Black woman with curly hair past her shoulders. She is smiling toward the photographer while holding the camera with her leg crossed on the sidewalk lined by trees. Photo captured by Tami Ahmad.
Ebony R. Gooden | Photo: Tami Ahmad

Ebony R. Gooden

Month of the Artist celebrates the valuable contributions artists make to Alberta

Ebony R. Gooden

Ebony R. Gooden is the only Black Deaf artist living in Calgary, Canada. She is an emerging artist, filmmaker, and activist.

Her unique voice has intersectionality layers, where it is incredibly essential for her to show hearing people what it is like to be Deaf and Black. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

How do you describe yourself as an artist?

I graduated from Gallaudet University with a bachelor in digital media and art, but I identify as an emerging artist.

What does living a creative life mean to you?

Living a creative life is always to explore things and continually grow as an artist, much like how computers frequently need to be updated. That is why I chose to graduate with a bachelor of digital media and arts because my degree allowed me to explore things without restricting myself to one particular type of art. That includes photography, filming, graphic design, etc. I’m currently taking animation classes at the Quickdraw Animation Society, and I am in love with it.

What do you love about Calgary, and what is one place you go to find inspiration in Calgary?

I am beyond thankful for Rumble House because they were among the first people who welcomed me with open arms. Things are always different every time I visit!

If you could do one thing this year to make Calgary a better place to live, what would it be?

It is essential for me to create a safe space for BIPOC Deaf artists in Calgary to grow the community here to thrive. The lack of accessibility is an ongoing barrier that makes it difficult for me to grow as an artist beyond the Deaf community. It is to take any classes, attend workshops, or go to events, festivals, or networking opportunities because of that barrier because of my need to have an ASL interpreter.

What piece of advice would you give to an emerging artist?

USE SOCIAL MEDIA! Social media is one of the most powerful tools for an artist to have. Yes, the number of followers does matter, but it should never be used to measure your success as an artist. It is merely a tool for you to share your work as a portfolio where you can show your growth.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently applying for grants to do my animation project called Miscommunication in Our Language to address language deprivation.

I am also creating animations of Black Deaf people signing in ASL for my new page called Signing While Black, which I hope to launch in October. Keyword: Hope. I’m opening up my restaurant this month too! IG: @SigningWhileBlack


About Alberta’s Month of the Artist

September is the Month of the Artist in Alberta, an annual celebration of artists and the value they bring to the province, both socially and economically.

Dedicated by the Government of Alberta, the Month of the Artist is a way to say thank you for making the province a better place to live.

Calgary Arts Development is pleased to share the stories of artists who choose to live and work in Calgary.

Have a story to share? Email us at news@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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