Monday, December 9, 2019

Really Cool

Rochester Contemporary Art Center
137 East Avenue, Rochester, New York
now thru January 12, 2020

Our community benefits from a vibrant collection of artists and there is the facility to organize and present exhibitions of quality like the new 29th Annual that just opened this week at Rochester Contemporary Art Center.  Congratulations to Bleu Cease and to the artists whose support during these years has made this venue so necessary.  My hopes extend to the new County Executive, Adam Bello, who I think has heard from the arts community and should make every effort to engage and deliver for this constituency.

Emily Bellinger and her fabric arts at RoCo

When I first moved here 30 years ago from New York City, I found an active Arts & Cultural Council -but this entity does not seem to represent the many visual artists here today that could benefit from the support that they are due.  I hope the needs of the arts community don't get lost in the shuffle and I know that the current political climate does not help much at all.  When I stopped in to see the 29th Annual Member show at RoCo I am so thankful that there are so many visual artists on a creative streak.  This exhibition shows that there is something for everyone, every taste and talent, and it takes some time to see the real diversity not only in the use of materials but in the use of the collective imagination.

Bold colors from Judy Gohringer

Over the years I have been going around to see exhibitions I have gotten to know a portion of the folks whose artwork is presented here and I like to do my part to get the word out.  Some of my students have their new visions up for me to look at like Emily Bellinger, whose art greets you at the door.  Some of the other artists in this show are themselves teachers, and with their guidance a community can grow.  Below is a work by a colleague of mine from R.I.T. and that is Bill Keyser.

He had a long career teaching in the School For American Craft with a specialty in woodworking, and he then retired to study painting at R.I.T. where he earned his MFA.  He was recently honored also with a exhibit of his work in the University Gallery.  At RoCo he has an unusual work that is part colorful painting and thoughtful sculpture.

Artwork by Bill Keyser at RoCo

It is a pleasure to look around the gallery in this 29th Annual Member's show, and you can vote for your favorite art.  Some of the pieces have already been sold, just in time for gifting during the holidays.  I saw that there were some red dots going along with the green stickers that people put up as a vote for their favorite work.  One of my choices might be a little painting by Phil Bliss which you can see below:

Phil Bliss, and his little painting has sold already..

Try to match up the works you see with people you may know.  Having been to many shows over the past twenty or so years, you can see how people evolve- or at least how their artwork changes.  In visual art how you work is as important as what you work with - paints, ceramics, wire, paper...whatever.  I also try to find something for my collection.  Maybe it would be the sculpture by Tarrant Clements ( see below )...

Sculpture by Tarrant Clements at RoCo

As in years past I always am looking for interesting sculpture.  With this new show there are a wide variety of materials being used including photography, and mixed media like the piece called: "Chill Raid Stream" by Shane Durgee, you see below.  I had the good fortune of including some of Shane's printmaking in a show I curated this past summer called: Process & Purpose.

Mixed media print by Shane Durgee

There are over three hundred artists represented in this show, so take some time and bring an open mind to the gallery and you are bound to be engaged by the experience, now thru January 25, 2020!

29th Annual Member Show at Rochester Contemporary Art Center