CBS News: DeafBlind artist on Long Island finds his true voice through his sculptures
By Carolyn Gusoff, CBS News | January 18, 2023
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — A DeafBlind man is learning to communicate a whole new way. He is creating expressive sculptures, thanks to training at the Helen Keller National Center on Long Island.
On Wednesday, CBS2 spoke to Brooklyn-born Tony Giordano.
“When I make this copper art, it just makes me feel so amazing and it makes me feel like I’m inspiring others,” Giordano said.
The 58-year-old uses copper tubes to convey his creative vision.
Giordano was born deaf, and four years ago diabetes left him blind, too.
“Prior to that, I was able to work, I was as able to see, go about my business. Being deaf wasn’t a challenge, but losing my vision was,” Giordano said.
For decades, his skilled hands worked in a welding career and as a luxury car mechanic. Now, at the Helen Keller National Center in Port Washington, Giordano has learned tactile sign language and how to express himself in what’s thought of as a visual medium.
“Art is really such a powerful way for people to communicate, and it’s a universal language that everyone could relate to,” art teacher Antonia Isnardi said.
Each of his metal sculptures conveys something about his personal mettle — remarkably overcoming challenges. One sold for $1,000 at a Southampton art gallery — the sign for: I love you.
“I’m trying to show everybody that there is just love, there is love all around, and I want people to recognize the work I am doing is just showing beauty,” Giordano said.
He’s not in it for the money, but, rather, acceptance.
“I want them to see that somebody who is DeafBlind can actually do something just like anybody else,” Giordano said.
And create something beautiful.
“Some things we can’t express in words, and for Tony, he discovered this. And now this could become for him another possibility for earning extra income or connecting him with his community, with artists,” said Susan Ruzenski, CEO of Helen Keller Services.
Giordano will leave the center this spring with skills to earn a living repairing bicycles, and a new way to communicate through art.
“I want people to have the same feeling that I do when I make them,” Giordano said.
A feeling that touches the heart.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of Giordano’s sculptures, you can contact the Helen Keller National Center.