Patti Durr, Mixed-Media Artist, Playwright and Filmmaker

1985, BA, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York;
1986, MS, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.

Patti is Associate Professor in the Cultural and Creative Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. In 2004 Patti received RIT’s Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching.

“My faculty colleague and curator of the Mythology Images Exhibit at the Dyer Arts Center at NTID (Fall 2006), Paula Grcevic made me make the works you see in the portfolio!  Seriously, Paula kept pointing the finger at me to say – “i want you to have work in the show.”  It is somewhat weighty to have someone believe in you more than you believe in yourself, and for that I am truly honored. I have created in words (scriptwriting), film (directing), and teaching. Now to create in visual art, and all by my lonesome, is challenging to me. The solitary vs. collaborative nature requires more courage than the other works I’ve done. For my artwork here I looked to collage and multimedia artists Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and Betty G. Miller to guide my way.”

Durr was one of the founders of Lights On! Deaf Theatre, a community theatre company committed to plays about the Deaf experience, and served as artistic director for several years.  She wrote the play, META, about a Deaf Jewish survivor of the Holocaust being befriended by an African-American college student, which was produced by NTID and Lights ON! in 1993.  She was also artistic director of the first Deaf Rochester Film Festival (DRFF) in 2005.


Durr has made several educational videos for NTID/RIT:

  • The Grey Area: His Date / Her Rape
  • HIV and AIDS Prevention Video for Deaf Students
  • Me Too (monologues on relationship and sexual violence)
  • Deaf Artists Interviews (with Paula Grcevic) (see Artists Interviews in this site under Video)

Narrative films:

  • Don’t Mind? (with Elizabeth Sorkin)
  • Page Me (with Elizabeth Sorkin)

Documentary film:

  • EXODUS: A Deaf Jewish Family Escapes the Holocaust

Durr has also been information architect, content expert / curator, and producer of two websites for NTID/RIT:


Articles Written by Patti Durr:

De’VIA: Investigating Deaf Visual Art
De’VIA Resistance