Students Paint with Internationally-Known Deaf Artist

Published: February 22, 2019

College of Western Idaho’s Visiting Artist Series welcomed Nancy Rourke, an internationally-known Deaf activist and professional artist, to campus Feb. 19 and 20. In addition to a lecture, Rourke hosted a hands-on painting workshop where students were given the opportunity to paint one of Rourke’s original paintings about the deaf experience. The painting, comprised of the hand shapes used to spell the word L-O-V-E in American Sign Language, was created using the colors red, yellow, and blue.

“The use primary colors is part of Rourkeism, an artistic movement,” explained Rourke. “Each color has meaning. The colors in the hand shapes indicate a diversity of people and an inclusion of people of color. We talk about how to use opposite colors to give balance. This helps people have a feel for what the artist is conveying.”  

The College’s Visiting Artist Series, made possible through a grant from Idaho Commission on the Arts, features visual and performing artists through a series of workshops, lectures, and performances. The CWI Foundation and Wishing Well Fund, created to support student learning, helped make this particular event a great success and enjoyable time for students.

“For our students to interact with professional artists is a great opportunity,” said Art instructor, Goran Fazil.

Visit CWI on Facebook to watch Rourke's Live With 5 interview. Stay tuned for information on the next Visiting Artist event in March which will feature the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

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