Hillis Arnold


Deafened by spinal meningitis as an infant, Hillis Arnold, born on a North Dakota farm, had no recollection of sound. His schooling was oral/mainstreamed. He received his B.A. from University of Minnesota in 1933, then attended several art schools. In 1938, on the recommendation of the renowned sculptor Carl Milles, Arnold joined the faculty of Monticello College (now Lewis & Clark Community College), a prestigious private junior college for women in Godfrey, Illinois, as professor of sculpture and ceramics. He taught there for 34 years—beloved, friendly, funny, and unforgettable. Communication wasn’t a problem; he was a skilled speechreader. He employed a variety of media—marble, steel, copper, terra cotta, fiberglass, and plastic aluminum, for his stylized, graceful works. They can be seen in museums, churches, commercial buildings, and schools. As he said, “Because I am deaf, I am a better observer.”

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