Born Deaf in Manhattan, New York but grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. Went to public school where Ellen learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. Spent all summers in Goldens Bridge countyside, north of New York City. She earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Ellen has led a life filled with art and experiences with a background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other media that have brought her onto her current journey.
When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been part of her artwork. Life was starting to blossom as she was surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, which developed increasingly colorful images including watercolors , oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork.
In mid 80's ,Ellen had commissions for handpainted tiles for mural decorations, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace mantel surroundings, and murals behind ranges. She led many workshops in ceramics, drawings and paintings for Deaf children, hearing children of Deaf parents, and Deaf adults.
Ellen keeps a home studio called Ellen’s TileStroke Studio in Frederick. The studio has a kiln for firing both low and high fire tiles from greenware to final glazing in the range of 1922 and 2174 degrees.
She works in a variety of aesthetic and technical styles including sculpted relief, carved plaster blocks, tile presses and mosaic tiles. All the tiles are finished in a wide palate of earthenware and stoneware glazes.
Many people are not aware of the oppression .
Deaf people suffer due to audism (the belief that to hear and to speak is superior to being Deaf)as well as phonocentrism.
Deaf people’s language, American Sign Language (visual or tactile) is also targeted due to lingucism(the belief speech and English are superior to other languages
Publicity sharing Deaf View/Image Art (a genre of works about the Deaf experience) with the community of the dominant culture, not only promotes awareness our struggles, but also ensures that the rights of Deaf people, most especially children, are not denied. It ensures that our language, ASL is celebrated.
As we pursue equality, we also pursue a place as part of our communities, the broader public, and humankind.
Like our Deaf children, our art should not be isolated and neglected. Don't render us invisible.