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Half-deaf Chico artist creates a mural in Downtown Chico for deaf awareness

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CHICO, Calif - Valerie Rose is a half-deaf CODA, child of deaf adults, an artist who created a mural in Downtown Chico for deaf awareness.

The mural is on the backside of the building housing Grana and North Rim Adventure Sports. It can be seen from East 1st St. and Wall St. 

Rose said she wanted to honor her language and the deaf community with the artwork. 

"I love art because people can interpret it in their own way, they can look at it in their own perspective and feel something from it, but I don’t want this mural to be a missed opportunity," Rose said. "I want to show very clearly, this is why I’m painting this mural, so bloom is there to be interpreted. It’s conceptual, it’s figurative, but I want that statement, If everyone learns sign language then we would be happier, to show what we are exactly trying to say. I want the communication to be direct." 

The mural has the sign of progression of blossom. It means to blossom like a flower and Rose also said it can mean people blossoming and opening up to understand others. 

American Sign Language is Rose's first language. She says the best feeling is when people from the community react to her piece and care how much it means to them. 

Dylan Tellesen is a muralist as well and was Rose's assistant for this project. He said this mural is great and will hopefully start a conversation about more inclusivity for the deaf community.

"We had countless people just coming by and thanking us for doing it and for the message," Tellesen said.

Co-owner of the building that houses Grana and North Rim Adventure Sports who donated their wall to Rose for the mural, John Alden, says he immediately accepted Rose's mural idea and is glad to add a little bit to Downtown Chico.

"Valerie had a great concept, it meant a lot to her with the message she was trying to bring across. It just seemed like the right thing to do," Alden said. 

North Valley Community Foundation funded this mural. 

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