Dyer Arts Center Exhibits


Photo of people viewing artwork displayed in the gallery.The staff of the RIT/NTID Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center endeavors to show works by Deaf artists (including those who identify as DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened). The exhibition schedule is usually determined up to two years in advance, especially for the larger Williams Gallery.

You are welcome to submit a proposal to exhibit at any time. Please fill out the proposal form and email us at dyerartscenter@rit.edu if you have any questions about the form itself.

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.

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.

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.

Journeys: Deaf Refugee Art
Williams Gallery
Friday, February 4, 2022 - Friday, April 1, 2022
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Deaf refugees bring with them an array of experiences from their home countries in terms of language, culture and education. The artworks on display in this exhibition will give visitors insight into deaf refugee experiences. Creating and sharing artwork about traumatic experiences is challenging and can promote healing.

This exhibition includes refugee artists from U.S.-based organizations such as Think Self, Deaf Can!, Deaf New Americans, Inc., and Deaf Refugee Advocacy, along with artworks by well-known deaf refugee artists of the past, such as David Bloch and Igor Kolombatovic, and an emerging artist, Samareh Harirchian.  

[ID: a collage with images- clockwise from top left: man on horse in blue shirt, woman in pink and black striped spandex smiling with two women behind her, a god of Buddhism, an ear with acupuncture needles sticking in, two buildings with a road, a photograph of woman in white wedding dress, a photograph of a lizard under Ganesh (elephant with 4 arms), and infant Krishna in the bottom left.]

Maryam Hafizirad
Glass Room
Friday, February 4, 2022 - Friday, April 1, 2022

Maryam Hafizirad is a Deaf Canadian Persian painter and sculptor. A graduate of Isfahan University of Fine Arts (2002), Hafizirad had her first exhibition at age 18 in Iran. Her award-winning exhibitions have been featured in Iran, China, Germany, Malaysia, India and Canada. Hafizirad’s early works were dark in subject and color and depicted Persian classical lore. 

This exhibit features two installations: “Eyes Must be Washed” and “Unmasked.” These installations involve colorful, glazed ceramic sculptures and affirm her Deaf identity, the gracefulness of sign language, and the quiet strength of life itself.

This is Not Normal: Deaf Modernist Sensibilities
Williams Gallery
Friday, February 26, 2021
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Modernism in art is largely a product of the Industrial Revolution and is characterized by the challenging of accepted norms in the fine arts. Starting with Gustave Courbet in the late 19th Century, who took the radical approach of depicting everyday life in his art, Modernism has also become a space for confronting issues like social justice and equity in modern life, and has become an important influence in Deaf art.

This exhibit includes some really great pieces from deaf and hard-of-hearing artists who comment on everything from global issues--such as climate change and environmental degradation--to deaf-specific issues, such as mysterious barriers that appear for seemingly no reason. 

This exhibit includes more than 60 contributions from 16 artists, including Susan Dupor, Angie Goto, Raymond Fuyama, Randy Dunham, and Zeinab Sadeghi Kaji. 

[ID: A square graphic is bisected by a white stripe with black text that reads: "THIS IS NOT NORMAL"; "OPENING FEBRUARY 26, 2021"; "7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern)"; "Dyer Arts Center"; "Register: bit.ly/deaf-modernist." Above the white stripe is Robin Bartholick's 2007 photo Rise of the Sea, depicting a group of people in business attire struggling through hip-deep water in front of a cloudy sky; below is Bartholick's 2007 photo Dead at Sea, depicting a group of people in business attire seemingly drowned and floating on the surface of steely-gray water, surrounding an upturned umbrella with a curved wooden handle pointing upright.]

Generational Oppression and Trauma (Black is Black: Blackity AF)
Williams Gallery
Friday, January 29, 2021
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Under the banner of "Black is Black: Blackity AF," an exhibit about Black Deaf life managed by guest curators Teraca Florence, Najma Johnson, Earl Terry, and Felicia Williams, this second exhibition focuses more specifically on themes of generational oppression and modern life as a Black Deaf person. 

The graphic for the exhibition has a black background. On the left side is Malika Freeman's 2020 work, "Sick of Criticism," which shows what appears to be a piece of paper cut into rectangles and squares tiled together. On the paper, on a red background at the top are letters spelling out "To avoid criticism," then below are hand-drawn flowers in colors including two shades of green, two of orange, and one of pink on a gray background, which appears to be cut out of a black background. On three of the flowers are the words "say," "be," and "do;" on the black background at bottom is the word "(nothing)." The total statement is: "To avoid criticism say/do/be (nothing)." On the right side is text detailing the exhibition and its opening reception information on January 28, 2021 from 7-9 p.m. (Eastern) via Facebook. Below that is the logo for the Dyer Arts Center and "Black is Black: Blackity AF."

Palettes of Nature
Williams Gallery
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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In collaboration with Zach Ennis, co-founder of deafgreenthumbs, this exhibit is a celebration of green and growing things--all the things provided by Mother Nature--as expressed through the eyes and hands of Deaf artists. Visit the exhibit.

[ID: Most of the square graphic is occupied by Miguel Díaz Calderon's Reflejo al Atardecer (Sunset Reflection), a 1997 painting that shows a lonely desert landscape under a vast multicolored sky. A storm is visible in the distance; two large trees that resemble cacti stand in the foreground, although they are small in comparison to the sky; the nearer tree shades a silhouetted man in a wide-brimmed hat and his dog. Superimposed on the painting is the text: "Palettes of Nature Flowering on September 22, 2020 A collaboration with Zach Ennis, co-founder of deafgreenthumbs." Below the painting and artist credit is the Dyer Arts Center logo on a black background.]

Black is Black: Blackity AF
Williams Gallery
Friday, September 4, 2020
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Black is Black: Blackity AF is an unapologetic celebration of Blackness and an unsparing look at what it means to be Black and Deaf in America. A response to the ongoing killings of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, catalyzed by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May 2020, and reinforced by the recent revelations around the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude here in Rochester, New York, this exhibition demands your attention and close examination. 

This exhibit was created and is curated by Teraca Florence, Najma Johnson, Earl Terry, and Felicia Williams.

Go to https://dyerartscenter.omeka.net/ to get started.

[ID: On a black rectangle, Serge Kiswensida Doamba's Debout, a black-and-white lithograph of an upraised fist, stands in the center, surrounded by an aura made of the Pan-African colors of red, black, and green. On the left side, "Black is Black" rises vertically in the same colors, while on the right side, "BLACKITY AF," also vertical stands in bold white. Along the bottom on the right side is the text "Opening September 4, 2020 Reception: Saturday, September 19, 2020 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern) via Zoom This exhibit was curated by Teraca Florence, Najma Johnson, Earl Terry, Felicia Williams" above the Dyer Arts Center's logo. At the very bottom left in small white text is the image credit: Debout, Serge Kiswensida Doamba, 2019.]

Deaf Queer Art
Williams Gallery
Friday, March 6, 2020 - Saturday, April 18, 2020
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With works from nearly 50 artists, this exhibit is a partnership with the Deaf Queer Resource Center features a Deaf perspective on life in the LGBTQ+ community.

Featuring pieces from artists ages 9 to 75, there's something for everyone!