The 2019 Summer Urban Art Project reception was a delightful celebration of diversity, inclusion, and community! Thank you to Cortni Harant, UAP Director, and to all the artists involved who made it a delightful evening. Thank you to MSDB for providing an interpreter. Thank you to members of our Deaf community who came to show their support. Thank you to MSDB Foundation for supporting the project. Thank you to MSDB students and staff for their participation. And thank you to Cynthia Weitzel for sharing her time, passion, and inspiration with us! Hooray for community and art!
To read the artist’s statements visit the Urban Art Project website
Cynthia Weitzel with Montana Deaf Community and Students, Sign Language, Bloom Can!
Sponsored by City of Great Falls Parking Program
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual, spacial, three-dimensional language, so it was decided early in the project to explore more three-dimensional visual language through found object sculpture. The majority of materials used are from donations and area thrift stores or merchants reflecting local culture and heritage. For example, the use of electrical wire throughout the installation is a nod to the “Electric City.” The round shapes, consisting of bright colors with dark centers, are an abstract reference to both “eyes” and flowers in bloom. Painted steel ASL hand-shapes were also utilized. Lastly, the bright sun, in the far upper right corner, vitally important while blooming and communicating. ASL is our sunshine.
Youth and community volunteers were involved in every step of the process, from concept building to planning to execution. Throughout this experience, students and community had the benefit of exploring the genre of De’VIA (Deaf View Image Art.)
Project Support: “Sign Language, Bloom Can!” grew out of collaboration between visiting Deaf artist from Minnesota, Cynthia Weitzel, students from Montana School for the Deaf and Blind (MSDB), other area deaf and hard of hearing youth and their siblings, as well as members of Great Falls Deaf Community. An Urban Arts Project made possible by MSDB Foundation and newly formed nonprofit organization C.A.N. (Conservatory ASL Northwest).
Cynthia Weitzel, Visual Artist
Deaf Artist Residency Prog Coordinator
Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
163 Tower View Drive (Grain Loft Studio)
Red Wing, Minnesota 55066