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September 25, 2022 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Seymour Place, GO ART!, news, art, batavia.

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Dan Butler, an artist from Perry, is nearing completion of a mural on the back of Seymour Place, the home of GO ART!, inspired by an idea presented to him by Director Gregory Hallock: People of many different races holding flowers.

"He wanted to welcome everybody," Butler said. "They're all welcome here to come and enjoy art or create it."

Butler has been assisted by Jill Pettigrew, who has painted the flowers.

Butler said he's enjoyed the project.

"I get to be outside and I get to paint," Butler said. "One of my specialties is portraits and faces so I get to work on what I do best and throw a lot of color and flowers into it and have a good time."

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September 21, 2022 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Farmer's Creekside Inn, Le Roy, news, art, notify.

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History, art, culture, and community all come together with the installation of four new black metal benches in the Village of Le Roy.

The project is the inspiration of Sarah Farmer, a co-owner of Farmer's Creekside Inn, and a businesswoman who splits time between Rochester and Le Roy.

"This all started in downtown Rochester where we were trying to get away from all the chaos of the riots and all the bad things going on, all the hate. And trying to do some soul-searching with some association members and businesses, and we ended up coming up with this project, called the Black Bench Initiative," Farmer said prior to a ribbon-cutting outside the Creekside Inn on Friday. "Basically, it is something creating a memory of historical significance of different landmarks and important things to each community that they're in."

For Le Roy, the touchstones are fishing in the Oatka Creek, the Barn Quilt Trail, the Jell-O Museum, and a Ginkgo tree. 

Rochester-area artist Stacey Mrva worked with Farmer on the themes and designed and built the benches.

Mrva started welding sculptures in steel while an art student at Syracuse University, and she has seen several of her sculptures become public art in the region.

"I'm an artist but also a craftsperson," Mrva said. "I make things and I like to work with my hands, but most of all, I like to create pieces that can be part of our everyday lives, making art accessible."

The project was made possible with the cooperation of the Village of Le Roy and a $15,000 grant from NYS Homes & Community Renewal through the Main Street Program.

"One of the things that we hope to do in the future is get some more suggestions to do six additional benches along Main Street," Farmer said. "It just creates a sense of gathering, an ability to come down Main Street."

Sarah Farmer and her father-in-law Bill Farmer have more plans to help revitalize downtown Le Roy.

They are going to turn the former bank building across the street into a multi-use event space -- a ballroom, a concert hall, a conference space that will accommodate up to 175 people.

"It will have a bar, a small dining room and a full kitchen," Sarah said. "You can outsource it for private events and weddings and we're gonna donate space to the community for youth banquets and proms and stuff like that."

The top floors will be converted to apartments, she said.

The Farmers also purchased the building next door that used to be a coffee house.  They hope to turn that into a bakery.

"We have to offer a breakfast at Creekside for hotel guests," Farmer said. "Ideally, it'd be really nice to be able to have a place where they can get breakfast earlier than nine."

Her inspiration for restoration and community involvement is her Bill Farmer, she said, who invested more than a million dollars and several years of work to restore the Creekside after a devastating fire gutted it and left it vacant for more than a decade. It's literally become a cornerstone of the Village of Le Roy since reopening in 2017.

"Main Street has been near and dear to my family," Farmer said. "My fearless leader, my mentor, Bill Farmer, he started this very much in the mentality of restoring historic Main Street and of revitalizing the community. I very much have taken that and been very much inspired by that. And I'm so excited to see what we can do in the future. And I'm just so grateful for being able to get this project (the bench project) here."

Top photo: Sarah Farmer, Stacey Mrva, and Shelley Stein, Le Roy's representative on the Genesee County Legislature.

Photos by Howard Owens

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September 21, 2022 - 8:05am

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It may come as no surprise that the Community Garden in Batavia is filled with colorful flowers, vegetables and foliage.

That scenery, however, is a flow of artistry painted on each side of five panels displayed at the garden on MacArthur Drive. At 8 feet tall by 4 feet wide, the panels complement the 50 or so plots of land — dotted with colorful flowers and vegetables — being tended to by local residents and organizations.

Artist David Burke of Bergen was commissioned to do the paintings. He is pleased with the outcome and hopes that the public will visit the garden area to see them.

“I just wish I started doing what I'm doing 30 years ago or more, but just the last six, seven years I had a little more free time. I was homeschooling our kids for a while two years ago so I was just always kind of busy, but I just realized I loved painting,” Burke said during an interview at the garden. “And so about seven years ago I just got to do way more of it, and the more I do it, the better I get, and the more I enjoy it.”

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Community Garden folks had planned — twice, actually — for an unveiling celebration at the site, however, Mother Nature, as she’s known to do on occasion, had other plans. Rain and wind forced organizers to postpone each unveiling, including a week ago. Jocelyn Sikorski, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, said that perhaps it will be moved to next spring.

In the meantime, spectators can view the artwork from the park side and the high school side. The project was grant-funded and the original idea was “to bring some art up to the garden,” garden committee secretary Richard Beatty said.

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Beatty worked on the state grant application for $5,000, which was awarded through Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council in December 2021. The money was used for the purchase of materials and to hire Burke — through a committee application process — for 10 panels. They were going to be individual hangings, but discussions about strong winds and how to best place them resulted in five panels, with one mural on each side of tall wooden backboards just inside the southern fence.

The artwork took Burke about two and a half weeks to complete, beginning with one and then working his way down the line so that all 10 were a cohesive mural, as originally planned. A member of GO Art! and artist for both indoor and outside works at the East Main Street site, Bergen Library and Grass Roots, Burke’s muse was often nature — “we did a lot of landscaping and gardening” — he said about himself and his wife.

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He recalled having done his first oil painting at 10, and that it was so much fun. As he grew older, though, it became more of an “off and on” thing, the 66-year-old said.

Burke has more recently gotten into abstract expressionism versus what’s in the garden: very large, colorful, unmistakable creations of nature. He wishes that he had taken more art classes at Genesee Community College, where he attended in the mid-70s, he said.

“I just really, really enjoy the tactile physical act of painting,” he said.

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Working out the concerns of wind wreaking a little havoc with the artwork, and transfer of the garden from the city to Genesee County’s Cooperative Extension took a little time, Beatty said, but garden committee members are happy with the final layout.

“I think everything turned out very well. They look great,” he said. David is set up so that … they're a nice theme on both sides. So this year, you know, we'll see one side and next year we'll see the other side, and having a vantage point for the folks up at the ballgame.”

The painted panels are situated between a chainlink fence and an audience of pumpkins, vivid pink zinnias and cornstalks. Gardeners are planning to augment those with sunflowers next year, Beatty said.

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Committee member and Master Gardener RaeAnn Engler appreciates the grassroots type of project the murals have become.

“The gardeners get to see it and it's colorful and it's cheerful, and I guess that's it. It just accentuates the garden, and in what we're doing here, and it's a mix of vegetables and flowers, and color. The garden itself is to see it when we first plant it is so it's so neat to watch it develop,” committee Engler said. “So far we've got corn growing in front of the panels, which are kind of, one could say they're blocking it, but others say it's accentuating it. It's just really neat how integrated it is.”

The city of Batavia was the original recipient of the grant since the garden was still under city ownership in 2021, however, earlier this year City Council voted to transfer the garden over to Cooperative Extension since it seemed more aligned with the Extension’s goals and Master Gardener program. That transfer has also opened up the garden and board memberships to anyone from Genesee County.

The Community Garden is “a very inexpensive proposition,” Beatty said, listing the prices for three different options ranging from $25 to $35.

“There's full water service. We have a whole bunch of master gardeners that are available for consultation for bugs and the various things that afflict one's garden. So the garden itself is great,” he said. “I have to admit, I was a little dubious of the whole artwork thing, but boy, it looks terrific. It really, really does.”

“A nice plus is to give David some more work … it helps an artist continue to be an artist,” Beatty said. “Sure, that's very important.”

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Photos: Artist David Burke of Bergen shows the artwork he painted for the Community Garden in Batavia. The garden is on MacArthur Drive, next to the tennis courts behind Batavia High School. Photos by Joanne Beck.

August 24, 2022 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vincenzo DelPlato, art, murals, batavia, news, notify.

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Vincent “Vincenzo” "Vinny" DelPlato, 65, whose art has enlivened much of Batavia for decades, including Jackson Square, has passed away.

He died Aug. 22 due to complications of diabetes, according to an obituary published today.

While the Jackson Square murals may be his best known, he painted murals on other Batavia buildings -- some of which have been covered in recent years -- as well as a giant mural in Oakfield depicting the village's history.

The obit:

Vin was a talented artist. He saw the beauty in God’s creation. With his paints and brushes, he tried to capture that beauty on canvas, whether it was a portrait of someone’s loved one, a family pet, or the ever-changing scenes of nature. He created true works of art to be admired for years to come.

In 2009, he painted a mural inside what was becoming Next Level Fitness at Main and Jackson streets, inspired by a famous photograph (photographer unknown) of men eating lunch on a beam on the 69th floor of the RCA Building under construction in Manhattan in 1932 (see video below).

File photos by Howard Owens.

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Video Sponsor
August 19, 2022 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Society of Artists, art, news.

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David Burke won the "People's Choice" award in the Batavia Society of Artists' summer show on display now through Sept. 30 at GO Art!

His painting is titled "Garden of the Mystic" and he described it as an intuitive painting.

Other artists in the show are Shauna Blake, Joan D'Alba, Richard Ellington, Kevin Feary, Nikki Greenbaum, Brian Kemp, Julie Lambert, Adrian Morris, Madeleine Rusch, Teresa Tamfer, Morgan Wagner, and Lydia Zwierzynski.

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Brian Kemp with "Artsperience," a mixed-media piece that was a collaboration with his 14-year-old niece Danielle Jefferson.  Kemp met her for the first time this summer during a trip to North Carolina and found out that she is a young artist.  She showed him a drawing but said she didn't like it and intended to destroy it.  Kemp told her to give it to him, he said.  She did, and he finished the painting and then mounted it on a chunk of scrap iron he had in his storage shed.

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July 28, 2022 - 9:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oliver's Candies, batavia, art, news.

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Local artist Michelle Cryer is painting new murals on the fence at the south end of Oliver's Candies' parking lot.

Each mural is a reinterpretation of a classic work of art. 

"The idea is to take famous works of art and change the focus of the piece to be products from Oliver's," Cryer said. "So 'Jelly Belly Night' -- that's Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night." This is Picasso's "Child with a Dog" and I'm painting "Child with a Sundae."

Among the other artists to be featured are Banksy, Frida Kahlo, and Keith Haring.

"This next one is going to be Palmer Hayden's "Dreamer," Cryer said. "He's an African American artist. Instead of 'Dreamer' it's gonna be 'Sweet Dreamer,' and it's going to have candy in the stream bubble."

The murals will also be educational, Cryer said.  She's going to add QR codes so people can pull up links to the original works of art and learn more about the painting and the artist.

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May 3, 2022 - 5:53pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, elba, art, Craft Show, notify.

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Jim Stucko recalls when he was going to bed at night and his father would head for the kitchen. The elder Stucko was going to prepare a few batches of his winning rye bread recipe so he could bake it and take to some friends in the morning. 

Not only was Stucko, a former Elba resident, a talented sculptor and artist, but he was also “an amazing cook,” his son said.

“I miss the guy a lot. Every time I cook something I think of the conversations we had in the kitchen,” Jim said during an interview Tuesday with The Batavian. “My parents rocked this world.”

Art pieces from John and wife Sophie Stucko’s collections will be on display with late artists Patricia Burr and Eunice Hare Murphy for a first-ever Mother’s Day Craft Sale and Basket Raffle 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall, Route 98, Elba. The event is being organized and hosted by Elba Betterment Committee. 

“The whole thing is part of the grant we received from GO Art! for our project: Elba Betterment Committee presents Art Around Town. The idea for including our local artists actually came from one of our members, Kelly Dudley, who has always wanted to do this sort of thing at The Mill in Elba,” EBC President Pauli Miano said. “After contacting families, three were willing and excited to share their loved ones’ talent with us.”

The artist pieces will be on display in the Rec Hall. Burr and Murphy were art teachers at Elba Central School, and all three artists shared their work in the community by donating pieces to the school, churches and other organizations, Miano said. 

The Stucko couple collaborated on a lot of projects, Jim said. John would make wood cabinets and Sophie’s handmade stained glass would adorn the doors. She was from Batavia and John from Albion, and after they married they purchased a home in Elba, Jim said. His parents were avid outdoors lovers, and his dad memorialized various species of birds and fish in a painstaking fashion. 

“The birds were carved, the feathers were burnt into the wood for texture, and then he painted them. I bet he’s got 100 hours into the painting,” Jim said. “It wasn’t a job; it was a labor of love. He would stay in his shop painting, and if he didn’t like it, he would paint it again.”

He remembers his dad scouring books for just the right species of bird, and fine-tuning the colors and textures of each piece. His work grew so popular that people would offer to commission him for particular projects, though John rebuffed them. He preferred to create exactly what he wanted, and not necessarily what others had in mind, Jim said. Quite possibly the artist was a perfectionist, and it showed in his work. 

One of his last pieces was a pileated woodpecker for someone he connected with over a love of the outdoors and birds. 

“It was absolutely mind-blowing,” Jim said. “He was highly skilled in many venues, and he was a people person. Until we started to go through photos, I never realized how much my dad smiled.”

Jim chuckled as the thought about his folks’ resolve to remain strong — or strong-willed in some cases — throughout their busy lives. John Stucko was active with his craft, which included gourd carvings, until he died in 2019 at 89. Sophie died a few years prior in 2017 and was 83.

There will be 25 vendor tables featuring hand-crafted items and food. The committee wanted to ensure there wouldn’t be a lot of duplicated items, so each vendor is to be selling a particular craft. They range from wood signs and handmade purses to floral arrangements, ornaments and, for the sweet tooth, a bakery section with cookies, cakes and cannolis, Miano said. 

The committee will also be serving food to purchase, and the first 50 Moms will receive a free carnation. Genesee County Sheriff’s Office staff will also be on hand with photo and fingerprint equipment for families that request it for their children.

Eunice Hare Murphy was a 1948 Elba Central School graduate. She then completed her degree in Art Education at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.  She completed her MS in Elementary Education from SUNY Brockport. Her first teaching job was for the West Bloomfield School District.  Her family shared that she drove her small Chevy with a standard transmission back and forth from Genesee County every day.  

Over the years, “Eunie”, as she was known to her friends and family, taught art at Byron Bergen Central School, and finished her distinguished career as an educator at Elba Central.  She taught classes in Art, Crafts and Photography.  Eunice was a member of the Writer’s Guild in the 1970s and even tried her hand at poetry.

Eunice loved gardening, and with the help of a variety of rocks and different plants, enjoyed making clever and, at times, eccentric gardens. While teaching at Elba she was the yearbook advisor, and helped to develop the Variety Show which ran for years afterward as a fundraiser for the yearbook. Eunice lost her four-year battle with cancer in 1988 at the age of 57.

Patricia Burr’s enthusiasm for painting is evident in a collection of 14 sketchbooks, each with memories of the places and people she visited during vacations, workshops, and even in study hall at Elba Central School. Along with pencil and ink sketches is a drawing rendered in brown eyebrow pencil while in the dark at Kleinhans Music Hall without a pen.

Her minivan didn’t leave her home without “the art stuff,” just in case she would find an interesting scene. This could be while waiting for the doctor or dentist, or even during time-outs during jury duty; that was the time for her sketchbook.

Burr’s philosophy was to “make a drawing because you gain much more information by observing the subject than you do when you simply snap a photo.” Scribble a few color notes, date and time of day, weather alongside the sketch to help when planning to paint later in the studio, she said.
Burr was inspired by fellow painters Margaret M. Martin, Franklin Jones and Don Getz. Her education included Albright Art School, Buffalo State College, University of Buffalo and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Active all of her life, Burr died at age 96 in 2014. 

For more information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/elbabetterment/

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Top photo: A duck sculpture by the late artist John Stucko, and several artworks by Stucko and artists Patricia Burr and Eunice Hare Murphy to be on display at the Mother's Day Craft Show and Basket Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall on Route 98, Elba. Photos by Howard Owens.

April 21, 2022 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Roz Steiner Art Gallery, art, news.

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Devon Johnson, of Brockport, was among the GCC students on hand this afternoon for the opening of a new art show, "Illusions," in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery.

Her piece is a black and white photo of a friend in front of a mural in Rochester.  She said she selected the piece because she liked the angle, the shadows, and the mural.

The show runs through May 12.

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April 4, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, comic book, illustrator, art.

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John Bruggman credits his dad’s past hobby for how the 21-year-old got involved in collecting and drawing — and now joining the ranks of being published for — the comics genre.

Bruggman just celebrated the debut of his first published book cover, Slumber #1, for Image Comics. It depicts a dark- and hollow-eyed woman holding a shotgun in a large doorway. He didn’t actually design the character, he said, but studied the sample pages, examples, and a brief description provided by the company. He submitted his version of lead character Stetson, which was chosen for the March cover release. 

“I’ve always been interested in drawing, and in high school, I started taking it more seriously in my junior year. As a kid opening up my dad’s comics, this is like a dream come true to be published with this company. But also professionally, it's a confidence boost in a weird way," the Batavia native said during an interview with The Batavian. “ "When I first came to college I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to find work or if my style would be popular with an audience. And it was a really nice confidence boost to see the praise from not only the company, but the people who bought it, and the orders that came in, and the support from the local area as well.”

The book is available at 3D Comics in Lancaster, Pressing Matters LLC in Buffalo, and through Bruggman’s website. It’s a freshly written comic with new characters and storylines. The premise features Stetson, a nightmare hunter and a dream detective.

From Image Comics: 

"She runs a shoddy back-alley business where she helps clients sleep at night by entering their dreams and killing their nightmares. But Stetson’s past comes back to haunt her when she tracks down a literal living nightmare—a serial killer that murders people in their sleep. SLUMBER is an ongoing series from the twisted minds of writer Tyler Burton Smith (Kung Fury and Child’s Play), and rising-star artist Vanessa Cardinals.”

Bruggman remembers how his passion was ignited for classic comic books. The then-middle school student had been down in his family basement and discovered his dad’s filing cabinet full of old comics. The paper materials were kindling for his own desire to join in as a collector.

“It’s like our family thing that we do. My brother started doing it as well. So we got into comics that way,” John Bruggman said. “It’s mostly from the artists I’ve been influenced by who worked in comics, they kind of worked more in horror. I’ve also taken influence from several tattoo artists as well.”

Bruggman’s process for the cover submission was to select a few key details from the premise — in this case, a door, the woman and a shotgun — and began with a loosely based sketch of poses, he said. He then figured out which poses he liked and worked out a final compilation in black and white to get an idea of the light and shadow placement. He finished it by digitally painting the work in color.  

A 2019 Batavia High School graduate, Bruggman is attending Daemen College pursuing a bachelors in illustration. His future goal is to be a freelancer working for Marvel and/or DC Comics. He’s into 1990s style comics, and likes “the diversity” of characters devised by individual artists. For example, Batman has been around since the 1930s, he said, and yet “no one has really drawn him the same.” He leans toward figures of horror with a punk, edgy influence.

His practice has been to nail down human anatomy, so often integral to comic book characters. Take a look at one of his favorites, Silver Surfer, depicting a well-chiseled body displaying many muscular poses. His work displays those fine-tuned details of muscles and curves, and he also appreciates the complexity of one’s limbs.

“Figure drawing has been a super big help, with live models. Hands and feet were the hard ones, because they’re so expressive,” he said. “We’re always progressing as artists and trying to be better. 

“And I feel like my work, especially as I keep working, I've noticed a lot of improvement, even in this last year. My work has come a long way and I'm very excited to see where it goes moving forward.”

He has been influenced by such artists as Simon Bisley, Frank Frazetta, Bill Sienkiewicz and Glenn Fabry. He believes there has been “kind of a resurgence” in the comics market with exclusive and limited covers and special editions. Those items have drawn a wider pool of collectors, he said.

Drawing helps to relieve stress, he said, and is “a highlight of my day.” He hopes to work his way into a freelance status and sees this published book cover as just the beginning.

“I really want to promote that because I really do think this is going to go somewhere very special. And usually when it comes to artists’ first issues that they work on, are like drawings: they do become more valuable. And I could see this happening with this book,” he said. “And then just looking at the story, the book, it's very well-read and the writers worked on a lot of comics and movies that were more horror related and artwork on the interior. I didn't do it, but it's a very unique style, a little cartoony, a little loose, and it's a good read. And, I don't know, I love it.”

For more information, go to: johnbruggmanart.com
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Top photo of John Bruggman's published book cover for Slumber #1, by Image Comics. Above, Bruggman works on a project at school. Photos courtesy of John Bruggman and Image Comics. 

April 1, 2022 - 9:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Atwater, University of rochester, art, notify.

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Take 8,000 posters from 130 countries and in 76 languages ranging from shockingly graphic, instructional and scary to tender and compassionate, and select a sampling for an exhibit. The late Edward C. Atwater, a former Batavia resident, physician and medical historian, donated the massive 30-year collection to the University of Rochester in 2007.

Donated to the University by Dr. Atwater in 2007 and housed in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, the collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world, said Jessica Lacher-Feldman, whose related roles are co-editor of the book and curator of AIDS Education Posters Collection.

“I actually had a different role when I came, but I have literally been working on this project since I arrived. One of the first things that I did after coming here was going with our then dean to Ruth and Edward Atwater's home to meet them,” she said. “It’s actually very interesting, he was not an immunologist, he was not anybody who focused on HIV AIDS as a medical doctor. And what he discovered, in being a very curious-minded human being, led him in a lot of different directions.”

The collection became a six-plus years project as staff from the University of Rochester and Memorial Art Gallery chronicled it in a book and orchestrated an exhibit, Up Against the Wall: Art, Activism, and the AIDS Poster. Promising 165 of “the most visually arresting and thought-provoking posters,” it runs through June 19 at Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and is the first major exhibition devoted to the University of Rochester’s vast collection of HIV/AIDS-related posters.

“The oldest poster is from 1982, which is really at the dawn of the crisis before, really before AIDS was really widely understood or named before the 1986 Surgeon General's report that actually spelled things out,” Lacher-Feldman said during an interview with The Batavian. “I work with the collection all the time, and I'm continuously amazed by the messages that are used in the posters and the different tactics that have been deployed in order to get that information out there. It really feels like a by-any-means-necessary thing.”

How it all began ...
Ever since she began at U of R in 2016, Lacher-Feldman, who holds many titles including rare books editor, and exhibits and special projects manager, has immersed herself into the posters, the project and the man who amassed a special history of the who, what and where of HIV and AIDS. Dr. Edward C. Atwater was a physician and medical historian as well as an avid collector of medical artifacts.

Those in the Atwater circle know the tale well of how he spotted the first collection piece while on a subway car; it was a poster promoting AIDS prevention. At a time when sex and conception weren’t even widely discussed in public, he was awestruck by how the topic was depicted on a wall hanging in such a public venue. 

His interest grew from there, and Atwater scoured various sources, wrote to or visited health departments and related officials, and requested copies of their AIDS awareness materials. From 1991 to 2019, the year he died, Atwater’s collection went from one to 8,000 pieces. One of them is from Canada, done in several different languages, and others are from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Lachman-Feldman had just been editing a poster translated into Moroccan, she said. 
 
”And we've done a ton of really interesting projects with the classes, that you can actually talk with them in so many other different disciplines, including working with medical students or medical humanities classes, but also linguistics and foreign language, translation, anthropology … and graphic design,” she said. “It's amazing how incredibly multifaceted they are.” 

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Show organizers said that the posters inspire people to protect themselves, protect others, and change their own behaviors through a broad range of creative expression.  The posters widely range in content, she said, from those geared toward night clubs and bars to others for prisons by instructing corrections officers how to search a prison cell and avoid contact with possible sharps. Spanning from 1982 to present day, the materials show how social, religious, civic, activist, and medical organizations have addressed this controversial subject in all ways, from mild to aggressive. 

“Sometimes there is a need for shock value. But there's an intentionality in every single poster. They're demonstrating how to do something or not do something, or, you know, trying to evoke something emotional or sentimental or instructive, or whatever it happens to be,” Lacher-Feldman said. “And I think the biggest takeaway for me also is that hammering home the notion that it affects everyone, and it's often seen in the United States as a, quote, gay disease.” 

“We've lost a lot of people, and a lot of incredibly talented people very, very young. There's a lot that's very treatable in the United States, and we're seeing a lot of progress in other parts of the world,” Lacher-Feldman said. “So it's important to know that and remember it, and that this is recent history.”

Some of the celebrities who died from AIDS and demonstrated that it attacks all social circles include Rock Hudson, Freddy Mercury, Arthur Ashe, Liberace, Gia Carangi, Perry Ellis, Halston and Eazy-E. 

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The doctor ...
Edward Congdon Atwater grew up in Batavia, attended Batavia Public Schools, followed by boarding school at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario. During World War II, he served in Europe as a combat infantryman in the Third Army, 101st Infantry. In 1950, the history major graduated from the University of Rochester. During his fifth year, he fulfilled the requirements for medical school, and in 1955, he received a medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School. He served as an intern, assistant resident, and chief resident in medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital. He eventually became an associate professor of medicine and of the history of medicine, teaching medical students and residents and practicing internal medicine, specializing in rheumatology. In the early 1970s, he had a sabbatical year at the Institute for the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins.

Atwater was author of a number of papers, both in clinical medicine and in the history of medicine, and belonged to several professional medical, historical, and community organizations. Locally, he served on the board of the Landmark Society, plus several other boards including the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries, the Rochester Academy of Medicine, the Harvard Medical Alumni Association and the American Association of the History of Medicine.

The historian and collector ...
Lacher-Feldman met the Atwater couple and continued working with Dr. Atwater after Ruth died in 2017. Over time she grew to know him as so very “curious, smart and engaged."

“The last time I saw him, I went to palliative care at Strong, and he died within the next day, later that day, so I was very close to him and worked with him really closely. He would say that what he witnessed there was social history and a show of a major shift in the way that information about sexually transmitted diseases, and protection in a very intimate way, was being shared with the world. That crisis, that's what drew him to begin collecting these posters.”

She saw in him a deep commitment to document the issue, and how its prominence shifted, for posterity.  And that's what he did, she said. Far from over, the collection will continue to grow and be used for educational purposes, she said. There are QR codes in the gallery for posters with “deep captions” from others sharing their own thoughts and stories. Once the exhibit reaches its deadline in June, the plan is to take it on the road to share with other locales. 

“And the fact that we've actually digitized every single poster and made them available, searchable online, has made it really accessible. And that was something that Dr. Atwater wanted to make sure that we did. And we committed to doing that, as part of the agreement for accepting the gift,” she said. “So now, people all over the world can view them, compare them, think about and reflect on how the AIDS crisis has been addressed in different cultures and in different means, and how different messages resonate with different populations.”

Organized by New York-based curator and historian Donald Albrecht, Up Against the Wall will fill Memorial Art Gallery's 5,000- square-foot Docent Gallery and explore the messages and methods used to educate, inform, and provoke audiences worldwide, organizers said.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and select Fridays. Admission is $20; $17 for senior citizens, $11 college students with ID and children 6 to 18; free to members, University of Rochester faculty/staff and students, children 5 and under. 

For more information, call (585) 276-8900 or visit mag.rochester.edu

Photos/images from the University of Rochester

February 24, 2022 - 3:00pm


Join The Chamber in Celebrating March as Arts Awareness Month in Genesee County!

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is pleased to share in celebrating Arts Awareness Month in Genesee County! Our tourism website calendar currently features nearly 100 musical events, artisan workshops, exhibits, and more for you to enjoy! Whether you want to dig in and create something yourself, or be inspired by those who do, our community offers something for everyone!  We invite you to join us in supporting our local arts community. Read our latest blog for more information!

Find a full list of locations and cultural events on our website!

January 28, 2022 - 7:02pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee Valley Conservancy, news, art.

Press Release:

gv015.jpg

Genesee Valley Conservancy is seeking 100 painters for this year’s Genesee Valley 100: Community Painting Project.

Painters will be given a 12x12 canvas upon which to create a piece inspired by the Genesee Valley landscape. The project aims, through art, to celebrate the diversity and importance of the
Genesee Valley landscape that the Conservancy works to protect. The subject and style of the painting is up to each individual artist. Paintings are due October 14 in preparation for the in-person and online show. Signups will be accepted until all slots are filled.

In person signup and pickup of canvases is taking place in Perry at the Silver Lake Brewing Project, 14 Borden Ave., on Sunday February 6 from 1-3.p.m. After that, artists can visit the
Conservancy website for details on signing up and receiving their canvas. All paintings will be pulled together at the end of the year for a show at the Silver Lake Brewing Project in Perry where the paintings will create a mosaic that represents the diversity and beauty of the Genesee Valley. The works will also be online for viewing and purchase.

There is a $10 fee to participate, but school classes are encouraged to reach out to Ben at the Conservancy to waive this fee as part of a class project. The Genesee Valley 100 is proudly underwritten by Steed Energy.

January 21, 2022 - 7:04pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Society of Artists, art, Event.
Event Date and Time: 
February 8, 2022 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Press Release:

January 19, 2022 - 4:30pm


The TableTop ArtShow is a one-of-a-kind art show that runs yearly in the month of March. The show was conjured up during a brainstorming session involving Melissa Flint and Brian Kemp. The duo was talking it up about how to bring art to the people during the height of COVID when no shows were taking place.  With Galleries being closed due to the pandemic, the duo came up with the idea of placing the show right in front of an audience. Restaurants had just re-opened with guidelines that were prohibitive to a traditional gallery show of any kind. "Put it on placemats," Melissa says. And, Boom!!! The TableTop ArtShow was conceived.

The show now consists of area artists submission of up to 3 pieces of art. All artwork submitted is featured in the virtual portion of the show that can be viewed on the worldwide web. 15 of the submitted pieces are selected by the TableTop ArtShow crew to be featured in a gallery show located on the walls of Eli Fish Brewing in Downtown Batavia. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the 1st ($200), 2nd ($100), and 3rd ($50) place winners from the TableTop ArtShow pieces. There will also be a Cash Prize for the Peoples Choice Award selected from all entries: online voting will take place from March 1st - March 31st.

This March, we invite you to take part in this unique event. Visit our site to view the virtual show, visit a participating restaurant to check out the TableTop ArtShow, and/or swing by Elif Fish Brewing to view the 15 actual pieces of art.

If you're an artist or know any, please submit to the show and/or spread the word about this opportunity. Visit our Facebook (@TableTopArtShow) page or our website @ https://tabletopartshow.secure-decoration.com/contact  

We also have sponsorship opportunities available.  Please email Brian at [email protected] if you’re interested in sponsoring this unique event.  Sponsors will have an ad on the TableTop ArtShow, a linked logo on our website, and a logo on any swag that can be purchased through the site as well.  

If you own a restaurant and would like to take part, please send a message to Brian at [email protected] and we can add you to the list of over 20 participating restaurants. Restaurant participation is at no cost.  We just ask that you display the TableTop ArtShow on your tabletops for the month of March.  

We would love your support as events like this do not happen without the support of our community. Thank you and Enjoy the Show! 
https://tabletopartshow.secure-decoration.com/

October 26, 2021 - 5:24pm
posted by Press Release in art.
Event Date and Time: 
November 9, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists will host Artist Shauna Blake on Tuesday, Nov. 9th at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia at 7 pm.  Shauna will demonstrate Acrylic Pour Painting on an ornament. Everyone who comes gets to make one of their own to take home. Please call or text Teresa Tamfer to reserve your spot at (585-506-2465.  Non-Members welcome for a $5.00 fee.

July 4, 2021 - 2:01pm
posted by Press Release in gc park and forest, All-Weather Gang, news, art.

Press release:

Take in the unique and peaceful beauty of our local landscapes with a free art exhibition at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center!

The All-Weather Gang, a group of local artists, is sharing an exhibit of 20 paintings at the park starting this summer on July 10th through Oct. 27th. Artists will be hosting the opening reception on Saturday July 10th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center, located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

The collection of vistas will be displayed in the Discovery Zone. Art lovers and scenery lovers can visit the show during open interpretive center hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays and 12 to 4 p.m. Sundays. After Oct. 3rd, the center opens at noon on Saturdays.

Since the mid-1980s, every Saturday of the year is reserved to "paint the scenes that everyone looks at, but no one sees" for the All-Weather Gang. That leaves the suspicion that the invited group of painters is either immune to heat, cold, rain, snow, and insects or, perhaps, simply flirting with lunacy.

During a normal year, an outing begins with coffee and conversation at a local diner before setting out to find the scene. However, over the past year, a number of outings began by meeting at the Genesee County Park & Forest. This exhibition, "The All-Weather Gang Paints the Park," is the collective result of those pursuits.

On Facebook, find the All-Weather Gang here.

For more information visit the Park & Forest website, or contact Shannon Lyaski at:   [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

June 4, 2021 - 1:14pm

Submitted photos and information from Mary Alice Loucks.

An Attica artist will be carving an abstract totem from a tree in Genesee County and the work starts tomorrow.

Jeffrey Loucks was given an Individual Artist Award by the Arts Council of Wyoming County to carve the totem into the shape of an obelisk on Maplewood Road in Alexander.

The project will take approximately one week. The public is welcome to come and see the sculptural carving and watch the tree transform and take its shape. Look for the safety cones and scaffolding surrounding the tree.

Loucks uses a chainsaw and burns the wood to preserve it using a Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique. His work is remarkable and beyond surprising to everyone who sees it, according to Mary Alice Loucks.

The artist award grant is made possible by the NYS Council of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature; administered in Wyoming County by the Arts Council for Wyoming County.

Top photo: Jeffrey Loucks with the tree on Maplewood Road in Alexander that he will carve with a chainsaw into an obelisk.

Below, a completed carved obelisk by Attica artist Jeffrey Loucks.

May 5, 2021 - 12:35pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, art, news, Taste of Buffalo, Tops Friendly Markets.

Submitted image by Batavia artist Jill Pettigrew and press release:

Tops Friendly Markets and the Taste of Buffalo are pleased to announce that Jill Pettigrew, a talented artist from Batavia, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Taste of Buffalo Tops Poster Art contest.

Pettigrew was the winner for artists in the 18+ year old age group. Her artwork will be featured on the festival poster and in the event’s marketing materials. In addition, she will receive a $1,000 prize.

Anna Valece Bauer, a 17-year old resident of Williamsville, was the winner in the 13-17-year-old age group and will be presented with $500.

The prizes are courtesy of Tops Friendly Markets and The Taste of Buffalo.

“As is always the case, we were incredibly impressed with the talent of Western New York’s many artists who sent in entries for our poster contest,” said Amber Hartman, 2021 Taste of Buffalo chair.

“The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops looks forward to sharing this year’s winning poster inside all of our participating restaurants and on the cover of our digital festival guide, which will be available on TasteofBuffalo.com.”

This year’s festival taking place July 10-11, will be back as a live event and is planned to take place in Niagara Square and on a portion of Delaware Avenue. This year’s festival will be modified to comply with any COVID-19 restrictions that may still be in place in July. 

About Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops

It is the nation's largest two-day food festival. The 38th annual Taste in 2021 will take place on July 10 and 11. The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event.

Approximately $541,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities including three $1,000 scholarships awarded last year to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, visit tasteofbuffalo.com, and find us @tasteofbuffalo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

April 19, 2021 - 2:40pm
posted by Press Release in art, news, Batavia Society of Artists, hands-on demo, watercolors.

From Teresa Tamfer:

The Batavia Society of Artists is having a virtual hands-on watercolor art demonstration by artist Shauna Blake at 7 p.m. on Tuesday May 11th.

Members will get an email with sign-in info.

There is a $5 fee for nonmembers and they need to go to our Facebook page to sign up.

To participate in this hands-on demo on painting with watercolors you will need:

  • Watercolors
  • Watercolor brushes -- (Blake uses mostly rounds size 4, 6 & 8)
  • Watercolor paper
  • Board or plastic mat to tape watercolor paper down
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil

About Shauna Blake, Artist

She started painting in her early teens and has devoted her entire working life to her artwork. She has a love for nature and the outdoors and uses the inspiration and energy it provides to create her art.

She paints in a wide variety of mediums including, watercolors, acrylics, pen and ink, and silk dyes.

In 1994 she graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a major in Graphic Design and Illustration.

She worked in the Graphic Design field for seven years before joining her husband, Brendan, in his glass art business in 2001. Here she expanded her art by studying and creating lampwork glass beads.

Shauna currently sells her hand painted silk scarves, silk ribbons and art prints worldwide on her website -- www.QuintessenceSilk.com -- and on the popular online Etsy handmade crafts site.

Top image, submitted by artist Shauna Blake, is her whimsical rendering of the early spring fuzzy catkins of the genus Salix, aka pussy willows.

February 19, 2021 - 1:29pm
posted by Press Release in Black History, news, education, COVID-19, art, byron-bergen school.

Submitted photos and press release:

As part of their Black History Month studies, Byron-Bergen fourth- and fifth-grade students created art projects with, and inspired by, acclaimed Rochester public artist Shawn Dunwoody (on classroom monitor above).

While Dunwoody has visited the school in past years, this year his presentation took place on an online meeting platform to maintain health and safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

In his presentation to the fourth-grade classes, Dunwoody discussed murals and public art. In his own work, he has used murals to inspire in a variety of community spaces, from donut shops to waterfall viewing platforms.

“The murals I’ve done in communities, I’ve wanted to get people excited about their community,” Dunwoody said. “I want to make people feel good about themselves and the environment they are in.”

Dunwoody then created a collaborative mural design with the students, discussing the artistic process as well as font design and placement. The completed design featured the words “U R Wonderful” in bright colors.

Students then designed their own murals, using Dunwoody’s work as inspiration. Their finished projects included messages of support for environmental and social causes, as well as simple words of kindness such as “You got this,” “Love yourself,” and “You are awesome.”

In a similar presentation to fifth-grade students, Dunwoody discussed his original comic characters, the Legion of Legends, which includes local historical figures Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and George Eastman. His Legion of characters fight villains like Trinity, a character encompassing racism, miseducation and poverty.

Life-sized cutouts of the super heroes stood behind him as he described his creative process.

After creating a collaborative character with the fifth-grade classes, students created their own super heroes with special powers to fight for social justice. Among the heroes were those with the powers to fight for freedom and create peace. Their collaborative hero was “Super Miss Stephen” with the power of writing and the ability to make drawings come to life.

Dunwoody’s presentations were part of a Black History Day of Learning organized by fourth-grade teachers Jenna Carney, Colleen Hardenbrook, Alyson Tardy, and fifth-grade teachers Taylor Haupt, Ken Rogoyski, (Super Miss) Kelly Stephen, Diane Taylor, Erin Varley, and Special Education teacher Lisa Haller.

“Shawn uses art to uplift urban communities and discuss social justice,” Tardy said. “I’m extremely excited grateful that he takes the time to share his talents with our students.”

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