Art as a Platform for Powerful Communication
Art is a powerful tool and can be used for many things. “For me, art is about healing, validation of my feelings, and process of transformation,” says Rose Larson. She has created art since she was a little girl. “I can see myself transforming through my art.”
When she was younger, Rose’s parents hired an art tutor for her. Unfortunately, since her teacher didn’t know American Sign Language (ASL) and Rose was Deaf, the communication barrier made her artistic outlet frustrating. However, she found her love for creating art again in college. Mixed media and clay are her favorite mediums to create with.
Fast forward to the present, and Rose is still passionate about her art. She was also recently selected to create a piece for a CMAX bus stop in Columbus. She designed a vibrant and colorful depiction of the word “LOVE” in ASL. “I was raised in that location; there [are] diverse people living in that location,” says Rose. “I wanted to show [the] importance of showing love for diversity, and the importance of working together regardless [of what] our differences maybe.”
Advocacy for a Diverse Community
Rose advocates for and helps a diverse group of people as the executive director of Deaf World Against Violence Everywhere (DWAVE). Five Deaf women founded the statewide agency, and it is currently Deaf run. The agency advocates for those who experience trauma from violence, and is also on call 24/7 to provide long-term advocacy for the Deaf community. DWAVE also provides support, training, education, therapy, links to resources, and assists in helping other organizations become Deaf friendly.
Working at DWAVE, Rose sees the hatred and division that can exist, which is why she chose to paint the word “LOVE” for the CMAX bus stop.
“I wanted to show that love and unity was important in our community, especially when it came to violence,” says Rose. “So many survivors found healing through art, poetry, and journaling; there is no wrong way to do art.”