Co-Lab thru December 18th at Gallery r
100 College Avenue
Rochester, New York
Just being an artist doesn't necessarily mean that you belong to a group. Today, the art world is fragmented, and there is no overpowering ism to pay attention to like there was fifty years ago with abstract expressionism or a hundred and thirty years ago when there was impressionism. Still, there are benefits today for an aggregation of artists - they can collaborate on ideas, grow into an artist's cooperative, and then blossom as a movement.
As with other membership organizations there are dues to pay, and that can mean many years in the trenches keeping up your practice, and if you can afford it - finding ways to pay for all those art materials and a studio rent. Sometimes artists may form a group to make a statement and maybe that group can take off and have broad impact like Wall Therapy does - here in Rochester.
"Nothing is Something" includes work by
We can see the start of something like this in the show at Gallery r called: " Co-Lab" where students from the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at R.I.T. gather their forces to make interesting imagery. In the main room we have installations including "Nothing is Something" and its various parts reiterate the title in funny ways. How often do you go into a gallery and see an empty picture frame, or a chair with the seat part taken out, and a book with the center of its pages cut away?
Co-Lab at Gallery r
In the next darkened room are dramatic projections on the wall and some real three dimensional forms that stop me in my tracks. The projectors cast images that are part animation, part computer art, seen in conjunction with real sculptural aspects ( an axe in a tree-trunk for example ). Across the room there is a projection on an form that looks like a sharp tooth powered by a computer with a little keyboard that allows the visitor to change the imagery - very user friendly.
Staying engaged as a larger group, through membership - is part of what keeps alive the arts organizations and it is necessary to support institutions like Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Visual Studies Workshop and The Memorial Art Gallery. This weekend, RoCo celebrated this partnership with local artists with the opening of its 26th Annual Members Exhibition, and I was there and the place was PACKED!
Opening night for the 26th Annual Members Exhibition
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
137 East Avenue
Rochester, New York
It is great to see the community come out to support the arts, visitors to this big show can choose their favorite work on view and give it a yellow dot. Discoveries are made, and sometimes a sale can be made on the spot. This is the kind of show that you have to go back and see when the crowd has thinned out - so you can actually look at the artwork ( although I do love the social aspect of the opening ).
A dialog with visual art
"Driver and Mechanic"
Considering the craft traditions in western New York - I am surprised to not see much in this present gathering. Sculptural works are often relegated to a table top, and they don't always work well together. I did see a couple of funny vehicles parked inside the new show - is this a trend? If you want to hear more about the art from the artists and makers there is a series of back-to-back artist talks at the gallery, so for more information call them at (585) 461-2222.
Painting by Tarrant Clements
The walls at RoCo are jammed with art of all kinds and styles. Facing me as I walked in was a fine little painting by Tarrant Clements with her usual inventive abstraction whose characters talk a kind of sign language. There are other funny pieces in the show including a droll photographic statement about toilet paper. Whatever floats your boat - go see the show and enjoy!