Dyer Arts Center exploring ‘Deaf History through Deaf Art’
The Joseph C. and Helen F. Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf recently received a grant through the Terra Foundation for American Art’s Re-envisioning Permanent Collections: A Special Initiative for U.S. Museums program.
The goal of Dyer’s project, “Shaped by the American Dream: Deaf History through Deaf Art,” is for the public to develop a greater understanding of the deaf community’s place in American history. The exhibition is an opportunity to broaden the narrative of American history by telling a nuanced story about deaf Americans.
The Dyer Arts Center houses several galleries that showcase artworks created by current students, alumni and artists. Its mission is to inspire conversation, explore identities and unite communities through deaf art. The center mounts three to four large in-person exhibitions annually, with an average of eight additional exhibitions in the smaller galleries.
“Our center’s values are to educate the deaf community about its rich cultural heritage, and to showcase the cultural production of deaf and hard-of-hearing people,” director Tabitha Jacques said. “This grant will help to enhance those values and reach a wider audience.”