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ART BLOG: JGK Galleries's "Art Roc Show 2013 Showcase" 

Blink and you'll miss the arrival some new additions to our city's ever-growing art scene. JGK Galleries, located at 10 Vick Park A, is a gorgeous space comprised of three smallish rooms divided neatly while maintaining the feeling of a hip, open loft. The space has been open for about a year and seven months, focusing from the beginning on mostly West Coast-based artists whose work Managing Director Maria Lauriello-Klein and her husband had collected and followed for years. These "permanent artists" represented by JGK include diverse works such as the paintings and lovely bronze figurative statuettes of Brittany Ryan, the vibrantly hued landscape and building paintings of Richard Lang Chandler, the mesmerizing digital prints of the 3D animation work of Murray Kruger, and many others. The work shown is a combination of Lauriello-Klein's personal inventory and works on consignment.

JGK changed things up a bit with its current show, "Art Roc Show 2013 Showcase," which remains on view through February 28. Lauriello-Klein has lived in Rochester for roughly six years now, and has spent time getting to know the art scene, she says. She wanted to include local and regional artists in the mix, so she recently put out a call for local artists through various social media channels and chose 12 from those who responded to showcase in half of the three galleries. The rest of the room remains dedicated to the permanent artists, some of whom have had solo shows at JGK and collaborated with local poets or the Rochester City Ballet for events held there.

"Art Roc Show" includes glossy landscapes by enamel artist Alejandro Gutierrez, who is based in Buffalo; a metal tree sculpture and accompanying poem by Mike Fitzsimmons; encaustic-on-tarpaper portraits of homeless people by Buffalo artist Gary L. Wolfe; watercolors by RIT professor Alan Singer and by Stu Chait; a fiber work diptych by Jeanne Raffer Beck; and oil-on-canvas works that resemble idyllic stained-glass landscapes by Renee Simone-Lee, among others. Lauriello-Klein intends to add a local artist to the gallery's collection as well.

A closing party will be held on February 28. The event requires tickets, which are $10, and can be reserved by emailing info@jgkgalleries.com. At the event, visitors will have the opportunity to fill out a ballot to guess who they think will win best work in the show (which will be chosen by Lauriello-Klein and a small group of others). Ballots will be entered for a drawing to win $100, which the winner may put toward the purchase of an artwork.

Coming up, JGK will feature Operation P.H.O.T.O. on March 1, a photo exhibit by city youth involved in an empowerment program that captures and documents people doing good deeds. Further down the line, Lauriello-Klein has planned a Western NY 2013 Student Showcase, and a graduate student show featuring Allyson Klopp.

JGK Galleries is located at 10 Vick Park A and is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and for special events. For more information, call 734-6581 or visit jgkgalleries.com.

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