RIT/NTID’s Dyer Arts Center hosts showcase to bring deaf and art communities together

abstract art painting of a woman with short dark hair with Choose to Rejoice in red on her chest.

The Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will host an exhibit by members of Arena Art Group entitled “Explorations: A Visual Conversation.” The show opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. June 17 and runs through Aug. 20 in RIT’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The summer-long exhibit features paintings, mixed media, photographs, installations and sculpture and addresses the theme of communication across cultures and includes events that are structured specifically to include deaf and hard-of-hearing members of the Rochester community.

“Members of the Arena Art Group were asked to produce works that specifically addressed our theme,” said Sharon Jeter, co-chair of the exhibit committee. “Many have commented that the directive required them to dig deeper and think harder about their own cultural norms and how they related to others in their community, specifically with deaf and hard of hearing people. I am very proud of the work that we are bringing to this exhibit and hope that it will spur thoughtful discussion among those that we share it with.”

Each work is accompanied by a written personal statement by the artist about the piece and its importance.

For Rochester artist Lee Hoag, an American Sign Language interpreter for Monroe BOCES, the exhibit has special significance. His father, the late Ralph L. Hoag, was instrumental in helping RIT become the host site for NTID more than 50 years ago, and was the author of “The Origin and Establishment of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.”

“I have a deep connection to RIT/NTID through my father, and my pieces in this exhibit are dedicated to his memory,” Hoag said.

Arena Art Group is in the process of finalizing specifics concerning the events that will accompany the show. They are looking to include artist guided tours, panel discussions and informational talks. American Sign Language interpreters will be requested.

“The RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center and Arena Art Group have collaborated on numerous occasions,” said Tabitha Jacques, Dyer Arts Center director. “This is the first time that we’ve focused on bringing together two large communities in Rochester—the art community and the deaf community. We’re excited to see what creative ideas and discussions happen as a result.”

For more information and directions to the gallery, go to http://www.rit.edu/ntid/dyerarts.