The Gallery of ARTFul Medicine


Current Exhibition


Signs of Compassion

Created by Miggs Burroughs


Signs of Compassion: A Tribute to the Poem by Emily Dickinson


The Deaf and hearing worlds have two wholly distinct cultures and languages.  In fact, The Deaf community identifies as a linguistic and cultural minority – one that has been been historically oppressed and misunderstood. To demonstrate how compassion, learning and understanding can bridge gaps between cultures and languages, the new exhibit Signs of Compassion presents portraits of the hearing community signing each phrase of Emily Dickinson’s poem of the same title in American Sign Language (ASL) in conjunction with video of Deaf poets expressing the work.

 Signs of Compassion drives home the point that the Deaf community does not subscribe to conventional notions of needing to be “fixed” or rehabilitated,” according to Jody Prysock, MS, CI, who compiled the video footage for the exhibit.  “By Deaf poets sharing their interpretations of Emily Dickinson’s poem, we honor the beauty, grace, and complexity of ASL, and celebrate the rich culture of Deaf people,” Ms. Prysock said.

Signs of Compassion runs from May 2019 through October 2019 at Montefiore Medical Center, Hutchison Metro Center, 1250 Waters Place, Tower One, in the Bronx, NY.  Signs of Compassion features 30 16”x 16” black and white lenticular portraits created by Westport, CT photographer Miggs Burroughs.  In a lenticular photo, two images are embedded into each frame, and an image changes to the other as the viewer walks by, approximating real time movement.

I was always amazed by ASL, the variety of gestures and the speed of the communication. I decided that lenticular photography would be a compelling way to demonstrate the grace and beauty of the language. With this show the portraits take on an interesting life. The show gives insight into the nuances of signing styles, individual sign choices and variations employed by the Deaf ASL community
— Miggs Burroughs
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This thought-provoking exhibit seeks to make all aware that art humanizes us. Pairing poetry and photography as interpreted in ASL by hearing and Deaf individuals, Signs of Compassion seeks to open minds and invite all to participate in the beauty of the words created by poet, Emily Dickinson
— Jodi Moise

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