Maryam Hafizirad

DMG Educator-in-Residence

Artist and educator Maryam Hafizirad is participating in a five-month residency at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, researching, planning and creating programming for the exhibition #CripRitual, with a focus on accessibility, and engaging the Deaf community.


Maryam Hafizirad is an international award-winning Deaf Canadian Persian painter and sculptor. She is a freelance visual artist, curator, teacher, mentor, and advocate for Deaf artists. A graduate of Isfahan University of Fine Arts (2002), her exhibitions have been featured in Iran, China, Germany, Malaysia, India, Canada, and the United States. Maryam’s Persian classical early works were dark in subject and colour, with women’s faces and bodies forbidden. When she moved to Malaysia and settled in Canada, her work transformed. She began painting using Persian and Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA) metaphors with strong contrasting colours and textures, and incorporating Deaf experience and values. Pomegranates were symbols of hidden love released, fish in water represented sincere human beings in her silent world of pure visual beauty, and birds embodied her newfound freedom as a Deaf woman in this new country. Maryam studied ceramic sculpting with Keyvan Fehri, master sculptor of ancient Persian ceramic firing techniques. Her recent work includes Persian and De’VIA symbols in large mixed-media installations combining ceramics, colourful glazed sculptures, large eyes, and handshapes. These installations affirm her Deaf identity, graceful sign language, quiet strength, and the visual beauty of life itself.


The Doris McCarthy Gallery Educator-in-Residence Program provides an emerging arts professional with mentorship and resources in order to research, plan, and implement a schedule of programs and outreach for specific exhibitions and audiences. Residents will advance their own creative practice, challenging both themselves and Gallery visitors to engage with art in new and innovative ways.