Exhibits highlighting the diversity of deaf artists and their experiences will be on display Aug. 26-Oct. 29 in the Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. An artists’ reception for both is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in the gallery located in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.
Yiqiao Wang’s artwork has a unique and distinctive style that has become her trademark through her use of vivid colors and stylized geometric abstracts. Her works, whether they represent humans, animals or objects, are interpretations on what she sees and perceives in her daily life.
“I work primarily with portraits,” said Wang. “My work process starts with a sketch in black and white. I draw inspiration from pop culture, everyday life, cultural influences of China and America, memories and natural environments. After the sketch, I experiment in finding a color scheme that reflects my vision. I then transfer my drawing into digital illustration and use geometric shapes and vivid colors to complete my interpretation of the image’s soul. My style symbolizes brightness, nature and pleasure and a new approach to use of colors. I want my work to have that emotional impact that draws you into looking at the image in depth. A professor from my MFA program once told me to find a style that neither deaf nor hearing artists had—a style was that uniquely mine. I feel that I have accomplished that with my work.”
Wang was born in Beijing and studied digital media and illustration in the United States. Her specialty is in watercolor illustrations and vector drawings.
Artist Hilary Allumaga’s abstract paintings are scenes of Nigerian life, in which he uses dark colors to represent struggles of the past, and bright colors to signify hope of the future. Use of round shapes and starbursts also symbolize the future.
“Some of my paintings reflect my emotional past and wishes for brighter days to come,” said Allumaga. “I see a future that is vibrant and full of promise. As a deaf artist, I see colors and texture as a way of communicating my feelings. They vibrate from the canvas.”
Born and raised in the small village of Alogani in the Nasarawa state in north central Nigeria, Allumaga was a mostly self-taught artist until coming to the United States to study studio art. He loves art in all forms and sharing his work with others. He lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife and four children.