RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center

>>So the Dyer Arts Center focuses on deaf
and hard of hearing artists and their work. In our exhibits, we collect, we are
actively collecting work from deaf and hard of hearing artists. We have about 1,000 pieces in our archive
and we have them set up in various locations around here, NTID, for instance. The mission is to focus on deaf and hard
of hearing art. We are really lucky in an extremely unique
environment here – the only place in the U.S. you can find such a collection. A lot of people think that deaf art is something
simple to talk about – people are deaf and they’ve lost their hearing. But there are many complex layers to the deaf experience. Some people are profoundly deaf, some people
grow up in an oral environment, some people grow up using sign language, some people are
from a deaf family, some grow up in hearing families. So you can see the variety, and there’s a
whole variety of individual experiences based on those. Art ends up becoming a way for people outside
of that to look and be able to appreciate the complexities of deaf culture. As of late, we’re seeing that deaf art isn’t
talking about hearing loss so much or the idea of being deaf. There’s a shift in more about the identity
of gender, identity of race, showing people’s background experiences through the art work. We’re seeing that evolution happen in the
work. It’s beautiful to see. I want to show the whole picture of the deaf
art and where it’s coming from and that there’s a place for deaf art and that it’s really
starting to grow.

Dereck Turner

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