Saturday, July 18, 2015


IMPACT  at 1975 Gallery
Rochester, New York

Muralism - The art of getting up on a wall and letting the audience see the process unfold.  That is part of the goal of Wall / Therapy, taking painting out of the cloistered studio environment and out into broad daylight - at a giant architectural scale.  As Wall / Therapy commences this summer in Rochester, New York, go out and find the new sites - and even if you don't get a chance to see an artist's work in progress, the paintings will remain long after the artists have cleaned up and moved on.

"Cloud Tails" painting by Nate Hodge
1975 Gallery

On a more intimate scale, the 1975 Gallery has just launched the 2015 Wall / Therapy season with an indoor show they call "IMPACT" which pairs local artists with some new found friends in Europe called Urban Nation.  IMPACT has some very talented artists from both scenes, and the works for sale range from limited edition prints and works on cardboard, to a very moving trio of paintings by Andreas Englund of a fellow that reminded me of the movie "Bird Man".

"Sotofish Purple" by Jeff Soto

I am a fan of the Wall / Therapy concept, and I even contributed to the practice of "Muralism" years ago with my class at R.I.T. - when we painted a large scale wall work in the parking garage below the Family Court building for the non-profit group CASA.  I know about the process, which first starts with getting permission from building owners, and then finding funds for the art materials.  For this year's Wall / Therapy project the curators Erich Lehman and Dr. Ian Wilson found funding success on the crowd source site Indiegogo.  You can donate to the cause if you go on the web:

At 1975 Gallery you can find rugged graffiti and very sophisticated painting right next to one another and this tells you something about the current art world - this is pluralism writ large.  Many of the works on view have a basis in descriptive representation and often an underlying narrative which you can begin to parse.

Prints for Sale
Onur and Wes21

Nate Hodge is a local artist who will be painting a mural this summer on Atlantic Avenue, and in the gallery he is represented by "Cloud Tails" - a composition that has a lot of movement and turbulence.
Another painting looks like a wrestling match in various values of grey - we will just call it an "action painting".

"Together We Fall" by Li-Hill

There are some funny prints up in the back by Onur and Wes21 - and I was engaged by the  ones called "Eat or Be Eaten" and the other called "Happy Meal "  These are photos of actual murals that were painted for locations outside of Rochester.  Unfortunately, you don't get the sense of immense scale that seeing the real thing would bring to a viewer.

Close Up by Andreas Englund

A trio of portraits may be the most moving images in this present show, and they are photo realistic paintings of an aging super-hero figure.  Andreas Englund is a well respected artist from Sweden and this is part of a very large series that deals with the aging process.

"Blooming Mind" by Brittany Williams

The artists are having fun and bringing attention to the city of Rochester.  It will become a destination to see what is going up on the walls, transforming blank walls into something that captures the imagination and gets people to talk and have a conversation about art and life.  Go and check them out this summer!