Kathy Fisher-Abraham: Artist Statement
Born in Dallas, Texas to a Hearing mother and Hard of Hearing father, I grew up always drawing in order to communicate with the use of the blackboard my parents bought me in the living room. Born naturally Deaf, my parents struggled with the school because they refused to accept me due to my being profoundly deaf and my inability to talk. I stayed home for five years with language body/gestures/drawing before school accepted me at the age of 7 1/2. My parents were kind of artists so that helped us communicate better. When I was 9 years old, I finally learned to sign. I came home, teaching my parents signing. They learned quickly.
Our method of communicating was SEE, which was better than nothing. We communicated very well. I was mainstreamed with two or three deaf students from 7th grade until our graduation. I took art classes at high school. Then I attended Gallaudet College ( later University) for one year and took care of my deaf children at home. I also took art classes at college. I returned to school and then to Texas Woman’s University to obtain B.A. in Communication Disorders and then my M.A. in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education from Lamar University.
I began my career as a Deaf Education Paraprofessional in 1995 in Dallas, Texas and had been there for 12 years before I moved to Austin, Texas to work at Texas School for the Deaf as Deaf Blind intervener and then as AE teacher.. The total number of years working within the field of Education has been 25 years.
My art is mostly based on Deaf experiences, focusing on how I view the society. I “create” the image from the experiences of deaf people /culture such as abuse, audism, sexually abuse, much more. I also love to paint and do the polymer clays. My artwork can either be about deaf issues or not at all. To add, I loved reading comic books such as Archie, Marvel/DC/ Elfquest most of my life. This is why I love to draw cartoons. I also love painting and use ink pens to create Deaf-themed doodles/tangles.
Chuck Baird, my parents and some friends encouraged me to continue art after I “quit” art when the VR counselor told me that my major as an Art teacher or an artist was very hard and suggested that I change my major. I threw away all of my artworks from my childhood years to High School. My mother’s death, Chuck’s death and then my father’s death made an impact on me wanting to return to art again. Here I go!