About two weeks ago now, a friend and I marked our calendars for a day of art. When August 12th finally came around it seemed our schedules and the schedules of the art institutions we planned on visiting were not one in the same. We ended up with about 1.5 hours to run around and see the current exhibits. So, we decided to hit up the main 3 (according to me, I am a member at all 3): George Eastman House, Memorial Art Gallery, and Rochester Contemporary Art Center.
First stop was the George Eastman House and it was a very short trip. I was looking forward to viewing Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art and The New Topographics exhibits, but ended up being followed by 2 security officers the entire time and decided to just leave. I have been a member at GEH for almost 4 years now and have never had such a horrible experience. Very disappointing.
*I blacked out the gallery in respect of MAG’s policy of not photographing in the Grand Gallery.
Next was the Memorial Art Gallery. I love walking around here, I always feel so comfortable and the security guards are NOT intrusive.
My mission, while at MAG was to view the 62nd Rochester Finger Lakes Exhibition. This year was a really great collection of work with a few surprises! Before I even entered the gallery I could hear this creepy breathing noise that sent chills up my spine. After entering the Grand Gallery I found “Box of Sighs”, 2008 by Anne Havens. It was a box made out of concrete and stone with an MP3 player that played breathing noises. The breathing noises were recordings of Anne in her studio. I do not personally know Anne, but I have met her during my time interning/volunteering at Rochester Contemporary Art Center.
On the other side of the gallery I came across 2 pieces by Scott Vahan Tavitian. I worked with Scott at the Imaging Systems Lab at Rochester Institute of Technology for 2 years while we were in school. Scott graduated from RIT this past May with a BFA. I hadn’t seen any of his work in over a year now so it was nice to see his photographs “Willow Ridge Subdivision”, 2009 and “Winners Circle Subdivision”, 2008 in the show.
My favorite piece in the show, by far, was Kim Waale’s “Re-inventing Nature”, 2007. A tree made out of knitted wire and branches was mirrored on the wall by an inverted tree drawn from pen and pencil. I really wish I had a picture of this! Kim was awarded the “Harris Popular Vote Award” and the “Louis D’Amanda Memorial Award.”
Very nice experience.
We ran into Rochester Contemporary Art Center about 10 mins before closing. I had seen State of the City before, I volunteered at the opening August 7th but my friend hadn’t had the pleasure of viewing it yet. The photographic work of Lesley Horowitz and the graffiti art of FUA Krew were on show.
Overall an interesting show, it brought up a lot of questions. I also volunteered at the artist talk on August 8th and it seemed members of the community shared my curiosity.
I think it is interesting that the graffiti in the gallery will be painted over in about a month, so in reality the graffiti out on the streets is safer. This fact, is what makes this next point so interesting.
Artists from FUA Krew painted on canvases and then blended them into the marks on the wall. These canvases were for sale. So in a way, part of the marks will survive.
Viewing this work reminded me instantly of Jean-Michel Basquiat and how he was first known as “SAMO.” It should be known right now that I am a HUGE Basquiat fan. From buildings to canvasses…it should be interesting to see what the future will hold for FUA Krew.