Christopher and Peter Artinian

25 07 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Christopher Artinian and his son, Peter, at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) convention last month in Crystal City, Virginia. Chris is the CEO and president of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc., and was the keynote speaker during the convention opening session.

The Artinian family is the subject of Sound and Fury, the 2001 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature. Directed by Josh Aronson, the film tells the story of two brothers: Chris, who was born with hearing, and his older brother Peter, who was born deaf. Both brothers married and both had children who were born deaf. The difficult decision to provide cochlear implants for their children ripped the family apart. Chris and his wife Mari chose to have a cochlear implant for their son while Chris’s brother and his wife Nita, decided they weren’t quite ready for such a medical procedure for their three deaf children. The families finally came full circle and have put the period of “fury” behind them.

Chris and Mari live in Illinois with their five children. He attended Villanova University, and is a longtime supporter of the March of Dimes, Rotary Club and various charities related to children with cochlear implants.

In 2006, Aronson finished Sound and Fury: Six Years Later, a follow-up to Sound and Fury. Click here for an interesting read from pbs.org on director Josh Aronson’s motivation to create Sound and Fury.

Click here to read ‘Sound and Fury Update: A Family Comes Together Again, by Karen Putz, director of Illinois Families for Hands & Voices.

Above, top right: Peter shares his hearing loss experience with Convention attendees. Left: Chris and Pete making their rounds in the exhibit hall at Convention 2011. Below, top photo: Christopher Artinian and his son, Peter. Second photo: HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat, Christopher Artinian, HLAA Board President Pete Fackler, and Peter Artinian

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.