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ART: Best bets 

While many Rochesterians dread the shortening of the days and the increased and lingering chill in the air, I love autumn for the sudden surge in art shows. Kids go back to school and our area's many academic institutions triple the amount of shows on display. As the cozy season approaches, here are 10 reasons to spare yourself from the inevitable cabin fever that harsher weather imposes. In addition to what mainly attracted me, I've included other shows on each venue's schedule. For continued updates, check with each of the venues, and watch our calendar at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

Mercer Gallery's current show, "Juliana Furlong Williams: Personal Expressions," is a retrospective of the late artist and MCC professor's work, curated by her husband, artist Lawrence (Judd) Williams; it remains on view through October 6. Also scheduled this season at Mercer are "Radical Departure," a show of works by Jose Olivieri Rivera (October 12-Novmeber 9); the MCC Visual and Performing Arts Faculty Exhibition (November 16-December 21); "Women in History, The Cover Girls" by Patti Ambrogi (January 25-February 22); "Soundings" by Jack Wolsky (February 27-March 29); "Illustrations" by Murray Tinkelman (April 1-26); and the 37th Annual Student Art Exhibition (May 3-August 24). The Mercer Gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building 12-114, in the North Atrium on the Brighton Campus (1000 E. Henrietta Road). For information, call 292-2021, or visit monroecc.edu/go/mercer.

Nomadic no more: 1975 Gallery will host the inaugural show at its new white walls spot at 89 Charlotte St., the former site of the Little Bakery. In September, enjoy "Home is Where the Art is," a showcase of work by 15 Rochester artists curated by gallery owner Erich Lehman. The show remains on view through October 6. Also coming up is 1975 Gallery's fourth anniversary, Halloween-themed show, "Haunted," which will open October 20, and 1975 will host the kick-off of the tour for the National Poster Prospectus, as well as School for American Crafts grad student Karen Mahardy's thesis show in April. Watch 1975ish.com for updates.

The Community Darkroom at Genesee Center for the Arts & Education (713 Monroe Ave.) will host "It's Hardly Noticeable," photos by John William Keedy, through October 17. Keedy's work explores the world of a character who, while struggling internally with his imperfections and desire to blend in with the crowd, refuses to fall victim to that which ails him. Also at Genesee Center, in the Printing and Book Arts studio, check out "Give & Take," letterpress book arts from the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative in Buffalo (through September 29), and in the Firehouse Gallery, get local, handmade gifts at the "WinterCraft" sale of ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photos, and more (November 16-January). For more information, call 244-1730 or visit geneseearts.org.

George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will present "60 from the 60s" October 6-January 27 in the Brackett-Clark Gallery. The show features 60 prints from the 1960's by 10 of the most important photographers of that tumultuous decade, including Harry Callahan, Benedict J. Fernandez, Hollis Frampton, Betty Hahn, Robert Heinecken, Mary Ellen Mark, Roger Mertin, Arnold Newman, Aaron Siskind, and Garry Winogrand. Also of interest: the annual "Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display" (November 7-December 12), the Holiday Wreath Display (November 1-29), and the Festival of Trees (November 7-December 12). For more information, call 271-3361, or visit eastmanhouse.org.

Through October 28, check out "In Company with Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows" at the Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave.). Next up, MAG offers "Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3," an exhibition of works by contemporary Native American artists (exhibition opening party on November 17), followed by "The Good, the Bad, and the Broken" (March 17-June 9). In the Lockhart Gallery, MAG will host "Framing Edo: Masterworks from Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views" (September 21-January 13). For more information, call 276-8900, or visit mag.rochester.edu.

Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St.) is currently showing "Water Work," with paintings by Chris Baker, Roland Stevens, and Barbara Fox, through October 6. From October 20 through November 24, the gallery will host a showing of oil and acrylic paintings by David Dorsey and Brian O'Neill, who each have the rare quality of excelling at both hyperrealism and light-filled, emotionally moving abstracts. Next up is the annual holiday exhibit (December 1-January 5), followed by paintings and drawings by Jean K. Stephens and Ray Easton (January 19-February 23), paintings by Richard Jenks and Daniel Mosner (March 9-April 13), and the Oxford Spring Theme Show: "The Four Humors" (April 27-June 1). For more information call 271-5885 or visit oxfordgallery.com.

Through September 30, The University of Rochester's Hartnett Gallery (Wilson Commons, UR River Campus) will host "To Toy With the Attic," the strange and colorful current works of Alessandra Sulpy, which explore the relationships between toy characters and their human counterparts. Next up is "Watermark," a show of photographs by Robin Germany (October 12-November 4). Germany's images are taken with an underwater camera used to breach the divide between the fragile worlds above and below the water, and while they make subtle commentary on conservation, they remain undeniably beautiful. The faculty exhibition will be held November 15-December 9. For more updates, watch blogs.rochester.edu/hartnett.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center (137 East Ave.) will host "Me Pix: Media/Pictures/Us," featuring new and recent electronic-media portraits by national and internationally-based artists, including Ann Oren (New York/Israel), Daniel Cosentino (Rochester/Kosovo), Jess Levey (New York, NY), Karen Chan (New York, NY), and Stephan Petranek (Indianapolis, IN). The show runs October 5-November 11, with an artists' talk on October 7 at 1 p.m. For more information and updates, visit rochestercontemporary.org.

From October 20 to November 18, Siskind Gallery at Visual Studies Workshop (51 Prince St.) will host "MFA | NOW," a juried exhibition of works in photography, books, and moving media by graduate students from throughout the Northeast. The show is held in connection with the Society of Photographic Education's Northeast Regional Conference, to be held at VSW November 1-3. Also check out ImageArt (September 29-October 20), a solo show by Hank Willis Thomas (November 1-December 9), and the MFA Thesis Exhibition (November 30-December 9). For more information, call 442-8676 or visit vsw.org.

Through October 12, the Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery at SUNY College at Brockport (350 New Campus Drive, Brockport) presents "Telling Their Stories: The Lingering Legacy of Hurricane Katrina," a photography exhibit with work by nationally known photographers. From October 25 to December 9, check out "Low Fidelity," a show of work by regional and national artists who purposefully employ outdated equipment and technologies in the creation of their work. The reception will take place October 25, 4-6 p.m. Come 2013 Tower will include "Monroe and Vicinity Biennial" (January 31-February 24) and "Salvador Dali: Dante's 'Divine Comedy'" (February 28-March 29), a showing of the complete series of the 100 woodblock prints, produced by master printers from Dali's original watercolor paintings, which the of the surreal fellow created to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Italian poet's birth. The reception will take place February 28, 4-6 p.m. The year will be capped off with the Annual Student Art Exhibition (April 12-May 5). For more information, call 395-2805 or visit Brockport.edu/finearts.

In This Guide...

    Fall Guide 2012

    An awesome autumn
    The air is crisp and cool, the food is bountiful (thanks, harvest!), and most importantly, our area arts and cultural groups return with packed schedules after relatively quiet summer months.

    ART: Wall wizardry

    Behind the curtains of three Rochester exhibition spaces
    When creative works are presented to the public, the illusion of a seamlessness is a necessary factor. On opening night of a theatrical production, the audience is immersed in pure experience along with the characters, and hopefully not pulled out of the story by the visible hand of the designers or director.

    CLASSICAL: 2012 Highlights

    Two years ago, Rochester's concert halls swelled with the depths of the Russians. It seemed every orchestra, group, and soloist in town had something by the great masters Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev on their programs.

    DANCE: Stop, collaborate, and listen

    Partnering with composers, musicians, and designers underscores the 2012-13 dance season
    Dance is about being fully aware — completely present physically, mentally, and emotionally. That being said, let me note that it can be very difficult to get dancers and choreographers to project what they'll be doing a few months down the road, especially this year, when most of the dance groups in town seem primarily focused on their upcoming performances in the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival (September 19-23).

    OUTDOORS: Fall flavors

    Local farm stands offer the sights and tastes of autumnRochester-area farms/farmstands
    Fall always creeps in slowly. First it's a couple of red leaves here, some cool breezes there.

    FILM: Waiting for the weekends

    Your guide to this fall's buzzed-about movies
    There are nine Fridays (plus one very desirable Wednesday) between now and Thanksgiving, and, as usual, Hollywood will be pummeling you with movie upon movie. But autumn is typically a strange time for film, acting as a sort of bridge between summer's dopier action flicks and the end-of-the-year Oscar hopefuls.

    MUSIC: That's the ticket

    Local venues explore alternatives to the big-ticket enterprises
    The conversation happens all the time among concert-going friends, and it tends to go something like this: "Hey dude, you should come to this super awesome fun time special concert." "I'd love to man, how much does it cost?"

    MUSIC: Twelve for '12

    A look at a dozen of fall's must-see concerts
    When autumn leaves begin to fall, it's not just back to school — it's back to the clubs, where all kinds of music will be reverberating off the walls, and in your skull. There's almost too much talent calling Rochester home lately.

    THEATER: Let's put on a show!

    How three local theater companies plan and approach their seasons
    Geva Theater Center's artistic director Mark Cuddy calls the huge piece of kraft paper his "planning wall" for the season he is working on — lists in different colors with dividing lines between them, but also extra sheets of paper tacked up helter-skelter to give it the look of the organized chaos it probably is. Yet that list of more than 50 titles eventually leads to the six main-stage plays (plus the annual production of "A Christmas Carol") that Geva is betting on for the next 11 months.

    THEATER: Best bets

    Here are some of the plays I'm looking forward to seeing in the 2012-2013 Rochester theater season. The good news is that this season there are more plays I want to see than I have room to write about.

    CALENDAR: Fall Special Events Guide

    Summer may be over, but it's not time to head indoors yet. Rochester has plenty of events to keep you busy through the fall.

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