Dyer Arts Center

About the Center

Photo of woman at looking at wall of art works.The Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at NTID houses several state-of-the-art galleries that showcase artworks created by current students, alumni, and artists who are nationally and internationally renowned. All of these artists are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or allies of the Deaf community.

The center also hosts art-related educational activities such as lectures and demonstrations, and serves as a multi-use facility on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. The center is unique among other galleries on campus for its permanent collection of works by deaf and hard of hearing artists.

Thanks to a leadership gift from the late Joseph and Helen Dyer, long-time supporters of NTID, the center opened in the fall of 2001.

Joseph and Helen Dyer
Long-time supporters of NTID, Joseph and the late Helen Dyer, are deaf college graduates. They completed college in a time when very few deaf people did, and they did so as mainstreamed students without any support or access services.

In 1997, the couple established the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Endowed Scholarship Fund at NTID. The fund benefits NTID/RIT students in good academic standing. In early 2000, the Dyers pledged $2.5 million to fund construction and development of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at NTID.

"NTID at RIT is of great importance to the deaf community," says Joseph Dyer. "Helen and I wanted to help support NTID, which has made significant contributions to deaf education, technology and the arts."

Mr. Dyer attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the 1930s and became an engineer for a pharmaceutical company.

Hailing from Iowa, Mrs. Dyer's father moved to New York City to become an accomplished corporate attorney with many high-level contacts across America. He developed an appreciation for art, which he passed on to his daughter. Mrs. Dyer attended Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA., and received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Helen Dyer, 90, of Delray Beach, FL., passed away on Sept. 9, 2001. She was an avid artist who enjoyed oil painting. "We believe the arts are a large component of a well-rounded college education," Helen Dyer said before her death. "Expression through art for deaf people is especially meaningful and beneficial."

Elizabeth W. Williams
The Elizabeth W. Williams Gallery is the main gallery of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center, and serves a multitude of functions, including the exhibition of works by various artists, seminars, and hospitality functions for both NTID and RIT.

The gallery was made possible by a $500,000 gift from long-time NTID supporter, the late Elizabeth "Cookie" Williams.

Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer
The Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Gallery is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing young people, Ray Ohringer funded construction of the Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Gallery in the Dyer Arts Center. Ray, who retired from IBM after 34 years, lives in New York, NY and Boca Raton, FL. She and her late husband, Milton, who was a certified public accountant, established The Milton H. and Ray B. Ohringer Endowed Scholarship Fund at NTID.

The Dyer Arts Center was originally designed and set up as an exhibit space to showcase and house art, including temporary exhibits and NTID’s Permanent Collection of Art. This is the main priority for the use of the space and like other art galleries on campus, it is not an appropriate venue for general events. Events that are scheduled in the NTID Dyer Arts Center are directly associated with the mission of NTID/RIT and specifically sponsored and paid for by either the RIT or NTID Presidents’ or Development Offices. The space is not available to external organizations without the consent of the NTID President. When this consent occurs, then a rental contract is issued through the RIT Office of Special Events.

The capacity of the NTID Dyer Arts Center varies depending on the size of the exhibit in the space. The RIT Environmental Health & Safety Office has put a limit of 100 people for most gatherings in the space. Any event larger than 100 people must also use the first-floor “street” of the LBJ Hall.

The Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at RIT/NTID welcomes all visitors.

Except for major institute holidays, summer session, exhibit installations, and scheduled special events, the Gallery's hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and by appointment.

The Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center is a state-of-the-art facility at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. It is located inside the Lyndon Baines Johnson Building. The postal address is 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623.

From the Airport:
Turn right onto Brooks Avenue, then a quick right onto I-390 South. From 390, take the next exit (Scottsville Road) and turn right at the end of the ramp. Drive for approximately three miles, then turn left onto Jefferson Road (Route 252). Proceed east a short distance to the second campus entrance. Turn right onto campus at Lowenthal Road at the stop light just before the Radisson Inn.

From the NYS Thruway:
Take Exit 46. Immediately after exiting, get on I-390 North and refer to directions below:

  • From I-390:
    Take Exit 13 (Hylan Drive). Take a left onto Hylan Dr. and continue north to Jefferson Road (Route 252). Then and take a left at the light. Proceed west a short distance to the main campus. Turn left onto campus at Lowenthal Road at the stop light just after the Radisson Inn.
  • After entering campus:
    At the first stop sign (end of Lowenthal Road), you will be facing Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Hall. Make a left turn onto Andrews Memorial Drive and then a right turn onto Lyon Crescent. There are signs for visitor parking and also twenty minute parking is allowed in designated spaces with flashers turned on. As you enter the front doors of LBJ, the gallery is located on the first floor just off the lobby to the right.

Featured Exhibits

Shaped by the American Dream: Deaf History through Deaf Art
Williams Gallery
Friday, July 1, 2022 - Friday, April 21, 2023

Shaped by the American Dream: Deaf History through Deaf Art is on exhibition starting July 1, 2022 through April 21, 2023 located at the main gallery. Celebrating the Deaf American experience through identity, citizenship, sociality, education and movements for equality. The exhibition will be presented in both spoken English and signed American Sign Language.

This exhibition has been made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Terra Foundation of American Art – featuring artworks by thirty natural-born and immigrant Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing artists practicing in a variety of media. With over 140 artworks, the exhibition predominately features works from the Dyer’s permanent collection and selected loans from the late 19th century. The artwork juxtaposed in a variety of subject matter highlight the Deaf American experience from 1889 through 1989.

Harry Williams: A Retrospective
Ohringer Gallery
Monday, August 1, 2022 - Friday, March 17, 2023

Harry Williams: A Retrospective on exhibition in the Ohringer gallery on the second floor starting August 1st until March 17, 2023.

Justin LeBlanc’s Signwaves: Reimagined
Glass Room
Monday, August 1, 2022 - Friday, April 21, 2023

Justin LeBlanc’s Signwaves: Reimagined is on exhibition in the Glass Room starting August 1, 2022 through April 21, 2023. The SignWaves collection was originally presented during New York Fashion Week in August 2013. LeBlanc’s striking architectonic designs and willingness to take risks earned him a spot in the season 12 finale of Project Runway. Sign language is LeBlanc’s first language, which is a language requiring the whole body to be engaged while communicating with others. This translates into his collection exploring capturing energy and vibrations in sound through 3-D printing, traditional embellishments, laser cutting, and engineered print design. Through these technological designs, the 3D printed accessories capture the motion of sign language by scanning the energy and motions of words like “courage”, “joy”, and “beauty”. The unique language gives the communicator the freedom to express themselves in a way that can’t be seen through sound. This collection is dedicated to the incredible deaf community.

Big Read: NTID "Deaf Republic" Art Exhibit
Ohringer Gallery
Monday, April 3, 2023 - Friday, April 28, 2023
event photo

View artworks inspired by the book, "Deaf Republic" by Ilya Kaminsky at the Ohringer Gallery in the Dyer Arts Center.

This exhibit is part of the Big Read: NTID initiative.


If you wish to contribute to the Dyer Arts Center with a supporting or memorial gift, you may do so by check or online. Thank you very much for your support of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center.

To make a donation by check 
  • Make your check payable to:
    NTID Dyer Foundation
  • Mail your check to:

    NTID Dyer Arts Center
    52 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623

To make a donation online
  • Go to the Gift page
  • Select/enter gift amount
  • Choose Additional Designations
  • In the Search box, enter dyer
  • Select the Dyer related fund(s) for your gift and click Done
  • Check any gift type boxes, enter info, and click Continue
  • Enter your personal and payment information and Submit