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.