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Flower City Pottery Invitational fills the weekend 

The second annual Flower City Pottery Invitational, hosted by the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education, kicked off Thursday morning with (many sold out) classes offered by some of the exhibiting artists. The event, which last year drew nearly 1,000 visitors to the center, continues through Sunday, October 16, with an opening reception Friday, October 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and with artist demos and talks throughout the weekend.

Some of the 21 artists featured this year are local, but most are from out of town, bringing their work from California, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Canada. The invitational offers clay collectors and enthusiasts the opportunity to speak with contemporary masters of the field and view their work in person.

"Beginning Friday night and all day Saturday, the whole center is filled with full bodies of work from all of these artists," says the center's grants manager, Audrey Shaughnessy. "It's different from a typical gallery show where you might have a few pieces from several artists. Each of the artists coming is bringing with them 70 to 100 pieces from their current bodies of work. All of the art is for sale, all of the artists will be on site during the entire event, here to talk with people who are visiting the exhibition and who are interested in purchasing work."

Most of this year's participating artists are returners, with the exception of Adam Field (California), Peter Pincus (Rochester-based, and one of the event's curators), Shoko Teruyama and Matt Kelleher (Alfred, New York), Adero Willard (Massachusetts), and Julie Crosby (Finger Lakes Region).

Artist talks include "Crafting a Life in Clay" with Doug Peltzman (Dover Plains, New York) on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., and Jenny Mendes (Ohio) speaking on her recent artist residency in The Netherlands, on Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

Sunday afternoon will also feature a special guest who is not an exhibiting artist, Shaughnessy says. "Benjamin Carter, who is a ceramic artist from California, has an international podcast called "Tales of the Red Clay Rambler." And he is coming to collect some podcast interviews that he'll be using to air next year, to help us in promoting next year's event."

On Sunday at 2 p.m., Carter will interview two of the invitational's three curators, Matt Metz (Alfred) and Richard Aerni (Rochester), as well as one of the exhibiting artists, Bob Briscoe, who developed a highly successful pottery invitational in St. Croix, Minnesota, that has been running about 30 years.

The opening reception, which also functions as a fundraiser for the Genesee Center, costs $20 to attend, and tickets can be purchased online at rochesterarts.org/special-events/pottery-invitational-2016 or at the door. Saturday and Sunday's demos and artist talks are free and open to the public. For more information call 271-5183. The full roster of artists and events is available on the website.

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