Paint, Sip & Sign {A Canvas Painting Class to Bring Awareness to the Culture of American Sign Language at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph Hotel in the Short North} on 5/26/16

Rose Larson, advocate for DWAVE, shared her painting talents with us by guiding the guests through our popular Short North Arches painting. DWAVE stands for Deaf World Against Violence Everywhere, and they promote empowerment and equality for the deaf community of Ohio. We’re thoroughly impressed with what they do, and we want them to know we’re in full support.


I have to thank David, the brand manager at Le Meridien for coming up with the idea to raise awareness of deaf culture and ASL through this painting class. It was a fantastic idea, and he is so great at what he does! I don’t think I’ve ever come to appreciate the beauty in sign language until this painting class, and I’m ashamed that it took me 26 years to. I have been teaching art for about 3 years now, and I am constantly changing up the way I describe different painting techniques. I am a big fan of adjectives and changing my tone of voice. I’ll find myself saying cool sentences like, “Apply the paint very thick for a heavy texture, and your clouds will jump off the canvas with that 3D effect”. Watching Rose guide the class using only American Sign Language was astonishing to me. I would notice her eyebrows raise, her smile grow, and her hands rise with excitement as she described the different painting techniques and encouraged the class to “go their own way”. Watching her direct the class made me consider things I never would have imagined. I began to compare my adjectives to her facial expressions. I compared my change of tone to the speed changes in her hand motions. I even began to compare the use of our body language as teachers, which we may use without too much consideration.

I was reminded halfway through this event the importance of understanding the way different artists approach a canvas. When I hire artists to teach at the studio, I try to encourage them to use their own special techniques and practices. Each class should be unique to the artist teaching it. With Rose, I simply emailed her a few photos of the Short North Arches painting we teach in the studio along with a few instructions on how she can practice painting it at home. Then, she took the painting class and made it her own.. she used her own communication, her own adjectives, her own smile, her own use of body language, her sense of humor, and her artistic talent, to guide each of these guests in their paintings. Even though I am not able to interpret American Sign Language, watching Rose instruct the class made me gain an appreciation for these unique and authentic ways that she communicates- based not only on the culture of American Sign Language, but also on her wonderful personality. Seeing everyone come together in a room and make themselves vulnerable to create a piece of art with strangers and feel excited about their masterpiece… THIS is what shows a great art instructor. 

I was able to see the successful direct response and outcome of Rose’s use of communication to direct and comfort these [beginner] artists who came out for a night of trying something new at Le Meridien Hotel. I have a stronger appreciation of the differences in communication and artistic practice between all of us.

We’re all puzzle pieces in what makes Columbus the best place to live, work, and play.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the event, thank you to Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph Hotel for hosting it, and BIG thank you to Rose for leading the class so beautifully!

Link to Facebook Photo Album: https://www.facebook.com/thestudio614/photos/?tab=album&album_id=563281577185420

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Until next time,

Meg

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