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January 9, 2006

Nashville to host national De'VIA art exhibit Jan 21-April 30 - NEWS

From: League for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Nash., Tenn. - Jan 9, 2006

For more information:
Sharon Limpus
615-599-0080 (home office)/615-554-9938 (cell)


NATIONAL “Deaf view/image art” Exhibit OPENS
IN Nashville on Saturday, January 21, 2006

[Nashville, Tenn. – January 10, 2006] – The grand opening of the Second Annual National Juried De’VIA (Deaf View/Image Art) Exhibit, considered to be the only one of its kind in the United States, will be Saturday, January 21, 2006 at The Vanderbilt University Hospital Mezzanine Gallery in Nashville, Tenn.

De’VIA will highlight two and three-dimensional art from 16 professional and amateur adult artists representing nine states as well as artwork and photography from 19 youth from Tennessee. The adult artists are the finalists from a juried competition of more than 70 pieces of artwork from across the country. Art from the De’VIA 2006 Youth Competition was selected by a panel of judges chosen from more than 50 pieces submitted from across Tennessee.

The opening presentation, “De’VIA–Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” will be held at 11 a.m. in Light Hall, Vanderbilt University Medical Center campus, by Deborah Meranski Sonnenstrahl, Ph.D. She is a Deaf Art historian, author, and Gallaudet University Professor Emeritus. Following the presentation, there will be an announcement of winners from Adult Professional and Amateur Divisions as well as a Best of Show award. Cash prizes total $6,000. Interpreting and captioning services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be provided.

A reception with the finalists, winners, sponsors and jurors will follow at the Mezzanine Gallery followed by the opening of the youth exhibit at the Monroe Carrell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. De’VIA exhibits will run through April 30. All De’VIA events are free and open to the public.

“The art is amazing and an excellent representation of the De’VIA theme for both the adult and youth divisions,” said Karin Kalodimos, an interpreter who is a returning event co-chair along with Cynthia Weitzel, a local Deaf businesswoman. “We’ve already had requests from Deaf artists in other countries to expand this national competition into an international one.”

De’VIA targets artists nationwide from within the Deaf community consisting of individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a strong connection with the Deaf Community such as family members or interpreters.

Tennessee artists Gina Helms, Ashland City,Tenn., and Ken McBroom, Seymour, Tenn., are among the finalists in the adult competition.

Helms, who became deaf in infancy, was one of three deaf children born to deaf parents in Wichita, Kan. She is a graduate of the Kansas State School for the Deaf in Olathe, Kan., and Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, where she received a bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Medical Illustration in 1998.

McBroom lost his hearing at age 19 while serving in Viet Nam. He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army's Elite 101st Airborne Division's Recondos. McBroom was critically wounded during a mortar attack. When he came out of a year-long coma "with a fist-sized hole" in his skull, he was deaf, and his left side paralyzed. Doctors didn't believe he would ever walk or talk again. McBroom earned a bachelor’s degree in psychological social work and statistics from Gallaudet University in 1975; a master’s degree in counseling and statistics from University of Tennessee in 1977; and associate’s degree in art and design from Pellissippi State in 2002. He is currently studying art and design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“The League is proud to have this unique opportunity to help showcase the De’VIA exhibit here in Nashville, a city known world-wide for its talented and creative culture,” said Les Hutchinson, Ph.D., president/CEO, League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Nashville, Tenn.

The competition and exhibit are presented by the League. MCI Global Relay-Tennessee Relay Service is the main Event Sponsor. Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Cultural Enrichment is the Exhibit Sponsor. Other sponsors include Al’s Custom Frames & Gallery; Beyond the Box Productions, Inc.; Critical Impressions; DR Productions; Gallaudet University Regional Center – Southeast; Harris Communications; Streamline Graphics; and Weitzel Roofing Company, LLC.

The League is the sole provider of qualified, comprehensive services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Middle Tennessee and parts of Southern Kentucky. Its main office and Mary McKinney Youth Center are located in Nashville. Satellite offices are in Franklin, Tenn., and Clarksville, Tenn.

MCI Global Relay-Tennessee Relay Service is dedicated to providing the most technically advanced Telecommunications Relay Service to enable those with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a major referral center for the Southeast and nation.  It is made up of Vanderbilt University Hospital, The Vanderbilt Clinic, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt School of Medicine and Vanderbilt School of Nursing.  VUMC is the largest private employer in the region, employing more than 10,000 employees and generating an annual regional economic impact of over $1 billion. Among the unique services offered by VUMC to the community are the Burn Center, Level I Trauma Center, LifeFlight helicopter ambulance service, Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Middle Tennessee Poison Center.  In all, VUMC offers a total of 92 specialty clinics, including the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the state's only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.

For more information about De’VIA or the League, call 615-248-8828 (V/TTY) or visit