Deaf Art Collections: Hannan, Ashley

Ashley Hannan

"Ashley Hannan is originally from Valdosta, GA and currently lives in Tampa, FL. Hannan earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design from RIT in 2008 and is the communications coordinator of the Florida Deaf Art Show.

A few years after college, Ashley geared her creativity away from computers towards painting. Her vibrant paintings that range from landscapes to deaf visual art reside in numerous U.S. private art collections and in a few homes internationally.

Her latest solo show called "Rise Up: Silent Margins" was held in Rochester, NY at the Dyer Arts Center at NTID. The show encompassed 19 paintings that visually speak of Hannan's journey as an oral deaf person seeking for her identity between worlds and how ASL has helped her fill in the gaps of verbal communication and identity." From artist website on Facebook, accessed Sept. 26, 2019.

Description: t took me many years, maybe 3 decades, to realize that all I needed to do was “be true” to myself. Reject the envy of being “hearing” and nurture the “flaw” I have, my deafness. Emerge into something beautiful that always has been there.  Symbols explained:

•The hand motions “true/real”.
•A blank face represents “missing identity”.
•A butterfly cocoon inside the head is the journey that is beginning to manifest to discover the “true” self of me.
•A couple of butterflies flies over representing the optimistic and delicate nature of embracing the change that needs to manifest, discovering the deaf “me”.
•Bees are representative of communication as they solely rely on communicating by dancing, vibration forms to hunt and survive.
•The left half of the background in gradient from the bottom to top; dark green which is the envy that was breaking me, and then lightens up to white at the top to signify a new beginning.
•The right half of the background is my audiogram. It represents the beginning of my childhood, being tested constantly for what supposedly “failed” me. The lines marked with X is my left ear, the red being after I got implanted with the cochlear implant.
•Baldness represents vulnerability and to give the viewer the chance to relate to my experience a bit further.

Title Medium Year Size Acquired Picture
Be True Oil on canvas 2018 51 x 51 x 4 cm Purchased from
Joan Naturale,
NTID Librarian


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