Fran Flaherty is a deaf artist living in Pittsburgh for over 25 years. As a first generation immigrant from the Philippines, her work is centered in issues surrounding migrant family relations and assimilation, maternal feminism, & disability aesthetics. She synthesizes traditional media (painting, printmaking, and ceramics) and physical computing (digital inkjet printing and 3D printing and modeling). She is also an educational consultant who specializes in building comprehensive digital fabrication labs. She founded Carnegie Mellon’s Digital Arts Studio in 2010 and Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s Cottage in 2014. In 2016 she began teaching Graphic Arts at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh.
Fran’s work is inspired by the care paradigm. A premise that human beings cannot survive alone and the progress of human beings, as a species, flows from our identity as social animals, connected to one another through ties of love, kinship, and clanship. It is the prosepect of this harmony that inspired her to create Anthropology of Motherhood, an ongoing project which elevates the act to care-giving through fine art by transforming mundane objects of caregiving to into valuable art pieces. She also transforms busy public spaces into immersive installations that serve as places of respite for young children and their caregivers.
Fran currently resides in Allison Park, PA with her husband Tim, their sons, Liam, Sean, and Lucas, and her hearing dog Olympia