April Deacon (b.1978) is an artist working in painting, sculpture and writing. Deacon’s art celebrates humanity and explores sense of place by shining a light on forgotten faces and overlooked communities.
She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2002 and her Master of Arts in Painting from Marshall University in 2007. April’s work has been exhibited nationally. Recent exhibitions include Projecting Grace at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Ohio Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Riffe Gallery, and Hear Our Voice: Art of the Women’s March in Asheville, North Carolina. April has been a dedicated educator for over 18 years, receiving multiple “Teach of the Year” awards throughout her career. She frequently collaborates with her students on community-based projects to teach the importance of arts integration.
With a deference for found objects, Deacon can create a new narrative for an old piece of ephemera. She combs though found objects searching for their essence. With bright colors and patterns, Deacon paints directly onto the surface of the photo, illuminating the personality and uniqueness in the subjects. She celebrates the forgotten faces and history of southern Ohio where she lives and works. In the artist’s words, “I collect discarded memories, then reinvent them.” Antique photographs, particularly portraits, reflect their subject’s mortality. The photos often outlive their subject, evidence of the inevitability and reliability of deterioration. Other themes that occur throughout Deacon’s varied practice are childhood, child rearing, and the particular challenges that kids face growing up in Appalachia.