Amy Cohen Efron
About the Artist
I am a late bloomer artist. I was born Deaf, and all of my childhood life; I dabbled in different art mediums to express my innermost thoughts and feelings. This was the only way that I could effectively communicate. I took several art classes at school and college. I minored in Studio Art, while majoring in Psychology at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
I started my professional career as a school psychologist in 1992, and I worked for a non-profit organization, several state schools for the Deaf, and a residential treatment center for Deaf children for 25 years. In 2006, I founded my website, Deaf World As Eye See It where I express my thoughts in English and American Sign Language. I published approximately 120 written posts, and produced more than 140 ASL videos covering a wide range of Deaf-related subjects.
"Amy Cohen Efron shot to the category of the well-known, well-respected v/bloggers with her famous vlog called 'The Greatest Irony' in which she explained how the hearing community would use American Sign Language (ASL) to the hearing babies, encouraging the early development of language and cognition while ASL was not encouraged to be used on the deaf babies. This video was a catalyst for Deaf Bilingual Coalition, to name a few, to become more visible to us. What she did was to make us aware of the benefits of ASL are so great with hearing babies, the deaf babies also benefit from it, which is something we forget. From it, the arguments over which is best for deaf babies arose and to this day, we still argue over it." — Karen Mayes, Deaf Tranquil Life (September 2010)
Unfortunately, I faced an onslaught of Internet bullying and stalking, and several attempts to suppress my “voice.” The website was placed on hiatus in 2012. Recently, I was experiencing my “mid-life crisis” and I started dabbling in art to cope through this time. I instantly got hooked.
In February 2016, I successfully participated the Facebook's De'VIA Central's February Art Challenge. My artwork, "Language First," was chosen to be displayed at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in September 2016. In August 2017, my artworks were displayed at Mammal Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. "Disorder" painting is juried and selected for the gallery showing at The Studio Door in San Diego, California in September 2017. Lately, "The Dirty Little Secret," "Crowning Ceremony," and "Learned Helplessness" were selected for the gallery showing at the Dyer Arts Center in Rochester, New York in January 2018.
My art is about my Deaf experience, focusing on how I view the society; how the society views me; and the relationship between the society and me. All my art works are visually striking, explosive, subliminal, and abstract. I do not limit myself to one medium, style, or concept. My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the absurdity, resistance, and celebration I’ve experienced everyday. I try addressing controversial themes and raising thought-provoking questions through art. I believe advertising imagery, with hidden messages, bold colors, strong lines, and using symbolism, serve as significant influences in my art. It is my goal for creating art as an agent for social change. If a viewer stops for just a moment to view, think, and reflect on artwork I have created, then I have succeeded.