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Rochester School for the Deaf artist-in-residence Chuck Baird program

 Collection — Disk: 1
Identifier: RITDSA-0076

Scope and Contents

The Rochester School for the Deaf artist-in-residence Chuck Baird discussion was originally recorded on May 6, 1996 in VHS format, it was later transferred to DVD+R in 2012. In this video, he introduces himself to students and staff, shares his goals for his artist residency, and shows slides of some of his artworks up to that time. He discusses his creative process and his thinking as an artist.

The recording is in American Sign Language only. There is no voiceover or captioning.


  • Creation: May 6, 1996


Biographical / Historical

Chuck Baird (1947-2012) was born deaf in Kansas City and along with his three older sisters, went to the Kansas School for the Deaf. He received his art education from Mrs. Grace Bilger, a renowned watercolorist and graduated in 1967. He enrolled at Gallaudet University but then transferred to the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he received his BFA in Painting in 1974. Baird spent his first 5 summers after graduation at the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) painting their sets. While at RIT, he played four games as a defensive lineman on the football team under coach Tom Coughlin, who now coaches the two-time Super Bowl champion New York Giants. He left the team because he said he preferred to take art classes rather than go to football practice.

He also was involved with the NTID Drama Club, where he said, “I got my first theatre bug.” He acted in several productions, designed and painted sets and won the NTID Best Actor Award in 1974.

He finally joined the National Theatre of the Deaf in 1980. During the 10 years Chuck Baird spent with NTD as an actor and set designer, he designed and painted a large number of sets for them. He is probably best remembered for his work in "King of Hearts," based on Phillippe de Broca's cult film classic. In the role of the Painter, Chuck recreated the entire set each night in front of a live audience.

Mr. Baird’s works were known for the genre called Deaf View Image Arts (De’VIA), created by a group of eight artists under Betty Miller and Paul Johnston. “The disenfranchised genre was based on our deaf experiences that reflected in our artworks that came from our being deaf,” he said in an interview.

After an art residency at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, he moved to San Diego in 1992 to work for DawnSignPress as an in-house artist, and painted a number of new Deaf-related works, culminating in the book, "Chuck Baird, 35 Plates." Baird went back to Kansas City in 1993 to establish a painting and sculpture studio. He created a 150-foot long collage/mural of Deaf history and language for The Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, MA, for the school's 25th anniversary celebration, in June of 1995.

Chuck Baird then worked part time at his alma mater, videotaping storytelling in ASL.


1 Item(s) (DVD)




The Rochester School for the Deaf artist-in-residence Chuck Baird discussion contains one DVD recorded on May 6, 1996.


The collection is one DVD.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Must be played on a DVD player. Recording is about 53 minutes.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-range, Shelf 327

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in February 2013.


Chuck Baird Rochester School for the Deaf artist-in-residence discussion
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Jody Sidlauskas
3 December 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA