Caitlin Wetzel won overall first place in 3D artwork at the National De’VIA Competition. The sculpture depicts scars on a human heart and with human hands saying “I love you” in ASL.
LANCASTER – Lancaster High School junior Caitlin Wetzel won overall first place in 3D artwork at the National De’VIA Competition in April with a ceramic sculpture entitled, “The Heart Hears.”
De’VIA, or Deaf Visual Image Art, is a movement co-founded by Chuck Baird, an artist in whose memory the Kansas School for the Deaf and the Deaf Cultural Center sponsor an annual youth art competition. The competition encourages young artists to incorporate one or more element of deaf communication, culture or history into their artwork.
Wetzel works with an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to complete mainstream curriculum. During a project that encouraged students to select content outside the art classroom and apply it to a visual piece using clay, Wetzel chose Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” as her inspiration.
The sculpture illustrates public misconceptions of deaf people with scars on a human heart and embodies the power of positive truth with human hands saying “I love you” in ASL.