Story by Jon Savage
Archive for ASL Story
Posted by Jon Savage Gallery on Friday, September 22, 2017
(https://www.facebook.com/JonSavageArtist/ was Live on Sept. 22, 2017)
Jon: Hello! Welcome to the show. Right now I’m waiting for my team. The weather today is wonderful! I’m enjoying the cool weather before our heat wave hits. I’m waiting for Holly to come. I think Holly’s shy.
Holly: Hello everyone!
Jon: This is Holly! She will be at the computer, answering any questions you may have for me online. From now on, I will be showing 5 different artworks, and including a link for each one with more information about the meaning of the artwork. Now Holly’s going back to the laptop! Thank you Holly!
Jon: Now, we have two different buildings: The Studio Door and Hype (http://thestudiodoor.com). I’m taking this opportunity to share this information in celebration of Deaf Awareness Month! Through this event, the Deaf art will receive lots of recognition. This is a very nice neighborhood with a strong art community. The famous Ray St (http://www.explorenorthpark.com/post/ray-at-night) is right around the corner, and this is why I was thrilled to have my artworks, as well as your artworks, shown in the gallery! Ready for my presentation? Let’s begin!
Jon: Before I begin, I wanted to let you know that the camera will be a little all over the place. There will be a total of 3 or 4 stops along the way. We have lots of different artworks done by different artists throughout the gallery, but for now I’m going to focus on my own artworks. You will see a link pop up, and this will go into more depth about the meaning behind the artwork. My presentation will focus on my thinking process and how I came up with the idea of the artwork. You may notice this artwork is the sign for support, and shows the symbols for male and female. I had seen a lot of issues in politics and was at a meeting one day when I got thinking and had this feeing that I really wanted to do something about it. This was back in 2012, when I decided I wanted to become an artist, but had no idea where to start. I knew that many people in the Deaf community knew me as a videographer, editor, and actor, but not yet as an artist. Growing up, I was truly an artist, but rarely showed it to the public. This was my first artwork that was a part of getting involved in society and raising awareness. Many men today are awkwardly approaching the issue of women and their strong skills and talents. This is because of the traditional values of a dominant, working male, but men need to take a look at the bigger picture and see that women have so much skill and potential in society. For example, say a company is hiring and they have to make a decision between what is best for the people and what will make their company successful. A woman could have so much to provide that would greatly benefit the company, yet they disregard her because she is a woman and immediately make assumptions. They could provide things like love, peace, knowledge, and experience. To create this artwork, I reached out to one man named Ron Trumble, who is Deaf, skilled with making products out of wood, and lives in Oakland. You may have seen some of his artworks, he has a signature pole-shaped base with a flowering top. I worked with him, and he is honestly a very skilled artist. You may notice the white background; this is actually a light. He worked very meticulously to put the whole thing together and I was very impressed. I made a total of 4 of this artwork; 3 were sold and I kept one. This last one is still available, and if it is too big, we also have limited edition prints of the same artwork that were made in 2012. The link that I will add will have more information about this artwork. Ready for the next artwork?
Jon: This first artwork shows “kiss-fist” and a smack on the hand from a ruler. This was made on two separate canvases that are connected. I felt that it had to be two separate pieces instead of together in one to show two different times. There is more information in the link, but in an essence, I used turquoise in this artwork to represent community. I was influenced by the color of the logo for the Frontrunners (http://frontrunners.dk/curriculum/) and how they strongly represent the color. I became obsessed and the color turquoise excites me now, and sparks my creative thinking. I have actually gone through 4 or 5 cans of turquoise paint because I believe it to be a key color in spreading the word through the community and also to raise a stronger sense of community. Back in the old days, Deaf Club created a natural sense of community; they did not have to emphasize community at all. Now that Deaf Club is dwindling, there is a need to advertise community and raise awareness. So, I’m trying to spread the word through art. That’s why I went through 4 cans of turquoise paint! The turquoise fist in this artwork represents a passionate feeling of anger towards the people that tried to control us. To take this anger and make it into something positive, we change this fist from an angry fist to a kiss-fist, using a little bit of reverse psychology.
This next artwork was inspired by something that had a big impact on me. I feel like there is such a big difference between saying “ASL is important” and actually wanting to get involved and spread awareness about ASL, so to summarize this, I created this artwork titled “So Awful, So Good’. I put the negative first to attract attention because it sparks curiosity, but if you see a positive first you might just think “So?”. The way the hands appear to be moving in the artwork is inspired the VCR and how motion looks frozen when you pause it. I actually have a series of artworks in this style titled “VCR Pause”. I used to have a kind of obsession with the VCR, pausing and playing it so much that my pause button actually broke! This was way back in the 80s, and that little obsession was still playing over and over again in my mind, so I decided to make an artwork out of it! I can discuss ASL thoroughly in and out, but the main focus of this artwork is that with the use of ASL, we are able to understand the politics of our country and what is going on with passion rather than looking at a black-and-white statement of something that happened. When someone speaks, I don’t fully understand it, but in ASL everything makes sense. Through ASL, we can discuss what is going on in our country and get both perspectives of it, both the good and the awful. Ready for the next one? I have mixed feelings about this one.
Jon: See N3 (Nancy Rourke)?
Jon: I honestly don’t love this artwork, and this is because it is very emotional and somewhat disgusting. I had it hung up in my home for a while, and it made me angry. After viewing the link, you will understand why this piece is perfect for an event like the one we have here, or any place where it will start a discussion. This artwork strongly represents a reoccurring problem that i had from K through 12. Once I graduated high school, I tried my best to forget about it. I was 18, on a new journey moving forward, and tried to keep all of my thoughts pointed toward the future. This artwork is me looking this problem in the face. In 2012, it resurfaced and I realized this problem is still prominent today. I gave a presentation titled “Pro-Hands” to encourage and inspire grades K-12 to imagine their greatest desires and achieve their goals. I had discussions with different people at the different schools I visited, and they all has the same problem. It took me about 3 years to complete the artwork. I started it as a rough draft and every time I tried to come back to it, I had a feeling of disgust and didn’t want to deal with it, so I kept putting off its completion. One of the high schools I visited described an interpreting situation in which the interpreters have a superior who criticizes the students. I felt that it was wrong and I wanted to do something, but I’m not an educator or a part of the school system in any way, so I just had to watch it go on. This story made me feel like I was being shot at and had bullets all over me. Instead of saying nothing, I took the bullets out and created an artwork out of them. You may notice the smiley face in the center. It was inspired by a documentary (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473107/) I watched that explained how big businesses like Walmart are able to sell their products for so cheap. The film talked about how they are able to pay their laborers very little, taking advantage of them, and keep the extra money to create more efficient production, yet still put on commercials showing their employees with big, smiling faces. This makes me think of how clowns were once happy and innocent, but are now shown to be scary and dangerous, dominating the horror industry just like Walmart is dominating their industry. I think I’ve said enough about this artwork. The next one is pretty cool.
Jon: Yeah! Turquoise again! I was talking with a friend and he explained to me that the eye in the floating pyramid on the back of the $1 bill represents something that has not been finished, and that there is always room for improvement and progress. After I learned this, my mind was already filled with ideas. So, I do not feel like ASL is done with. There are still so many discussions to be had, so much more to be learned, taught, and improved. So I tied in the message behind the $1 bill, turquoise to represent community and the current studies in linguistics. Just like how in America we always have people working to make the country better and solve issues, the ASL community is doing the same. The eyes and the hands are always related to make ASL. This is one of my favorites compared to the previous artwork. Ready for the next one?
Jon: You may be wondering what the difference is between The Studio Door and Hype. (cut off due poor connection with WIFI)
Transcript from ASL to English:
Hello! Welcome to 7240 Vlog! Here’s the update information on 7240. We would like to thank all the deaf artists who submitted their applications for the 7240 event and we did enjoy viewing their artwork. When you come to our event which is between December 18th to 20th, 2012, you all will enjoy to view their artwork including mine! The next discussion is the location which is Space 4 Art.
SPACE 4 ART
That place, Space 4 Art has their own mission statement which is they inspire each other, they are creative thinkers, they involve with the community, they believe in cultural diversity, and empowerment. Those values do fit with 7240’s theory.
Lastly, Kickstarter! The sign for Kickstarter is ( see the video ). The website for Kickstarter is great for people who have projects in varied fields who need help with support to exceed their goals. 7240 decided to go ahead with the Kickstarter. We have backers like you, who support the project by setting up funds with each pledge. The funds that backers place for their pledges won’t be charged right away; only when the funding goal will meet then they will be charged. If the goal does not exceed, then the backers won’t be getting what they pledge for. If the goal does exceed, two things that 7240 will get or do which are send thank you postcards and artwork what the backers pledge for to them and will be able to get the funds to provide the services that we need for 7240 event. Importantly, 7240 event will stay on with and without Kickstarter.
We thank for your support in 7240 and they do make a difference for the future!! Thank you for watching this vlog.
Transcript from ASL to English:
Inspired! Hello! Welcome to 7240 Vlog. Did you see those? Hopefully those do inspire you! I would like to grab the opportunity to explain what inspiration I can do for you in your own home. I can give you some different ideas.
– You see the VW bus? It could be your favorite car or your pet that you could hang up in your home.
– Love. Love is a positive inspiration. If you have any word that does inspire you greatly, I can make the word into a sign and become an art itself. You will see art that will make you feel good forever. That’s an idea.
– Chuck Baird; famous artist. If you have any family from past generation or old pictures of your family members that you would like to convert to art.
– Lastly, we pick one of our backers from Kickstarter to paint this one. It could be your children or family. That’s an idea.
Have you thought about picking out something that it would make you excited and inspired? If so, please support 7240 Gallery with your contributions. Kickstarter won’t meet the goal if we don’t have your support. The clock is ticking and we have until Dec. 10th. If you have any questions, I’m happy to correspond with you through email. Thank you for watching this vlog.
Awareness and discovery the Deaf history of Charles-Michel de l’Épée (l’abbé de l’épée)
This morning I went for a walk with the group and Daniel, we happened to notice that behind the statue there was a bottle of glass sticking through the statue’s hand. We were laughing and thought it was hilarious. We passed it and went on a tour at the Versailles. WOW! The Versailles was fabulous! Afterwards, we walked back and saw the statue again. We thought, why not take a picture and make a laugh out of it? We realized who the statue was, and it’s Charles-Michel de l’Épée! He was born here and he used to be a Catholic priest here in Paris. The glass bottle sticking in the statue’s hand was signing as “dieu” for “god” was disrespectful to the Deaf community. Daniel got emotional when he saw it and he decided to climb up to get the glass bottle out. We all felt it’s an oppression to the deaf community. We would like to honor this statue of de l’Épée to keep it clean and be more respectful forever!
Hello! You see the video that I shot? It went by quickly. I viewed the video and it inspires me occasionally. I decided to capture the video and turn it into a painting. You think that I captured a single shot for my painting? No I did not. I captured twenty different videos to make it one painting! Did you notice that the people in the video looked different than what they wore in the painting? I did this on purpose. Daniel is wearing the colors of the French flag, Paul is wearing the colors of US flag, the heart on the white bag represents as the basic foundation of personal growth, and lastly the other bag represents academics and education. Using sign language increases the growth in academic and education for deaf students. They can use empowerment through their knowledge and social skills in the Deaf community.
I would like to honor to the institution was the first public school for the deaf in the world, established by the priest Charles-Michel de l’Épée in Paris (Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris). Laurent Clerc was one of the students at the school and went to America to work with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Clerc’s teachings and making him the greatest influence in the establishment of new deaf schools in the States. We are so inspired by Clerc for his influence to the Deaf community. We must realize that Clerc had his education by de l’Épée in Paris. We would like to show the statue of de l’Épée that it does not show an oppression to the Deaf community of sign language. Since we celebrated de l’Épée’s 300th birthday, we hope that this artwork will continue to inspire more Deaf children to use sign language. We hope that there will be other paintings to represent each country flag to use their own sign language and make it spread to others.
I used one roll of strings to hold this painting together and it represented as the evolution of old and current sign language. This painting is tied together to symbolize that to move on to the future and learn better communication skills, the past can’t be left behind. To understand current signs in Deaf cultural, the history of deaf cultural has to be acknowledged. The one roll of string is an important piece because it connects the older (rear) frame to the new (front) frame to make sign language more appreciated. If there is a loose gap between old and current sign language then oralism will take over Deaf education. Deaf cultural would be fall apart then start all over again! That’s why the string must be tied very tight and very well.
People who still use sign language are fortunate to learn from the past. Then sign language will live forever.
(No Transcript at this time)
Jon Savage’s personal vlog about experience of 7240.
This project will only be funded if at least $3,500 is pledged by Monday Dec. 10, 1:36pm PST. Support me and Deaf artists at http://bit.ly/Kickstarter-7240
No Transcript at this time
By Jon Savage
Tags: Heart Literature Subject Empowerment Arts Hand Hands community Deaf ASL American Sign Language Human rights civil American Sign Language Human Language Respect
Suggest to revise the commercial or replace the plenary session- South Dakota Governor Daugaard at 2012 Biennial NAD Conference in Kentucky.
No transcript at this time.
by Jon Savage
link to NAD’s vlog “Nothing about us, without us”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YFpD3bSdHU
Updated from NAD (6/1/2012) As announced previously, Governor Daugaard is unable to attend the NAD Conference.
NAD Responds community discussion governor daugaard – http://www.nad.org/blogs/bobbie-bethscoggins/nad-responds-community-discussion-governor-daugaard
Jon & Renny: Hello
Jon: Now, I want to grab the opportunity to have my daughter will join with me on this vlog. We are talking about Alexander Graham Bell. Who is that person?
How much do you (Renny) know about AGB?
Renny: He invented the phone and he’s probably a smart man.
Jon: That’s what she learned about AGB from a public school when she mentioned that he’s smart.
Do you (Renny) know what the story is behind of AGB?
Renny: Hmm, I don’t know.
Jon: That’s why she knows him by as little as he seems like a smart man that invented the phone.
Now, I will grab the opportunity to explain to you what the story is behind AGB. He was into speech therapy called, “Visible Speech” that was he before invented the phone!
Renny: I wish that I knew about it before.
Jon: He was excessive on speech therapy for a long time until the phone appeared. He was very successful after inventing the phone and convinced people to donate to him. Most of the funds went to improvement of speech therapy and audiology. We, Deaf community, introduced him to “Sign Language” as an advantage! However, he disagreed with Deaf community and said visible speech is the solution. So, he was still excessive on the speech therapy continually. No matter his philosophy on deaf culture because the phone were successful as proven sufficiently.
Renny: I wish that I knew what’s behind AGB’s story.
Jon: Now, what do you (Renny) think of him?
Renny: He isn’t a very good man!
Jon: Important! When you look someone up that’s successful, check the person’s philosophy with the background that might fit us as Deaf community or an individual. Be supportive to the person more than just someone who invented.
Do you (Renny) have someone to look up that been successful and inspired. Of course, would you check person’s background?
Renny: Yep! That’s true!
Jon & Renny: Bye
Tags: ASL Deaf American Sign Language History music background Lady Gaga Born this way