilingual. She grew up with the oral method of teaching the deaf. It wasn't until she went to college at Gallaudet and learned ASL that she was "born-again Deaf" and developed her Pop Art style with a focus on Deaf issues and rights. The book not only follows the life and career of a talented artist and the Deaf Art Movement (DAM), but also provides an insight into Deaf culture and leads us through the activism for Deaf rights and Silver's part in it that continues to this day.


By Martina on March 5, 2014
Sometimes I don’t know what I don’t know. Ann Silver’s story is one of a determined and insatiably creative woman living in a culture many people don’t understand exists. Her inspiring journey through life opened my eyes to the differences in experiences created by language and communication. Born and mostly raised in the US and growing up deaf, Ann learned to live in a hearing world constantly striving to find new forms of expression. Through her work she’s had incredible influence on deaf culture and art. Her journey and that of thousands of others is expressed in her art. Jim Van Manen created a wonderful biography of this journey and of Ann’s art. His own experience as a hearing child of deaf parents uniquely positions him to bridge the gap between cultures drawing connections with experiences that resonate with hearing and deaf cultures alike. In addition to art aficionados and those interested in deaf culture, I suspect this book will resonate with anyone who’s ever worked to cross communication boundaries with others whether it be across traditional languages or even with the non-traditional language barriers between generations, parents and children. This story has further opened my eyes to the bridges to understand that artistic expression in all forms creates.


By Cicely Bogganon March 22, 2014
I use this book to teach deaf art and deaf culture to my ASL students. I look forward to use this again in my motivation speech with deaf youth. This really inspired me to achieve more with my arts!


ByJeanne Ewaldon March 7, 2014
I want to salute Ann Silver and James W Van Manen for making this book. It is BEAUTIFUL and has a lot of information on different issues in the Deaf community. I LOVE the way they explain the history, especially transitioning from a negative view in the Deaf community to a more positive view today. I am fascinated with Ann's vibrant art work. I highly recommend to everyone that they buy this beautiful book.