Artists Deeply Rooted in the De’VIA Art Movement Featured at the RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center

Bright reds, blues and yellows, displayed alongside black and white linocuts, are the hallmarks of the latest exhibit from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Dyer Arts Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “20/20: A Two Person Show,” which runs until February 22, features the eye-catching works of artists Nancy Rourke and David Call, two artists deeply rooted in the De’VIA art movement. De’VIA, which stands for ‘Deaf View Image Art’, is an art form that depicts Deaf artists and perceptions based on their Deaf experiences.

The title of the exhibition is based on the idea of ​​visual acuity, expressed through Rourke and Call’s attempts to clarify and understand what is often overlooked or undiscussed within the Deaf community and to raise awareness among the Deaf social, political and cultural issues. community. Dyer Art Center Director Tabitha Jacques said the works of these two artists complement each other and allow visitors to appreciate the differences between each artist’s techniques while learning more about the history of the community.

Through what is known as Deafism or Deaf Art Activism, Rourke and Call portray the joy and beauty of American Sign Language and contrast the accomplishments of Deaf people with the atrocities of language deprivation and the limited access to education.

“Nancy and David are both brilliant artists who have coordinated to put together an exceptional exhibition,” said Jacques.

The center will host a free artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 14, open to the public. Other events include a presentation, “De’VIA: Past, Present and Future,” Feb. 13-15, focusing on the De’VIA art movement to coincide with the De’VIA-focused “20/20” exhibits at the Dyer as well as the closing of De’VIA’s inaugural exhibition at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery. The agenda for the three-day event includes presentations by artist and author Karen Christie, Rourke and Nancy Creighton, one of De’VIA’s founders, at the Dyer; a Call conference at RIT/NTID on Friday; and a painting evening with Rourke on Saturday. Tickets for the painting night are $35.

In support of “20/20”, a small exhibition “#DeVIAChallenge” in the Glass Gallery at the Dyer Arts Center features examples of work by deaf artists from around the world. The Challenge, Rourke’s project, presents a pool of deaf art created by both professional artists and those just starting out in their artistic careers.

The gallery is located on the RIT campus at Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the Dyer Arts Center website.

Christopher S. Washington