Image of Jam Tent
                     DeaFestival Home
Artist Studio Splash Image

Visual Artists Bios

Cookie WilliamsCookie Williams Art Gallery

Nikki Agro

Nikki Agro

Since the time she was a little girl, she has always been a storyteller. Creating art allowed her to share her stories when her voice could not. Through times in her life, such as moving from Ontario, Canada to Bowling Green, art allowed her to connect with people by expressing different aspects of her self-identity. She is never without her sketchbook, pens, and pencils because she never knows when she may begin recording a special moment or idea. Now at 21 and a Fine Arts student at the University of Kentucky, she is discovering new ways to share and diversify her art. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career as an art teacher while continuing to create her own works and to commission work projects.

Melody Bock-Freeman

Melody Bock-Freeman

Kentucky Deaf artist. Creations of hand-painted pottery and paintings will be on display for sale. I will be creating some pottery pieces with the “Super Hero” themes!

Jack Cochran

Jack Cochran
Fine Art Paintings

Jack Cochran's art takes many forms, primarily oil painting, but also includes drawing from life and watercolor paintings. His initial art studies encouragement was from Professor Ross Zirkle. Ross advised him to enter the art studio program and gave him the encouragement to continue to obtain a degree in the face of many obstacles.

He is a late-deafened person, therefore the language of art is his visual communication mode. He is the first deaf artist to receive a degree in art studio at the University of Kentucky graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2006. Clearly there is no barrier to appreciating a beautiful piece of art, whether in a tonal study, or of a painting of vibrant flowers, portraits or landscape paintings.

In the art program at the University of Kentucky, he concentrated on classes for fine art painting. Other art forms he has studied are various techniques of printing, screen prints, woodcuts and monotype. Professor Gary Bibbs encouraged him to accept the challenge of metal sculpture and the visual exploration of three dimensional art concepts.

In addition to his studies at the University of Kentucky he takes advantage of painting classes and workshops offered by prominent artists.

The Donovan Program for Scholars at the University of Kentucky has enabled him to acquire B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in Art Studio. His hope is to continue the study of art in its many forms, especially art history and art philosophy. The two professors who have been a strong influence in his years at UK are Ross Zirkle and Garry Bibbs, Metal sculpture professor.

Jane Johnson, Dean of the UK Graduate Support Program, offered him invaluable assistance and support. His special thanks goes to Jane for the many cheerful encounters throughout his years of study.

William David Cross

William David Cross
MutedFingers Studio

William David Cross was born deaf with Warrensburg Syndrome and he has a burning passion to create artworks on the digital canvases to express his love for the modern trending cultural aspects that people love to talk about in their free time, especially movies, books, videogames, hobbies and comics. He hopes that one day he will be able to animate his own show.

James Daniel

James Daniel
Daniel’s Custom Lighting

James “Jim” Daniel has been making and repairing antique wicker for over 48 years. In recent years, he has started making custom lighting using industrial items. He lives in Bowling Green, KY with his wife Kelly. They have two wonderful children, Rachel, who lives in Louisville, KY and Benjamin who just graduated from high school and will be attending college in the fall. His hobbies include camping, remodeling houses and he is very involved in Boy Scouts.

Rosemary Edwards

Rosemary Edwards

Deaf since birth, she has been into art since she can remember. Photography is her main passion in art; however, she does other art work using Photoshop or painting. She has been part of De’VIA since 2014.

John Horsley

John B. Horsley

John Horsley is a Lexington, KY based artist. He lived overseas for several years, including Kapolei, Hawaii before moving to Lexington, KY in 1997. He enjoys traveling and is a self-artist who studies objects, people combined his emotions and thoughts for his subject matter. He is an artist that loves to create beauty, expression, and emotion.

www.facebook.com/AshleyMontoyaTrueArtist

Elaine Laird

Elaine Laird
Laird’s Graphics

Elaine is a graphic artist who owns and operates a small home based business specializing in American Sign Language (ASL) art products. These items include greeting cards, pictures, t-shirts, bookmarks and handcrafts. She also designs personalized greeting cards to meet costumers’ needs. She has a bachelor’s degree in Art with a concentration in graphic design from the University of Louisville. Her artwork focuses on the visual elements of ASL such as hand signs, facial expressions and body movements. What has inspired her to be an artist for over 14 years? Seeing the delightful expressions on the faces of deaf people as they view Laird’s Graphic products in their native language and helping hearing people learn about Deaf culture and to enjoy the artistic expression of ASL art.

Pamela G. Macias

Pamela G. Macias

Pamela G. Macias grew up in Southern California and American Sign Language is her first language. She participated in comic conventions and art festivals – including Clin d’Oeil in France, a Deaf arts festival. She dabs in several ways – fashion design, murals, comic, photography, graphic design, and hand illustration. Her expression is in feminine pop surrealism that evokes a strong feeling of mystical and natural elements.

Ellen Mansfield

Ellen Mansfield

Born Deaf in Manhattan, New York but grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. Went to public school where Ellen learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. Spent all summers in Goldens Bridge countyside, north of New York City. She earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Ellen has led a life filled with art and experiences with a background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other media that have brought her onto her current journey.

When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been part of her artwork. Life was starting to blossom as she was surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, which developed increasingly colorful images including watercolors , oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork.

Ellen had commissions for hand painted tiles for mural decorations, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace mantel surroundings, and murals behind ranges for past 29 years. She led many workshops in ceramics, drawings and paintings for over 500 Deaf children, hearing children of Deaf parents, and Deaf adults.

Ellen keeps a home studio called Ellen’s TileStroke Studio in Frederick.

Jordan Molet

Karen Putz
Designs of Serenity

Karen Putz is an author of multiple books, including “Unwrapping Your Passion” and “The Passionate Lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.” Her art is colorful and vibrant—much like life!

Nancy Rourke

Nancy Rourke

Nancy Rourke is a well-known international Deaf artist who focuses on De’Via, using primary colors that is called ‘Rourkeism.’ She does artist in residences at Deaf schools, and at universities. She trains Art teachers nationwide to develop De’VIA Curriculum project. She lives in Colorado and has a MFA degree in graphic design and painting.

Bonnie W. Sandy

Bonnie W. Sandy
Bonnie's Studio

While growing up on a farm, her mom (Elizabeth ‘Cookie’ Williams) provided her many art and craft activities/experiences- ceramic, quilting, macramé, tie-dying, string arts, painting, drawing and many others. She stopped doing her art when she was in college. She got married to Steve Sandy, now for almost 26 years and had two beautiful kids. Her full attention was taken to attend care for one of her kids who was struggling. Her therapist encourages her to take a respite just for her and herself. She is growing to enjoy the beauty of arts – Slowly, but surely. She has been a member of De’VIA for 2 years. She's looking forward to doing more artworks ahead.

Jennifer Tandoc

Jennifer Tandoc

Jennifer Tandoc is an artist and photographer. She was born in Manila, Philippines and she moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1980. She graduated from California School for the Deaf Riverside in 1997 and then NTID in May 2002. She moved to live in Austin, TX in 2014. She lovew Austin; she claims that it is a great place for artists! She has been passionate about art since she was a little girl. Over the years, her artwork has drawn a lot of positive attention. One of her dreams is to become famous and successful as an artist!


Return to DeaFestival Home