Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Family Dog

Family Dog

  • Artist: Susan Dupor
  • Title: Family Dog
  • Media: Acrylic on canvas
  • Dimensions: 56 in. x 57 in.
  • Date: 1991
  • Biographical Information: Susan was born deaf in Madison, WI. From kindergarten through 12th grade, she was mainstreamed in "hearing impaired" programs. In 1987, she enrolled into the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NITD) and was cross-registered at RIT, as well. Her major was Illustration. She eventually transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and got her BFA. She worked in an animation studio and then continued her education by earning her master's degree in Deaf Education and Art education from the University of Rochester and NITD. She taught for some time at NITD and finally moved to Wisconsin and is teaching art at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf. She says in her free time, she enjoys painting. (Biography)
  • Artist's Statement: "As an artist who is Deaf, I am constantly exploring my identity as a Deaf woman.  I have been painting within this theme for the past ten years and my perspective has changed throughout the years. There were moments when I vented my emotions, and others when I wanted to celebrate the uniqueness of Deaf culture and seek the ironies of being Deaf in a hearing world."
  • Background Information: "This is expressive of feelings typical to isolated Deaf children living with non-Signing hearing families.  The faces of the other members of the family are blurred, which likens the experience of lipreading to the experience of listening to a TV program disrupted by static.  The deaf child, who wears hearing aids, is likened to a family pet that is patted on the head while being told 'Good girl, good girl.'"
  • Connection to Theme: Deaf children of hearing families can feel very lost and alone if there aren't strong and positive communication methods taking place within the family. This connects to my theme because within the Deaf world, stuff like this unfortunately takes place. There are parents of Deaf children who aren't supportive of their child's language and chose not to learn it; it is very sad. Notice how the child is isolated and kept distant from the family by a gate; this is what it feels like to them. They are isolated, ignored, and emotionally neglected. It can lead to severe psychological problems. There is no efficient means of communication and assuming the Deaf child can lipread is just cruel and incorrect. This is why I chose to base my gallery on the Deaf world. There are many hearing people in the world who are completely unaware of the Deaf community and their values. (I can admit that I was unaware of it before I started learning about it in my ASL classes.) Society just needs to be educated about this. I just want hearing parents to be familiar with Deaf culture in case they do have a Deaf child; they need to know how to properly react and what their good options are in helping the child grow up. I chose to show this painting in Life Through the Eyes because there are negative sides of Deaf culture that people should know about. I didn't want to post strictly positive and happy images. I want people to be aware of the kinds of discrimination that takes place in our society, especially if it has to do with Deaf children.
Artist's statement (ctrl +click here) 


  1. This is so interesting and so sad.

  2. Great picture! Perfect example for my past that I was only deaf with hearing parents and 3 hearing sisters. I was taught how to speak and read lips. Still today. My two kids r CODA and they sign and support deaf culture. Proud of them and deaf community. God bless u and thank u for sharing!

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