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


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/








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.


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.







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


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

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.


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.” 


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. 


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:


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! 

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.”

January 13, 2021 - 2:38pm
posted by James Burns in news, Basom, Alabama Hotel, art, mural, history.


A new mural was commissioned for the dining room of the Alabama Hotel, located at routes 77 and 63 in Basom.

Owner Bonnie Woodward says, the mural in the main dining room was painted as a display of gratitude for all the hotel’s guests, and it encompasses many the highlights of the local area. The theme of the mural is “All Roads Lead to the Alabama Hotel.”

Bonnie explains the elements in the mural:

  • The Alabama Hotel -- The painting of the hotel is a depiction of the structure dating back to the 1840s when it was first built. The entire section of the wall is a time capsule originating from the inception of the building, moving forward into the 1950s when the Woodward Family bought the Hotel, then forward to 2019 when Bonnie Woodward purchased it, and then finally to you -- the viewer at present.
  • 1957 Buick Convertible – Bonnie wanted to embody the time period when the Hotel was acquired by the Woodward Family – 1956.
  • Gas Pump – The building across from the Hotel, on the southwest corner, was at one point in time a gas station. The gas pump is from the 1950s and indicates the price of gas for that time period ($0.29/gallon).


  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge – A very short drive west is this habitat which supports approximately 266 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, as well as fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects;
  • Giant Wheel – Representing Six Flags Darien Lake in the Town of Darien. The real Giant Wheel propels riders 165 feet in the air.
  • Darien Lake Amphitheater – Hosting performances from all your favorites with a capacity of 21,600 people.
  • Steam Engine Tractor – The steam engine is a great way to represent the nearby Town of Alexander, which has hosted the Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Association and their respective annual rally since 1967.


  • Old Lockport Locks – Running 524 miles with 57 locks, 17 lift bridges, and 13 movable dams, the Erie Canal is yet another designated National Historic Landmark. The Canal was fully operational in 1825. There is an elevation change from Albany to Buffalo of 571 feet. Although the mural depicts the Lockport locks from their historical perspective, the locks have been reconstructed and now are the only double set on The Erie Canal. They raise boats 50 feet using three million gallons of water.


  • Buffalo City Hall – Just a short distance from here is Buffalo – the second largest city in New York State. Buffalo City Hall is a historical Art Deco masterpiece that is at the center of what's happening in Buffalo today.
  • McKinley Monument – The obelisk painted in front of City Hall is the McKinley Monument. This 96-foot tall structure defines the center of Buffalo where all the main roads converge. The monument was dedicated to the memory of President William McKinley who was fatally shot in Buffalo. On Sept. 14, 1901, following McKinley’s death, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated at the Ansley Wilcox House in Buffalo. He became the 26th President of the United States.


  • Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. This major tourist destination is the result of Lake Erie dumping into Lake Ontario and it straddles part of the border between New York and Canada. You may find it interesting to know that the rate of water traversing the falls is controlled by employing a weir with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. Peak tourist season as well as hydroelectric facilities are determinants of such control measures, as well as the extreme importance of erosion control. Niagara Falls, with its hydropower, is the largest electricity producer in New York State.
  • Wine Barrel – Since 1850 more than 5,000 people have either intentionally or accidently gone over the falls. The first person, in 1901, to survive was 63-year old school teacher, Annie Edson Taylor. She successfully performed the stunt in an oak barrel. Of the thousands of subsequent attempts, only 16 others have reportedly survived. Stunting at Niagara Falls has been illegal since 1951 and surviving such a feat could still cost a daredevil up to $25,000 (USD) in fines. 


  • Fresh Produce – Agriculture is a major component of the local economy. The Hotel is positioned in Genesee County, which is part of the Finger Lakes Agricultural Region -- the center of NY agriculture. This region hosts the largest amount of farmland in the State and ranks first in total amount of farm sales. The neighboring Western New York Region comprises of 5,100 farms and 870,000 acres of farmland (2012 U.S. Census Report).
  • Maple Tree – The maple leaf is the chosen emblem of Canada. We are grateful to our friends to the north who have always contributed to the culture and tradition of the Alabama Hotel.
  • Apples – At one point Western New York was the leading apple producing area in the country. Today, NY State farmers grow 40 varieties of apples – more than any other state. The state is currently the second-largest apple producing state in the nation (USDA). 
  • Onions – Neighboring Elba is known as the Onion Capital of the World in large part to the fertile mucklands. This title is upheld by the town’s annual Onion Festival and the crowning of its Onion Queen.
  • Cary Seminary – Consistent with the theme of the other landmark structures, the artist captured the historic essence of the Cary Collegiate Seminary in neighboring Oakfield. The Seminary was opened in 1844 as a select boarding school and later became Oakfield High School. The building is now School House Manor – 27 apartments for the elderly.
  • Milk Can – This is a symbolic homage to the local dairy industry; which is a major part of the economy. “The state has more than 4,000 dairy farms, is the fourth largest producer of milk [in the Nation], and is the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. The dairy community includes both large dairy operations and small, family-run farms. It also boasts processing of various types and sizes, from major global processing companies to small artisanal dairy product makers.” 
  • Holding Lantern – Homage to the Underground Railroad. The entire area of Western New York was filled with stops or stations with major stations in Buffalo and Rochester. At the stations, weary slaves were given food, rest and a change of clothing before continuing the last leg of the journey to freedom in Canada.


  • Holland Land Office – Located in Batavia, the image is of the third and last office of The Holland Land Company. In 1960, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark, the first one in Western New York. If you’re keeping track, that is the third National Historic Landmark on the mural tour. 
  • Kodak Building – Nearby Rochester is known for the cultural icon of Eastman Kodak. With the slogan "you press the button, we do the rest" George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of a world of consumers in 1888. In so doing he made a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone. Eastman’s Company has been at the center of most milestones in photography and digital imaging ever since.” 


Signatures of artists Susan Weber from Alden and Daniel Riggs originally from Elba


December 1, 2020 - 3:12pm

Submitted images and information.

The Batavia Society of Artist is hosting a Virtual Art Demonstration at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 8th.

Adrian Morris is an Irish artist from Ireland. He has lived in Batavia for 12 years. He was a pencil artist for many years before becoming a full-time painter. He will be demonstrating acrylic portrait painting via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Tickets are available on the BataviaSocietyofArtists facebook page for $5 for non-members.

For more info check out our facebook page or call Karen Crittenden, the facilitator of the Zoom meeting, at (585) 584-3296.

November 20, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee Valley Conservancy, art, news, bergen, Pavilion, Oakfield.

Above, "Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse" by Charles Malone, of Oakfield, who uses soils from the area to color his work.

Submitted images and press release:

This week marked the opening of the "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project" of the Genesee Valley Conservancy.

The project had only two simple directives for artists: use the provided 12X12 canvas, and paint something inspired by the Genesee Valley.

Organized by Genesee Valley Conservancy, a nonprofit celebrating 30 years of protecting habitat, open space, and farmland within the Genesee Valley, this project aims to capture the beauty and undefinable essence that the organization has been working to protect.

The Genesee Valley 100 exhibit of paintings is viewable online on the Conservancy’s website and in person during regular business hours at the Silver Lake Brewing Project in Perry (Wyoming County) through the end of the year. It is located at 14 Borden Ave.

Online is where all sales take place, which benefit both the local artist and the Conservancy.

This year, three Genesee County artists participated and one close by in Attica: Charles Malone, of Oakfield; David Burke, of Bergen; Susan Kinney, of Oakfield, and Linda Fix, of Attica.

In creating such a collection of work and exhibiting them to the public, the organization hopes to inspire people to recognize the importance of the local lands and natural resources that surround and benefit us. Lands that future generations will be grateful if we properly care for them today.

Agricultural lands provide jobs and local food, supporting a large part of our rural economy. Lakes providing drinking water depend on the open spaces and forests surrounding them to naturally filter runoff so it is clean and safe to drink. Thriving habitat provides unique places to explore, recreate and enjoy fresh air while breaking from screens and devices.

A range of diverse styles are on display and artists of all levels of experiences participated. High school students and amateurs have pieces hung next to lifelong and professional painters. This is another unique part of this show. No one is juried to get in. Everyone interested is welcome to submit their painting, no questions asked.

The goal is to see what inspires people about the Genesee Valley and, in turn, present those images to the public to inspire others to recognize what a beautiful and special place we live.

While each individual piece warrants up close inspection, hung together at the brewery the collection is an impressive mosaic that is a work of art itself.

In trying to reach a broad audience for the project, the show is intentionally hung in a nontraditional space for art, that is to say, not in a gallery. The hope is people not seeking art out will be confronted by the project and be exposed to some great local artists and to images of our beautiful landscape. 

Paintings represent locations within the Genesee Valley from the headwaters of the Genesee River in Pennsylvania all the way to the shores of Lake Ontario, and everywhere in between.  

Forty-three communities are represented by painters this year. Fifty-one artists are first-time participants in the Genesee Valley 100. Thirty-four return from 2018, the first year of the project, that also featured original paintings. Eighteen artists this year are returning from last year’s project, which was oriented just to photographers, but held the same 12x12 requirement and that the work be of the Genesee Valley.

About Genesee Valley Conservancy

It is a nationally accredited nonprofit conservation organization working to protect the habitat, open space and farmland in the Genesee River watershed. Over 21,360 acres of natural habitat and productive farm and forest land have been conserved by Genesee Valley Conservancy and private landowners. The organization also owns nature preserves open to the public year-round for recreation and education.

For more information visit www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org

Below, "Bergen Swamp Trail" by David Burke, of Bergen.

Below, "Rainy Morning at Armson Farms" by Susan Kinney, of Pavilion.

Below, "Nature's Wonder" by Linda Fix, of Attica.

Below, a portion of the 12" by 12" works in this year's "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project."

October 23, 2020 - 3:34pm

Submitted images and press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting its debut Virtual Art Demonstration at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10th. Shauna Blake will demonstrate painting on silk with dyes via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Tickets are available on the Batavia Society of Artists Facebook page for $5 for non-members. For more info check out the Facebook page or call Karen Crittenden, the facilitator of the Zoom meeting, at (585) 584-3296.

About Shauna Blake, Artist

Shauna Blake 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.

Then in 2009 she discovered silk painting. She found that painting on silk was the perfect fit for her creative and expressive artistic style.

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

October 20, 2020 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Great American Smokeout, news, GOW reality check, art.

Press release:

Reality Check programs of Western New York are getting creative to honor this year’s Great American Smokeout. As communities continue to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19, the youth coordinators in the GOW Region decided the safest (and fun) way to help young people demonstrate their leadership is through an art contest.

The deadline to submit entries is Nov. 13. Winners will be announced on Nov. 19, the date of this year’s Great American Smokeout.

“We miss doing group events like cigarette butt pickups, educational events, and watching our young people champion issues they believe in,” said Brittany Bozzer, GOW Reality Check coordinator. “This art contest will build awareness on the impacts of tobacco use and help ensure that youth voices are a part of the solution for healthier communities.”

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages and offers support to smokers to make a plan to quit smoking or to quit smoking on the day of the event – Thursday, Nov. 19. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk. 

Contest Details

Creative Western New Yorkers between the ages of 12 and 18 are encouraged to virtually submit a piece of artwork that highlights the dangers of tobacco use or why they want their community to be tobacco free. Artwork can be a poster, poem, comic, photo or video. Winners will be chosen in two age groups: 12-14 years old and 15-18 years old. 

Youth are asked to submit their masterpiece, along with their name, age, school name, phone number and guardian’s name, to:   [email protected]

About Reality Check

Reality Check is a youth-led movement in New York State that empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members create change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.

Reality Check groups work in their communities by trying to limit the exposure of tobacco marketing in stores, help make smoke/vape-free public, work, and housing spaces, and limiting the exposure to smoking/vaping in movies.

These initiatives are to help discourage young people from becoming new daily smokers and encourage current smokers to quit. More information can be found at realitycheckofny.com and tobaccofreenys.com

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