De’VIA: The Manifesto Comes of Age

November 7, 2019-February 16, 2020

In 1989 a group of Deaf artists and a Deaf art historian convened to discuss contemporary art by Deaf artists. Recognizing a growing body of work that explicitly explored Deaf culture and Deaf experience, the group issued a manifesto that proclaimed a new genre of art, articulated its defining features, and named it: De’VIA: Deaf View/Image Art.

During the movement’s 30th anniversary year, the Memorial Art Gallery is pleased to host De’VIA: The Manifesto Comes of Age with work by the genre’s precursors, founders, and artists whose work reflects the movement’s enduring influence. The exhibition draws principally from the permanent collection of RIT’s Dyer Arts Center, which is located on the campus of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The exhibition is curated by Tabitha Jacques, director of the Dyer Arts Center and Patricia Durr, artist and NTID faculty.

With one of the largest Deaf communities in the country, Rochester is often referred to as the country’s most Deaf-friendly community, a reputation earned in part thanks to its strong educational commitments to Deaf Education, starting in 1876 with the founding of the Rochester School for the Deaf, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which was founded in 1965.

ARTiculating Deaf Experiences Conference
November 6-9, 2019 | National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a College of RIT

Many conferences covering Deaf Studies tend to address different topics within the field without always being able to offer in-depth examination of artifacts produced by Deaf culture. This conference will widen the breadth of Deaf Studies, offering a more comprehensive view of Deaf Experiences. The conference also coincides with the 30th Anniversary of Deaf View/Image Art and the 10th Anniversary of Surdism.

download the app: MUSE AI

Search the Apple Store for the MAG De’VIA app or if you are on an android here is a LINK TO GOOGLE PLAY or use the QR Code below.

This app has been designed by NTID to be the most accessible museum app available anywhere. Especially for this exhibition, it houses 12 videos featuring artists in the show signing information about their work on view.

You can also view the videos here:

Uzo Buzgalo, Beauty of Diversity, 2008-2010

Arnaud Balard, L’Abée de L’Epée, 2013

David Call, Your Joy, My Pain, 2013

Susan Dupor, Pussy, 1994

Takiyah Harris, Diverse Deaf People Were Starving to Eat AGB Fish, 2015

Paul Johnston, Deaf Education Pinball, 2008

Ellen Mansfield, I will Never Forget, 2013

Theresa Matteson, Love Comes in Diversity, 2009

Mary Rappazzo, A Party of One, 2012-2013

Nancy Rourke, Second Wave of Milan, 2015

Pamela Witcher, My Heart is a Village, 2004-2011

Guy Wonder, Forbidden Sign Language Alphabet, 2009

Programs and Tours

The Past, Present, and Future of De’VIA
Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 7 pm
Brenda Schertz, Senior Lecturer, Linguistics Department, Cornell University
Delivered in American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreted in spoken English, and simultaneously accessible via live captioning (Communication Access Real-time Translation/CART). Included in museum admission.

Especially for Educators: De’VIA: The Manifesto Comes of Age
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 4:30–7 pm | $15
Patricia Durr, artist and co-curator of the De’VIA exhibition wil speak and offer a guided workshop. Please register at 585.276.8971 or email
The program will be led in ASL and interpreted in spoken English.

TOURS will be accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences and are included with museum admission.

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Friday, November 15, 2019
Friday, December 6, 2019

Additional Information
Press Release
News 8 Now ~ Memorial Art Gallery is showcasing Deaf art, and celebrates the 30th anniversary of a Deaf art collective called “De’VIA.”
RIT/NTID Has Developed a Museum App for Art Lovers
RIT/NTID hosts conference on literary and artistic works about deaf experiences, Nov. 6-9

art above by Nancy Rourke, Second Wave of Milan, 2015