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

You Don’t Need to Hear to Listen and Anthrophony of Motherhood Intersections with Disability
Williams Gallery
Friday, December 1, 2023 - Friday, December 1, 2023
image of event

Join us for a closing reception and dance party featuring, You Don’t Need to Hear to Listen and Anthrophony of Motherhood Intersections with Disability, two thought-provoking exhibitions that explore the themes of disability, motherhood, and communication. The event is 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2023, in the Dyer Arts Center’s William Gallery in LBJ Hall.

Dyer Arts Center is pleased to welcome Rochester’s own DJ Key-Yo for a dance party to close out these groundbreaking exhibits. No registration is required to attend, and the event is free. Light bites and drinks will be provided.

For more information, contact Fran Flaherty, director of Dyer Arts Center and Advancement for Deaf Culture, at dyerartscenter@rit.edu.

[ID: Background is a photo from the immersive installation of Laurie Shapiro’s You Don’t Need to Hear to Listen. The walls are colorful and psychedelic with a blue hand-made lantern in the center of the image. The text on the image reads: You Don’t Need to Hear to Listen, Anthropology of Motherhood Intersections with Disability, Closing reception and dance party. December 1, 2023 5:30 – 8:30 PM, Dyer Arts Center, LBJ Bldg 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623]

You Don't Need to Hear to Listen
Ohringer Gallery, Williams Gallery
Monday, October 2, 2023 - Friday, December 8, 2023
image of event

Artist Laurie Shapiro will make her Rochester debut with “You Don’t Need to Hear to Listen,” a poignant exploration of her personal journey as a hard-of-hearing individual and how it has influenced her artistic expression. The exhibition is a captivating and introspective experience that encourages visitors to contemplate the profound connection between art, life, and the human experience. It is featured as part of Dyer Arts Center’s “Anthropology of Motherhood: Intersections with Disabilities” curation.

The heart of the exhibition features a 20-foot, hand-painted vinyl tunnel installation, “We Are All Connected to Each Other Through Nature.” Resembling stained glass, the installation invites viewers to interact with and find inspiration from various angles within the gallery space. In addition, Shapiro’s printed floral drawings guide visitors to the upstairs meditation room where they can immerse themselves in an atmosphere that encourages reflection and unity.

[ID: Art exhibit with colorful floral coverings on the walls, floor, and ceiling of an upper level room.]

Anthropology of Motherhood: Culture of Care
Williams Gallery
Monday, August 28, 2023 - Tuesday, December 5, 2023
image of event

The Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf invites you to Anthropology of Motherhood: Culture of Care, on view August 28 through December 5, 2023, in the Williams Gallery in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall.

Join us to explore artworks that offer diverse perspectives on the experience of disabled artists/mothers and disabled artists/caregivers, highlighting how deafness and disability shape the experience of caregiving, parenting, and motherhood, while challenging assumptions and stereotypes. Among the 20 works in the exhibition are pieces by artists with connections to RIT/NTID, including Patti Durr, retired associate professor in NTID’s Department of Culture and Creative Studies; Laural Hartman, lecturer in NTID’s Department of Visual Communications Studies; and the late Melissa Skyer, former senior lecturer in NTID’s Department of Science and Mathematics.

No registration is required to attend, and admission is free.

For more information, contact Fran Flaherty, Dyers Arts Center director.

[ID: Painting by Patti Durr, features a blue background with drawings of several people depicted, women with long red hair, persons with dark hair and glasses, and colorful splashes of red and orange.]


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