Thursday, December 17, 2015

Shoppertunity at "Wintercraft"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 4:28 PM

Only a few more days remain of "Wintercraft," the annual holiday show and sale of handmade items made by local artists, held at Genesee Center for the Arts & Education (713 Monroe Avenue).

The show features decorative and utilitarian ceramic vessels and Rochester-pride ornaments, colorful aprons, and a variety of letterpress goods. This latter group includes holiday and other occasion cards, pretty posters, as well as the popular annual letterpress calendar, with each month designed by a different local artist. There's truly something for everyone on your (last minute) list.

The exhibit and sale continues through Saturday, December 19. Wintercraft hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

While you're in the building, check out "Farm to Table: Migrant and Seasonal Workers" (a group photo show lead by Arleen Thaler and presented in the Community Darkroom through January 30).

For more information, call 244-1730 or visit rochesterarts.org.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rochester Fringe Festival announces 2016 dates

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The Rochester Fringe Festival today announced the dates for its 2016 event. The 10-day Fringe will take place Thursday, September 15, through Saturday, September 24 -- a similar time frame as the 2014 and 2015 Fringes.

The Fringe also announced that it has also been recommended for a $20,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts. According to Fringe Board Chair Justin L. Vigdor, the award will aid in supporting the annual Friday on the Fringe event, which drew out around 13,000 people to Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Manhattan Square last year.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Three to see

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 12:42 PM

A solo show featuring the paintings, drawings, and sculpture of Jacquie Alberga Germanow opened at Geisel Gallery (1 Bausch & Lomb Place) on First Friday. The overarching theme in Germanow's work is water, whether expressed in figurative work, portraits, or symbol-heavy sculpture.

"Clearly the glass forms I have created are for me translations of water energy, and their fluid transparency a metaphor for truth and clarity," she says. But the portraits she paints also have an aquatic element as well, sometimes in unpredictable ways.

In "Transition," a painting of a reclining man, Germanow has given her subject a yellow shirt that is seemingly made of waves of light. The bright, undulating material is as kinetic and chaotic as the sea, while its translucence reveals the powerful form and warm skin underneath.

"The human form is the most complex organization of water than I have drawn into focus," she says. She also links human expression and gesture to flowing water. "Water and spirit are metaphorically inseparable in this works."

Though some of Germanow's art seems to have religious undertones -- such as three crucifix-looking, mixed-media sculptures in the rear space of the gallery -- the artist says this is not intentional. The concepts she's working with are much more universal. One of these, a staff-shaped work, "Forgiveness," can be interpreted as a body distorted by the weight of hate, but striving toward a state of grace. Finger and talon-shaped protrusions sprout from the carved and painted oak form, but as the eye follows upward, the acidic colors calm.

See the show through November 30. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, email jeangeisel@gmail.com, or visit thegeiselgallery.com.

Richard Harvey and Nancy Valle both have work showing in the Little Theatre Café (140 East Avenue) through November 30. The exhibition, "Reveal," includes Harvey's figurative paintings, collages, and sculptures, and Valle's ceramic sculpture.

"As a figurative artist, I explore the psychological and emotive potential of the human face and figure in a contemporary expressionistic style," Harvey says.

His subjects are less people than they are embodiments of emotions and states of mind, and each confronts the viewer with pared-down countenances of vortex eyes and weatherworn hides. Moon-shaped faces preside in atmospheric skies, features sketched out expressively and conveying a sense of calm unease.

Valle's hand-built work is even more pared down, her figurative forms often composed of head and bust shapes but covered in patterns and textures also representative of human conditions.

"Since beginning in sculpture with clay, a broad theme has been central to my work: the relationship between the physical cycles of the natural world and our place within it," she says. "My new work is informed by observations, memories and ideas about who we are as individuals and how we reveal ourselves within nature, community, and culture. These ceramic figural forms are reactions to traditional portraiture: people represented at milestones in their lives from birth to the obituary photo."

See "Reveal" when the Little Theatre Café is open: Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. For more information, email zanne@thelittle.org.

A small exhibit of stencil and spray paint work by Rochester street artist Ax opened at Surface Salon (658 South Avenue) on Friday night to celebrate Surface's 7th anniversary. "Lost Axiom" features eight large paintings on wood panels, each with a not-so-subtle poke at humanity.

In "It's okay, I don't want to admit we are related either" a chimp covers his eyes in shame while holding a sign that with the title on it. Another piece features a beaming graduate in cap and gown, presenting her diploma with the words "Crippling Debt" in austere calligraphy. A painting of an iPhone locked screen shows a line of "Ax News" headlines, all topical tragedies, with the opportunity to "slide to ignore."

It's cool to see Ax pull together work for a gallery show -- you can usually spot his art painted on walls around Rochester on cardboard that he leaves zip tied to fences and posts for people to find and take home. Ax's work will remain on the walls at least through the end of the month. For hours and more information, call 360-4446 or visit surfaceonsouth.com.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Eastman Museum saves collection of Indian cinema

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 5:07 PM

The George Eastman Museum announced this week it had acquired more than 700 Bollywood, Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu films, a wide array of related audio recordings, as well as 6,000 film posters. This announcement came shortly after Eastman's announcement of the exciting acquisition of South African artist William Kentridge's oeuvre. The donation of the Bollywood collection makes Eastman Museum the owner and caretaker of the world's largest collection of contemporary Indian cinema held by any museum or film archive.

The collection consists of 775 prints representing 597 film titles, all in 35mm format and made between 1999 and 2013, and about 6,000 film posters. The collection's films come from the Hindi-language film industry commonly known as "Bollywood," as well as Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu productions. Many of the titles are from acclaimed masters of Indian cinema, such as Mani Ratnam, Ashutosh Gowariker, Anurag Kashyap, Nagesh Kukunoor, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

In addition to exposing Rochester audiences to the magical and melodramatic Bollywood aesthetic, the collection contains a wide array of diverse languages, including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

This major collection was discovered in late 2014 in an abandoned California multiplex. The prints had been shipped from India for release in specialized theaters in the United States, but since the multiplex was unable to convert to digital projection, it closed in August 2013. All of the release prints, posters, and projection equipment were left behind.

Dino Everett, archivist of the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, knew the collection would find an appreciative home in Rochester. Everett alerted the Eastman Museum to the existence of the films and posters, and with financial assistance from the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, Eastman Museum rescued the collection.

If the Eastman Museum had not taken ownership of the material and provided an appropriate environment for preserving the collection, it would have been destroyed when the multiplex was razed earlier this year.

"The Eastman Museum has a longstanding interest in South Asian cinema, dating back to the founding curator of our film collection, James Card, and his determined efforts to obtain major works of Indian cinema," said Paolo Cherchi Usai, senior curator of the Museum's Moving Image Department.

"As part of our museum's collection, they will be an invaluable resource for exhibition and scholarly research in Indian cinema," he said.

Eastman Museum's dedication to preservation plays a key role here, as Indian film studios do not actively preserve their prints after theatrical and home video release, meaning that many titles are lost after their initial premiere. Though the Indian motion picture industry is an important center of cinematic creativity in the world, underfunded collecting institutions in India are unable to offer preservation at the level that Eastman Museum can.

"Having rescued all those prints from destruction is not only a heroic feat," said Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder and director of the Film Heritage Foundation in Mumbai. "It is a strong commitment to preserve and celebrate the beauty of Indian cinema as part of the world's cultural patrimony. We look forward to working with the Eastman Museum towards a broader and deeper knowledge of the creative energy displayed by contemporary Indian filmmakers through their work."

For more information, visit eastman.org.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

RoCo to host Rochester Biennial

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Rochester Contemporary Art Center and the Memorial Art Gallery have announced on Tuesday that The Rochester Biennial, which has been organized by and hosted at MAG for six years, will be organized by RoCo starting in 2017.

In the immediate future, Biennials will be based at RoCo, but they won't necessarily always be held at the art center at 137 East Avenue, says Bleu Cease, Rochester Contemporary executive director.

The Biennials will take on varied formats involving guest curators, partners, and other spaces. These exhibitions will be focused on unexpected artworks by early-career artists with a special community and participatory focus, providing visitors with unique experiences in Rochester's East End and beyond.

"We are very excited to now organize The Rochester Biennial," Cease says. "We are grateful to the MAG and excited to continue a tradition that MAG started, adding a new RoCo twist. Visitors should expect the works to be challenging and surprising -- these will be exhibitions that you won't want to miss."

In the past, one of the handful of artists featured in each Rochester Biennial was selected from the MAG's Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition -- a 64 year tradition showcasing the work of some of the best artists in our region. It's up in the air whether RoCo as the new curator will maintain this model.

This announcement continues the series of collaborative exhibitions and projects between Memorial Art Gallery and Rochester Contemporary Art Center. The current exhibition on display at RoCo, "Brooklyn Bridge," is presented in partnership with Memorial Art Gallery. RoCo will also partner with MAG in promoting the 15th Annual Fine Craft Show & Sale, November 7-8.

"We are thrilled that RoCo is taking advantage of this opportunity to propel The Rochester Biennial to the next level," says MAG Director Jonathan Binstock. "By continuing to share the responsibility of recognizing outstanding artistic talent in the region, the MAG and RoCo can create more opportunities for local artists to show, including solo exhibitions at the MAG."

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George Eastman House announces new name, logo, website

Organization will now be called George Eastman Museum

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 7:00 AM

PHOTO COURTESY GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM
  • PHOTO COURTESY GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM

The George Eastman House has announced that it has changed its name to George Eastman Museum, and has launched a new website at eastman.org. Leadership at Eastman Museum say the name change reflects all that the institution encompasses: one of the world's foremost museums of photography and cinema, and the historic mansion and gardens of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman.

"Our new name better conveys our institution's core identity as a dynamic museum with world-class collections in the fields of photography and cinema," says Bruce Barnes, the museum's director.

The possibility of renaming the institution came up when Barnes was interviewing for the position of director, but he decided to shelve the idea while settling into his new job.

The museum, originally chartered in 1947, was originally called "The George Eastman House Museum of Photography," and went through a few iterations, including "International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House," and until recently, just George Eastman House with a subtitle of "International Museum of Photography and Film."

"We've used the subtitle less and less in the three years since I've arrived because I just find it to be kind of clunky," Barnes says.

Barnes says that while traveling in Europe, he discovered people seem to have a better sense of the scope of the institution. Though there are people who are in the know here, he says, "there were a number of people in the United States who mistakenly believed that all we were was the historic house," unaware of the photography, film, and technology aspects.

"Which is kind of ironic," he says, because while the museum was opened in 1949, "it was given the name 'George Eastman House' to denote that it was located at Eastman's historic estate." But the actual house wasn't restored until the 1980's, it was just the bones of the building being used to house photographs and photographic equipment. "So the historic house portion of the institution didn't emerge until 1989-1990."

After two years of gathering anecdotal experience regarding the confusion of the name, "we did a very major brand positioning analysis and strategic analysis which overall took about a year," Barnes says. Staff embarked on a formal analysis via a survey designed by Brad VanAuken of Brand Forward. That process lasted for six to eight months, after which the newly branded George Eastman Museum enlisted the services of local firm A3 Design. In addition to a new name and website, the Museum has a sharp new logo.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Rochester Fringe Festival once again sets attendance record

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 4:00 AM

A contortionist performs in "Cabinet of Wonders" inside of the Spiegeltent during the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival. - PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • A contortionist performs in "Cabinet of Wonders" inside of the Spiegeltent during the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival.

Attendance for the fourth annual First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival (held September 17 through September 26) hit more than 63,000 people, a new high mark for the Fringe, organizers announced on Monday. And ticket sales were up more than 20 percent. The 2015 Fringe featured more than 500 performances and events; last year's Fringe included 380 shows, and drew out 60,000 attendees.

An estimated 13,000 people gathered in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Manhattan Square for Friday on the Fringe, and to witness New York City's Grounded Aerial team dance across the side of the 21-story One HSBC Plaza, while Rochester troupe BIODANCE performed on the park's metal structure, A Tribute to Man. Last year's Friday on the Fringe performance by Circus Orange drew about 10,000 attendees.

The 10-day Fringe featured site-specific, participatory acts such as Berlin's world-renowned Rimini Protokoll, which created Remote Rochester, the second US "Remote" production -- the first was in New York City. The event sold out all but its first few performances.

Many of these performances took place on stages at new participating locations, including Lyric Theatre, The Strong National Museum of Play, Abilene, and the festival's largest venue: RAPA at School of the Arts, which hosted 80 shows.

Venues reported the following sold-out shows: "Don't Go Drinking on an Empty Heart" (Bernunzio Uptown Music); "The 24 Hour Plays," "Left for Dead Improv," "Erik and the Wolf," "Heart and Soul: Medicine and Life" (Writers & Books); "Shitty Lives," "Stages of the Game Teen Improv," "Triple Entendre" (MuCCC); "H | Histories" (Eastman School of Music, Sproull Atrium); "Merged III," "Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster Tells His Own Story)" (Geva Theatre Center Fielding Stage); "ShakesBLOOD" (Abilene); "Percentage"(RAPA at SOTA); and "Shenanigans with Shero" (Blackfriars).

"The board is just as excited as everyone else by the way this festival is maturing," said Board Chair Justin L. Vigdor. "As community support for Fringe continues to grow, we look forward to becoming even more inventive, inspiring and international."

The Fringe specified that attendance figures are based on modern crowd estimation techniques using a standardized formula (based on the work of Drs. Herbert Jacobs, Ray Watson and Paul Yip: area divided by crowd density) as well as by venue counts and ticket sales, and are deemed accurate within 10 percent, plus or minus.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Highlights for First Friday: October 2

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 11:04 AM

In honor of the haunted month, the harvest, and to herald in the horrors of snow, expect lots of spooky art celebrations and openings for First Friday. The following highlights are just a few of the art openings offered tonight; check out more options listed at firstfridayrochester.org and in our calendar. All events run 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and are free to attend unless otherwise stated.

Head over to Haunted Hungerford (Hungerford Building, 1115 East Main Street) for two nights of frightening fun. There will be more than a dozen participating studios, a costume contest, studio raffles, and more. The event will take place on Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more at the Facebook event page.

Experience monsters of another sort at Rochester Picture Frame (2094 Main Street), where Robert Ernst Marx will present 62 humbling artworks in celebration of 60 years of exhibitions and his 90 years of life. Marx will present 21 new paintings, including the massive "A Judgment on Us," in addition to etchings, drawings, and sculptures. The central theme of Marx's artwork is "The Arrogance of Power," with subtle commentary on such topics as war and women's issues. The show takes place 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the show remains on view through October 30. For more information, call 749-9110 or visit roberternstmarx.com.

Check out "Printed Matter," The Print Club of Rochester's 2nd Annual Print Fair, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (137 East Avenue). The annual event highlights the depth and breadth of the printmaking community in Upstate NY. The public will have the opportunity to purchase artwork directly from participating artists Sue Leopard, Maria Savka, Kurt Feurherm, Audrey Freedman, Barbara Fox, Kristine Bouyoucos, Catherine Shuman Miller, and Heather Swenson. Admission is $2, and free for Print Club of Rochester and Rochester Contemporary members. For more information, call 461-2222 or visit rochestercontemporary.org.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Scene It: "Revival" on stage at Geva Theatre Center

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The problem with cinematic or on-stage adaptations of literary works is that they destroy the mind’s eye. They tend to obliterate the sights and sounds you create when you read. But not always.

Even though it was on stage before a packed house, the reading of "Revival: The Resurrection of Son House" was a wonderful interpretation of Keith Glover’s play on the life of the Delta blues legend. The cast’s reading and subsequent subtle facial and body inflections were brilliant, adding to the story without crowding what each and every audience member brought with them.

The actor who played House, the Tony Award-winning Cleavant Derricks, literally wrung himself out on stage as he took on House’s struggle with good and evil. It came off as his own struggle. Derricks and the rest of the cast served the story with gentile affectation and humor, and I was frequently brought to the brink of tears.

My one and only disappointment on an otherwise perfect night was the play’s ending where it seemed good triumphed over evil. I was rooting for the devil ... or at least a cliff-hanger.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recap of the FUA BBoy BBQ 2015

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 3:23 PM

Rochester's oldest graffiti crew moved its annual celebration from North Clinton Avenue to the Abandoned Subway this year, in part because of the discussion about closing off the Court Street entrance with a development project.

Krew members invited locals and guests from New York City, Buffalo, Ithaca, Syracuse, and beyond to get down on Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9.

Here are some highlight shots, but you should definitely make it down to the venue to see the art for yourself.



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The Future Feature Show @ Comedy at the Carlson

The Future Feature Show @ Comedy at the Carlson

Headlined by Malcolm Whitfield. Featuring Andrea Springer, Cameron Tiller, and more....
The Out-of-Towners: A Holiday Comedy Show @ Boulder Coffee Cafe and Lounge

The Out-of-Towners: A Holiday Comedy Show @ Boulder Coffee Cafe and Lounge

All proceeds of the event go to Verona Street Animal Society....

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