Rochester Contemporary Members Show, December 2022
137 East Avenue, Rochester, NY
Looking for a bit of inspiration in these cool months when the sun sets so early? I found my way over to the Rochester Contemporary galleries to look over the 32nd annual member's exhibition and spent some time looking around and also chatting with the Director, Bleu Cease. There is much there to delight the eye and stimulate the imagination.. As you walk into the gallery you may be asked to cast a vote for the artwork that has the most impact for you and maybe even entertain the idea of a purchase, because it is the Christmas season after all!
Emiliano Diaz greets you at the entrance to the member's show at RoCo
Emiliano Diaz has a painting in the front that offers an architectural slant on the show you are about to see and you can trust that there is a lot of variety ahead for the art enthusiast as well as the newcomer. Since I have been in the Rochester area for over 30 years I have participated in these shows and I always look forward to seeing the work of old friends and new acquaintances and I was not disappointed!
Jason Tennant was a neighbor of mine once in the Hungerford Building where he had a studio and here at RoCo he shares a wall with others like Judy Gohringer. On this wall we go from the two dimensional to a fully three dimensional expression that is part of the salon style hanging for this voluminous show ( see Jason's prototypical bird at the top of this post ). Each year we get to see the depth of talent in this area and witness a diversity that can mirror our community. We can be proud that the arts set such a clear example of strength and this can be a magnet for visitors and collectors...
"Lip Service" from Emily Bellinger
Coming into the show I look at different materials that artists choose to work with and sometimes they even make me laugh like the painting of a cat and mouse caught in the act.
Will Page's painting Cat and Mouse
Another smile arrives when I look at the image from Richard Margolis who is shown here wearing a beret while holding a brush as he paints a portrait of his wife. Richard is well known in this community as a photographer, so he is having a bit of fun with the audience.
Richard Margolis in his studio...
As I walk through the show I look to see who has that popular appeal and Richard Margolis certainly does the trick. I am also attracted to a photo towards the back that makes a collage out of plants and sets some new parameters with color and texture. This piece by Marcia Zach and Michael Tomb is called a Gallery of the Open-Pollinated, and I would love to know more about how this image was created...
Marcia Zach and Michael Tomb, photographers
It is not a surprise that in this land of Kodak that there would be some interesting photography and this is one which has a lot of impact for me as I am avid about plants and gardens. In that zone is a recent painting of a landscape by Joni Monroe that has beautiful tonality and creates a dimension by use of light and shade in a more traditional way.
If you are looking for trends in the visual arts I think you just have to keep an open mind as the show suggests that there is no one direction that artists are willing to take today. You can find traditional paintings like the one above and then there are striking ones that have a more abstract tension ( see work below by Belinda Bryce).
I was glad to see that there are artists willing to take on a task of making a commentary on local state of affairs, with Richmond Futch, Jr.'s take on revelations ( see below ).
Hopeful signs from Richmond Futch, Jr.
Also, glad to see that there is an image of Frederick Douglass by Mollie Wolf on view. The label says that this is a kind of print, but it really looks like a painting to me. In any case I am glad that this work is included in the show as I am a great fan of Frederick Douglass!
Portrait of Frederick Douglass by Mollie Wolf
32nd Members Show at RoCo
Get up and go to see the show; it is very rewarding and will give you a renewed sense of hope after these years of a pandemic, which still has not left us!