Thursday, September 25, 2014



This year’s theme: Senses. What is a sense? How do you use your senses? 

Express yourself through drawing, painting, photography, writing or sculpture. Get creative, and show your pride in being deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

  • Artwork will be created using this year’s theme: “Senses. What is a sense? How do you use your senses”?
  • Original artwork must be dropped off or mailed so that it arrives by Oct 25th 2014. 
Liza Sylvestre
901 18 1/2 AVE NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
* Please make sure to either include your entry form with your artwork when you ship it OR include your name somewhere inside or on the package so that we can identify your artwork.
* Entry forms can be downloaded HERE
  • Entry forms must be emailed or mailed with the artwork (click HERE to download the entry form). You can email your entry form to
  • If you would like to drop artwork off in person please email to set up a time to do so.

* If you are a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual between the ages of 1-21and you live in Minnesota you are eligible to participate. 
  • Selected artwork will be shown in an exhibition at ArtSpace Jackson Flats in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis.
  • The show’s opening night will be on November 7th 2014 at 5:00 pm. We will have a night of celebrating youth pride in being deaf or hard-of-hearing with different activities, food, and fun!
  • Artwork not selected for the exhibition will be returned to the applicant.
  • Applicants will be notified if their work has been selected by Nov. 1st 2014. 

We (Angela, Canae and Liza) received a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant which is allowing us to teach art classes at Four Seasons A+ Elementary in St. Paul. Four Seasons is a public Arts Magnet School with a Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Program. Our lesson plans encourage our students to think about how art can be used as a vocabulary and as a way of communicating that transcends speech and hearing. The three of us come from different artistic backgrounds and different hearing abilities/inabilities, we believe that art can be used to bridge the gaps presented by communication barriers. 

Our connection to MN Hands and Voices began while we were writing our grant. Candace Lindow-Davies and Carina Figueroa have been steadfast in their support of our project and this year they asked for our help in running their annual art contest! So here we are, it’s going to be a lot of fun!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Angela Olson recently led us through a lesson plan making simple rod puppets. Here are some photos from all of the different grades we teach.

Our third graders made some awesome puppets!!!

Canae is explaining how to staple the body of the puppet together.
 Some students made puppets that were self portraits.

This fifth grader is a natural drawer. It was cool to see what he made!

A cat, a tiger and a cow.

Fifth graders!!!

This guy decided to make the body of his puppet out of paper instead of cloth.

Fourth graders!!!

Both of these guys came up with stories for the puppet characters they created!


Emotions and Art

Liza Sylvestre recently led a lesson plan about emotions and art. Each class started with a discussion about emotions - what are the different emotions we feel? How do these emotions show up in artwork? 

Students were exposed to examples of how different artists throughout history have shown emotions through their artwork - either through their subject matter, symbolism, color, or the body language of the figures in their artwork.

Students were asked to make traces of their bodies on large sheets of paper - they were asked to think about how they could use their body shapes to convey an emotion that they wanted to express. 

Then the students had plenty of time to color in their body shapes. Some students included images of things that made them happy, or they used colors that made them feel a certain emotion.

It was pretty cool to see what these young people came up with!

These young ladies drew things inside their traced bodies that they like or that make them happy.

We love how expressive this face is!

We asked this guy why he decided to put a blue circle in the middle of his body. His reply? 
"We talked about how the color blue could represent the feeling 'calm'. And so I made a blue heart because my heart is calm."

Student: "I am trying to think of, if I could reach into my body and pull out my emotions, what would I see?"
Interviewer: "And what do you think?"
Student: "Um, a lot of bright colors. A lot of different shapes...are coming up."
Interviewer: "Pretty cool!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Canae, who has worked locally with the Ethnic Dance Theater, the Tapestry Folkdance Center, The Southern Theater, and Mixed Blood Theater, led our first dance/movement class in February. 

We asked students to work together to make different geometric shapes with their bodies. How can you make a square using your bodies? A triangle? A star? Then we talked about the different levels used in dance - the low/ground level, the mid level and the air/sky level. Students were asked to use their bodies to show and understand the differences between these levels. What lives on the ground? How does it move? What kinds of things exist on the mid level? How do they move? What lives in the sky? How can you use your body to show the wind blowing? 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Angela Olson seeks to build bridges in her work. Through community collaborations, cross-generational story sharing, and free public art events, she strives to bring together seemingly opposing concepts, art forms, and audiences. Her main focus is in fostering connections between old and new technologies, crude aesthetics and refined ideas, and audiences of different generations and cultural/socioeconomic backgrounds.

Liza Sylvestre is a professional artist. Her artwork is founded in the belief that beauty grows out of a place that cannot be planned or completely controlled. She works slowly, and in a very real way "listens" to her artwork as it develops. Sylvestre grew up with a progressive hearing loss and feels that it has given her a distinct lens through which she perceives the world. She has been living with a cochlear implant since 2003. She is interested in bringing awareness to the different ways in which we use our senses in order to communicate with each other. 

As a deaf person, Canae Weiss feels that expressing herself creatively through movement and dance is natural. She explores dance and theatrical physical expressions/ gestures as a way to concretely portray the dreams, imagination, and visions at the root of our hearts that connect us as humans across many different cultures, behaviors, perspectives, and diverse experiences. There are thousands of words that exist to express these ideas but movement is most exquisite! Weiss feels that children have a lot to say and that movements and gestures can lead children into strong realizations inside themselves to express what they might not be able to explain in words. Weiss’ belief is that dance and theatre are a tool for children to gain awareness about what is happening in their bodies, it is also a language that they can use to process events in their lives.

As artists and teachers we are interested in building bridges through art learning and practice. Collectively, we believe in art as a means of communicating to a wide variety of audiences with varied language, experience, backgrounds and cultures. We view art as the hinge which connects these different experiences together.

We teach art classes at Four Seasons Elementary in St. Paul, MN. Four Seasons is a public Arts Magnet School with a Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing program. Our lesson plans encourage our students to think about how art can be used as a vocabulary and as a way of communicating that transcends speech and hearing.