Kelsie Grazier


Kelsie Grazier is a contemporary visual artist based in Ladner, British Columbia. She explores the concept of identity and self through her paintings. Kelsie works primarily with the traditional medium of oil paint on translucent mylar paper. Her art is created through an intuitive process that blends painterly aspects with fluid lines. She studied painting at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She went on to receive her teaching degree in Secondary Art Education and her Masters in Deaf Education at the University of British Columbia. Kelsie was born with a mild-moderate hearing loss but suddenly became deaf at the age of twenty four. Currently, her paintings depict her life experiences becoming Deaf.

Artist Statement

My work comes from my need to simplify and investigate my recent sudden deafness. Along with being deaf, I experience a particular sound every day in the form of tinnitus; a persistent, loud and unrelenting radio static. Out of necessity, the paintings are calm and meditative, with muted colours and minimal lines to pare back the excess.

With my body of work, White Noise, I am defining my visual and auditory experiences as it relates to my deafness and tinnitus. Titles like, You Don’t Look Deaf, give light to different situations that a deaf person encounters throughout their experience of navigating a hearing world. To challenge how society views and understands deafness, the titles along with the sound/light installations are intended to reframe people’s unconscious biases. The experience of losing my hearing at age twenty four and encountering hearing peoples’ perceptions of Deaf people has shifted my life and art practice. Thus, the paintings I create are the opposite of the feelings that difference, deafness and tinnitus evokes, a contrast of beautiful and displeasing.

I simplify movement: a gesture across the paper, my experience being deaf, and my relationship to sound. I manipulate the paint, both adding and omitting translucent brushstrokes complimented by drawn elements on layers of Mylar, a thin polyester film substrate. The resulting paintings are calm, with muted colours and minimal lines. Repetitive fine white lines demonstrate sound waves or lack thereof. 

My search for simplification draws inspiration from history, consciously and unconsciously. I am inspired by the Bauhaus movement- an institution of thought influential to modernist design. Departing from rigidity, the designs are fairly minimalist; fluid shapes with clean simple lines are used across the substrate. From these philosophies, my process intends to blend soft painterly aspects with the structure of line making. Movement, colour, and visual space create a vocabulary of marks. In a search for essential forms, I analyze the realities of being a deaf person in a world that is indeed not visual, but aural. 


b. 1989, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


2013-2015- Masters of Education- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, University of British Columbia

2012-2013- Bachelor of Education- Secondary Visual Arts, University of British Columbia

2010-2012- Bachelor of Fine Arts - Visual Arts Major in Painting, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

2007-2010- Fine Arts Diploma Program, Langara College


2018- Address Assembly, Vancouver

2017- PIENAARxGRAZIER, Vancouver

2012- Emily Carr Graduation Exhibition, Vancouver 

2010- Langara Graduation Exhibition, Vancouver

2010- Bust Art Social Auction, Vancouver

2009- Langara Buffalo Lounge Student Collective, Vancouver 

2006- Linda Jones Student Collective, Ladner

Artist in Residence

2018- Thrive Mural Residency, Vancouver

Press, Clippings and Publications

The Jealous Curator, Art For Your Ear Podcast, November 2018

Design Milk, September 2018

Rising Tide Society, “20 on the Rise,” September 2018

Sam Shaw, Makers Magazine, “Translating White Noise with Kelsie Grazier,” July 2018

Makers Magazine, Issue Six Movement Cover, July 2018

Belinda Love Lee, “Kelsie Grazier Branding Story,” June 2018

Whitespace Magazine, 2018

Real Weddings Magazine, 2017

House\\Weaving, Woven Paint Collection, 2017

CYL Community, “A Journey in Resilience,” 2017

CYL Community, “Meet Kelsie Grazier,” 2016


2018- Speaker, CHHA Youth Conference, Ottawa

2018- Speaker, Audiology Department- University of British Columbia, Vancouver

2018- Artist Talk, Thrive Art Studio, Vancouver

2012-2015- Panelist, PEER Program, BCFHRC, Surrey

2012- Panelist, Early Hearing Program Conference, Vancouver

2012- Panelist, International Congress for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Vancouver

Honours and Awards

2018- Bombay Sapphire x Artsy, Artisan Series Semi-Finalist, Canada

2018- Rising Tide Society, 20 on the Rise, San Francisco, USA

2014- Order of the Royal Purple and Elks Lodge Donor Bursary, Vancouver, BC

2013- Brissenden Scholarship in Art Education, Vancouver, BC

2007- Fine Arts Scholarship, Delta, BC