Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


February 1, 2023 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GO ART!, picnic in the park, city council.


City Councilwoman Patti Pacino was true to her word from a meeting last September.

During that Sept. 27 discussion about shifting more than $9,000 of leftover Centennial Celebration money toward a future Wing Ding event, Pacino spoke up on behalf of another beloved city favorite.

“While I think the Wing Ding is fabulous and it is an event open to everyone, we used to fund the Picnic in the Park, which is also for everyone,” she said at the time. “GO Art! had to cancel the picnic.”

The city used to contribute money — about $2,500 — to the annual Picnic in the Park, but began to cut back over the last few years, and did not fund it in 2019, 2021 or 2022. The Original Red Osier Landmark restaurant presented the event in 2019, and a virtual picnic -- sponsored by several entities, including the city --  was shown on YouTube in 2020. The picnic was canceled in 2021 due to COVID protocols and lack of sponsorship and canceled again in 2022 due to lack of sponsorships.

During that September meeting, Pacino said she would vote for the Wing Ding and transfer of money, but expected support when a request for Picnic in the Park funding came around again.

As part of early budget talks this year, Pacino requested that the council add another $4,000 in funding to GO Art!, for a total of $6,500.

During Monday’s budget workshop, Councilman Bob Bialkowski asked about that line item, and City Manager Rachael Tabelski explained what happened.

“Patti asked for funding of $4,000 to be put back in the budget,” she said. “No one disagreed at the time. So I included it for discussion.”

No one raised objections about the total. In the overall category of recreation, another $12,932 is slated for community celebrations, $78,846 for the Youth Bureau summer rec program, $15,340 for the ice rink, and $15,750 for Dwyer Stadium.

Also present Monday were council members Tammy Schmidt, Eugene Jankowski Jr., Paul Viele, Kathy Briggs, and Al McGinnis. John Deleo and Pacino were absent.

2022 File Photo of City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., and Council members Paul Viele and Patti Pacino during a meeting in September 2022. Photo by Joanne Beck.

January 29, 2023 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jim owen, GO ART!, batavia, news, arts.


The Owen Library at GO ART! was unveiled today as the James R. Owen Memorial Library, in honor of the late "Mayor" Jim Owen, who passed away Jan. 19.

Owen, notoriously tight-fisted with a dollar, if not a dime, was generous with his donations to causes he supported, especially the arts, and especially music.  Owen, who made no bones about his lack of musical talent (he was quoted at the event as once saying, "I sing solo.  So low, nobody can hear it.") was especially proud of the accomplishments of his father, the late Frank Owen, who was a music teacher at Batavia High School.

In addition to the many donations he made to GO ART! during his lifetime -- such as the funds to help create the library, the books in the library, and the white baby grand piano, he also left a sizeable donation, Director Gregory Hallock (speaking above) said. It's enough that GO ART! can create an endowment fund for the first time in the organization's history. 


Photos by Howard Owens


Andy Rich and Brad Meholick at the Franke E. Owen Memorial Piano in the James R. Owen Memorial Library.



Carol Reband and Elain Watson toast Jim Owen.


January 27, 2023 - 7:08pm
posted by Press Release in jim owen, GO ART!, batavia, news.


Press release:

GO ART! will be celebrating the life of James R. Owen on Sunday at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The mic will be open for anyone that wants to speak or share a story about Jim.

The beautiful white baby grand piano in the Owen Library, donated by Mr. Owen, will be played with any and all welcome to sing along. Jim would sit for hours in the Library sharing stories, talking about his father and music, and doing his best to entertain. And entertain, is what we plan to do during this celebration. Food will be provided, and the bar will be open.

When Mr. Owen donated the funds to make the library a reality, he did not want his first name associated with it. He said it was because he did not want to ruin his reputation as a frugal man, but we all know it was because he was humble and did not want the credit. He made GO ART!'s director promise that his first name would not be associated with it while he was alive. Please join GO ART! at this celebration of life event in the renaming of the Owen Library to the James R. Owen Library.

The event will be held at GO ART!'s Seymour Place, 201 East Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020, on Jan. 29 at 1 pm.

January 13, 2023 - 10:04am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Batavia City Schools, GO ART!, batavia.

Putting the finishing touches on display space has meant a slight postponement, however, the annual exhibit for Batavia High School student artwork will debut in about two weeks at the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council in Batavia.

An opening reception has been rescheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at GO ART!, 201 East Main St., Batavia, Coordinator Nikki Greenbaum said.

The show will run through Feb. 24 and showcase 22 students from grades nine to 12.Their pieces cover a wide range of art electives, Greenbaum said, to meet the goal of highlighting a variety of art mediums within the class electives offered at the city school district.

“We have students participating that are from our AP Art, Portfolio, Printmaking, Drawing, Painting and Studio Art classes,” she said. “We do hope that many of our students will be able to make it to the opening reception and will be available to talk about their work.”

The artwork currently exhibited illustrates a variety of mediums from oil pastels, printing ink, graphite, watercolor, acrylic paint, charcoal, and ball point pen, she said.

Greenbaum has served to coordinate the show between the Art Department, which also includes staff Mandi Antonucci and Ashley Duzsa, and GO ART!

Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.




Photos of student artworks submitted by Nikki Greenbaum.

December 16, 2022 - 8:03pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, arts, GO ART!, batavia.


Gregory Hallock hid his personal life for “a very long time,” before realizing that he needed to be a better role model for his children.

The GO ART! executive director and father of two stepped out from the shadows to display that it’s ok to be who you are.

“Coming out was hard for me. I prayed to God every day to make me not gay,” Hallock said of his life up to his mid-20s. “My then-husband and I decided that we have to be proud of who we are. And we want our children to be proud of who they are.”

That love and respect he has for himself, his family and his children — Augustus, 7, and 10-year-old Cattaleya — has been folded into a 15-piece exhibit of various artworks that tell “My Journey” at the Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council, 201 East Main St., Batavia.

It was a colleague, Mary Jo Whitman, working as art coordinator for Genesee Community College, who prompted Hallock to submit his first piece in 2016.

“I was doing a piece for a charity auction. And I was selling that piece. And they were auctioning it off, and I bought it back because it didn’t go for what I thought it was worth. And Mary Jo … they were doing an alumni show, and she asked me to apply for the show. So I applied, thinking that I would be putting in that one piece. Only six artists got selected. And she's like, 'you got selected, now I need the rest of your collection,'” he said. “So I added to the collection, and I decided the initial piece was about love. I had taken two chairs that were exactly the same, I cut out half of the seats on both of them … and I combined them to make a bench. For us, we were two separate people that weren't allowed to be together because of being homosexual. And then we were allowed. So that was our love coming together. So from there, I decided to create a collection based on my journey through life.”

Now 42, Hallock has embraced his persona, which has been steeped in the performing arts, having gone to school for theater, acting and dancing. He was not one to give up easily, and in fact, is “very competitive,” even to the point of making sure to win every coloring contest as a kid.

"My first piece, “(I’m) Coming Out” is a collection of stories from all different people about moments in their life, that, upon looking back on, they realized they were literally 'born this way,'" he said. "I have attached them to a closet door in representation of my childhood and the moment I came out at age 24."  

His pieces use materials, such as the wooden chairs, that have been created from two separate pieces to meld into one unified bench. Even his children’s school work has been incorporated into his imagination through decoupage. The collection has been a gradual accumulation of work, much of which was found when a staffer was cleaning out his office. Much of the pieces are from objects found — literally in the street, he said — and fashioned into something meaningful, often weaving family into them.

“I love the arts, fine art is something I have not pursued, he said. “I did that collection to make people smile. In general, it just makes me smile. This is my now. There’s a meaning behind every piece. For photographs, I would make my whole family do a photo shoot with costumes.”

During his first adoption process, it went much quicker than expected, and before he knew it, Hallock and his former husband welcomed Augustus as part of the family. Then Jezebel the dog, a wheaten terrier, got pregnant and had seven puppies. His life had become wrapped up in pregnancies, and he loved every moment of it, he said.

Hallock then had the privilege of cutting Cattaleya’s umbilical cord during his second adoption, and it further strengthened his fatherhood — and personhood — experience, he said.

“And then came the biggest day of our lives: “Our Little Princess” (also one of his pieces) was born.  I remember swearing that I would never buy Disney clothes or in general be that Disney person,” he says in the exhibit statement. “Well, I failed. I am 100 percent that Disney person, but when you have a daughter how can you avoid it (excuse, lol).”

Fast forward six years, and his “now” has changed, he said, to having a 10-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son who was adopted at age four, plus five chickens, two dogs, two gerbils, one cat, one hedgehog, and one fish. He is "flying high" despite having encountered some bumps along the way.

"I have been working my dream job for nearly seven years, I have gone through a bout of cancer, a separation bought a house and am living life to its fullest," he said.

He credits his family for supporting everything in and about his life -- including dressing up in costumes for photos --- and his mom's handiwork of crocheted ornaments and stockings is included in the exhibit as well.

He has a tattoo that simply states where he’s at these days: “love for all, hate for none.”


Mary Jo Whitman always had an interest in art, she said, and pursued that by obtaining an associates, bachelor and master degree in fine and studio arts, sculpture, and finally, critical museum studies. Her goal was to become a professor, which she accomplished as an adjunct at GCC.

Whitman also wanted to get involved in an art gallery or museum, she said, and was art coordinator at GCC. She is currently at GO ART! as an educational statewide community regrant program director. Long titles aside, Whitman’s craft is short on boring — bringing multiple facets of images together as a completed visual.

“I’m very interested in human behavior and how we come to identify ourselves. So I believe that our identities are socially and culturally constructed. Meaning that every single aspect of your personality, your beliefs, everything that makes you a person has been influenced by someone or something else that you've come in contact with through your life,” Whitman said. “And taking that on the next level, as adults to really be successful in life, you really have to be able to assimilate to whatever situation you're presented with. I really got into what is the psychological impact … who are you at the very root of it.”

Although she answered that for herself through these pieces — there’s an image of Whitman in every photo — she’s reluctant to share that with the world. Considered “very personal,” she wants instead for viewers to interpret for themselves what each piece means, and how they feel when they see it.

Her 18 pieces, “Deconstructed and Raw,” include sculptures and digital photos culled over the last decade, with the last two years being devoted more to the digital realm.

“I’ve always had an interest in art, pretty much my entire life. I went to school for art. And I've always, within doing my art, I'm always experimenting with different mediums, trying different things. I decided, after taking some courses in digital art, I really enjoyed being able to manipulate images in Photoshop,” Whitman said. “I like the kind of freedom it gave you. Because you can't really make mistakes. You know, when you're doing a painting or something, if you make a mistake, it's hard to kind of rectify it where and when you're working in a digital capacity, it's easy; I could just undo whatever I just did.

“I dissect myself into different identities, and break them down,” she said of her “The Disillusioned” piece. “Once the work is shown publicly, it’s the audience’s responsibility to interpret.”

Whitman was doing her grad school research, being drawn heavily into the idea of identity construction, she said.

“And so, in looking at this, I really got interested in what is the psychological impact of knowing that your identity is constructed: who would you be if you had not been influenced by this specific thing, or that specific thing?” she said.

Backdrops are taken from obscure places, such as her gutted basement with pieces of dropped ceiling torn down. That construction material is shot in wide angle with other images positioned on top and merged.

"And when it was on the floor, I was just kind of, you know, enamored with this, these materials, it was all broken up and dusty. So I started taking photographs, I took these very low wide angle photos of it. And usually, when I'm doing one of these digital images, that's my first thing I go to, as I find the central background image of it, and it's usually something wide angle, you know, from an unusual perspective, so that was kind of fitting into it," she said. "And, you know, it was kind of telling through some things that I had going on, ... and I scanned in these incomplete drawings and manipulated them so tha they're overlaid of this image, and then there' an image of me ... And then just kind of put this like introspective silhouette kind of image of myself, it's like sitting amongst this rubble."

Whitman plans to have other exhibits in the next year, she said, depicting “that mode of anxiety of who am I right now? I enjoy the human behavior.”

"I attribute much of the success in my life to my ability to assume whatever identity is necessary to function within any social situation with which I am presented. My appearance, my clothing, my mannerisms, my vocabulary, and even the tone of my voice differ from situation to situation. I am the crazy hippie, dancing barefoot at a festival as my flowing skirt chases me. I am the curator, entertaining pretentious conversation in stilettos," Whitman said. "I am the smart-ass bartender, donning pigtails and a bowtie with a mischievous grin. I am the country girl in mud-covered, ripped-up jeans, destroying targets with a shotgun and riding four-wheelers. I am an artist, conceptualizing all my observations in an array of mediums, often in wax and plaster-covered clothing. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am an aunt. I am a mom. The sheer size of my closet can attest to how many different people I can be and who I may need to be at any given moment.

"So, who am I beneath the fractured and fluid identity which has been constructed in accordance with societal expectations? The truth is, I am all of these identities… and none of them at the same time," she said in her artist statement.


How does Program Coordinator Jodi Fisher feel about her first exhibit, “Pictures and Prose?”

“It’s nerve-wracking,” she said.

Her 22 photographs of mostly color scenes focus on the outdoors, nature, and, really, “anything that’s interesting or out of the ordinary,” she said.

One muse she’s drawn to is the sky — she loves”I love taking pictures of the clouds and the infinite blues” — and gaze into Centennial Park.

“I’ve always been into art, and have never been able to draw,” she said. “I’ve always been into poems and poetry — m mom used to read poems to me every night.”

Now that she’s discovered a special lens for the iPhone — noted for capturing “amazing” photos by users these days — Fisher plans to home in on the fine details of close-ups, called “extreme detail photography.”

“I just see something beautiful,” she said. “I don’t necessarily see it as art, it speaks to me in some way or another. It sometimes tells a story about something, like an abandoned building.”

Her poem “Autumn” aptly describes a photo of those leafy trees:


The sun peaking through 

The leftover autumn leaves

Casting shadows on the ground

Blue skies above the canopy

The sweet fragrance wafting up

From the forest floor

The sharp crunch with each step

As you trek across the uneven soil

You are transported back

To a time before the lands were spoiled

Before the trees were stripped 

And if only for a moment you are one with everything around you

You are Autumn


She began writing poetry, and “wanted to incorporate that with photos,” she said. “Poems and songs have always intrigued me. Those were my nighttime stories.”

The exhibits of Whitman and Fisher will be through Feb. 18.








Photos of GO ART! staff artists Gregory Hallock, top, Mary Jo Whitman and Jodi Fisher are featured in an exhibit at the facility at 201 East Main St., Batavia; various works on display; and Angie Dickson, above, who contributed some artwork to the exhibit. Photos by Howard Owens.

December 9, 2022 - 7:43pm
posted by Press Release in news, art, GO ART!, batavia.


Press Release:

Every year GO ART! holds its Annual Members’ Exhibit which features artwork of its members. This year, alongside the members’ exhibit, the organization will also host exhibitions which showcase the work of staff members. Opening receptions for the member and staff exhibits will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. at GO ART! located at 201 East Main St., Batavia.

“The Annual Members’ Exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the talent of our members. I look forward to the exhibit and seeing our members’ work every year,” says Mary Jo Whitman, who coordinates GO ART!’s art exhibits. “I am very excited about the addition of the staff exhibits this year. I think that everyone who knows us, or at least has heard of GO ART!, knows we are passionate about the arts. We invest a lot of time and energy into providing programming, events, opportunities, and resources for artists and the community.

"Most people do not realize that we are all artists ourselves, however, as our artistic practices often take a back seat to the work that we do," Whitman said. "It is exciting to give the community a chance to see us in a different role. Pairing staff exhibits with the Annual Member’s Exhibits provides a great opportunity to showcase the talents of the organization as a whole.”

The Annual Members’ Exhibit will be on display in the Tompkins Bank of Castile Main Gallery December 14 - January 28. Pictures and Prose by Jodi Fisher, Program Coordinator, will be on display Dec. 1 - Feb. 18 in The Batavia Club Gallery.

Executive Director Gregory Hallock’s installation, My Journey, will be on display in The Batavia Rotary Club Gallery December 7 - December 23. Deconstructed and Raw, the works of Education and SCR Director, Mary Jo Whitman, will be on display in the Oliver’s Gallery December 1 - February 18.

For more information on GO ART!’s exhibits, contact Mary Jo Whitman at [email protected].


Top Photo: Sugar Maple Canopy by Jodi Fisher; and above, The Disillusioned by Mary Jo Whitman. Submitted photos.

December 5, 2022 - 12:57pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GO ART!, batavia.


A battle of the publishers this weekend came close to a tie, pitting former Daily News publisher Tom Turnbull against Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian. The match-up was for GO Art!'s Bartender Challenge, a fundraiser for the Batavia-based  nonprofit.

After about two dozen patrons participated, the total tips were counted: $164 for Turnbull and $159 for Owens. All in good fun, it ended well with a contribution of $323 for Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. 






Photos by Stephen Ognibene.


November 26, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Press Release in news, GO ART!, batavia, notfy.


Press Release

GO ART! invites the community to support Tom Turnbull and Howard Owens as they battle it out for Ultimate Celebrity Bartender at the GLOWville Afterparty, following Christmas in the City. They will be testing their skills behind the bar at GO ART!’s Tavern 2.o.1, located at 201 East Main Street, Batavia, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec 3rd.  The event is open to the public for anyone 21 and older. 

Turnbull, graduate of the Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism, started out at the Batavia Newspapers Corporation in 1975.  He spent nights writing about high school sports and worked in advertising during the day, eventually working his way up to Publisher.  Turnbull says that he “looks forward to getting together with Howard" and is hoping they both can raise money for GO ART!

Owens, current Publisher/Executive Editor of the Batavian, started his career in 1986.  He has worked with various publications, holding positions of Daily Newspaper Reporter and Editor, Director of New Media, and Director of Digital Publishing.  “Tom’s become a good friend,” Owens says, “but it will be fun to renew our old rivalry for a good cause.  It should be fun for everybody.”

The contenders have plenty of experience in journalism, but how will they fare behind a bar?  Serving a selection of locally made or sourced beer, wines, meads, and ciders, the pair will be in competition to earn the most tips, bragging rights and title of Ultimate Celebrity Bartender. All proceeds go to support GO ART!’s many public programs.

For more info visit goart.org or contact [email protected]

Submitted Photo of Tom Turnbull, left, and Howard Owens rehearsing a pour.

November 19, 2022 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Terry Webber, GO ART!, batavia, Bethany, news, arts.


The main gallery at GO ART! is filled with wooly bright colors until Dec. 3 in an exclusive show for East Bethany artist Terry Webber. 

Webber's show of painted wool is unique.  The pictures are bright and vibrant but filled with texture and an element of 3D vision.

Webber, who owns East Bethany Arts and Antiques at 5769 Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, explained the involved process of creating her pictures.  It starts with a sheet of wool, called "pre-felt," and that becomes the background.  She then adds puff balls of color and everything is soaked in soap and water. The work is then placed in a felting machine that spins the felt 4,000 to 5,000 times. The pieces of wool then become one solid piece.  From there, she ads needlework as needed or ads "naps" that provide additional texture.

She's been working in the medium for about a decade. She found out in April she would have a show at GO ART! and began creating 40 new pieces -- she actually exceeded her goal, producing 44 pieces.  

"I like the vibrancy," Webber said.  "It also keeps you from being too nitpicky just because it's not paints and it's not pencil. It's more freeform but the colors are what I like the most."





November 14, 2022 - 8:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, Seymour Place, batavia, news.


It says right on the building, "Arts Council," but GO ART! Director Gregory Hallock has been concerned that people don't realize that Seymour Place at 201 East Main St. is a place anybody can come in and see art.

"I think a lot of people don't see our sign, and a lot of people still think we're a membership club," Hallock said. "Yes, we have members but you don't have to be a member to come in."

His solution: Install some works of art -- in this case, sculptures -- in the garden plots in front of the red brick building at the corner of East Main and Bank streets in Batavia.

Hallock and the GO ART! staff had become familiar with the work of Bill Schutt from his showing at the Ramble, what's on display at Eli Fish Brewing Co., his entries into an art competition there, and knew he worked in metal, which seemed like the perfect medium for sculptures placed outside the building.

It might come as a surprise to some that Schutt is an artist.  The Basom resident has been a volunteer firefighter for 32 years and spent a dozen years working for either Genesee County Emergency Management or Mercy EMS.

He often tinkered around the house, working with metal, installing bookshelves or other useful items for the house, often embellishing whatever he made with artistic touches. A few years ago he became inspired to make sculptures using scrap metal on his property.

He's recently branched out into making larger pieces, so the commission from GO ART! came at an opportune time to expand his portfolio.

Schutt's pieces are about "our shared humanity," he said.

The first one is a riff on a popular social media meme about the difference between equality and equity. In the meme, three people of different heights are shown standing on boxes, trying to see over a fence to watch a baseball game.  They're all on the same size box.  The tall person can see, the smallest person can't see at all. That is equality, according to the meme. When the boxes are restacked, so the tallest has no box, the medium-height person has one, and the shortest has two, all three can see.  The meme labels that configuration, "equity."

The second sculpture is of people in silhouette. Their faces look the same but they're all different based on hairstyle and the jewelry they wear.

"It's kind of a reminder that we are more the same than we are different," Schutt said. "We need to celebrate our differences and find our common humanity.  Art does that. It brings together all walks of life."

Hallock loved the work, he said.

"I didn't know what he was going to do, and I'm pleasantly pleased with the pieces," Hallock said.  "The message of equity and unity is there."

Submitted photos.




October 14, 2022 - 9:56pm
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, news.


Press release:

GO ART! is happy to invite you to our Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration, co-sponsored by the Orleans County YMCA and Mariachi de Oro Mexican Grill. Join us on Saturday, October 22 at the Orleans County YMCA, 306 Pearl St., Medina, from 3:00-7:00 pm.  Come learn about and enjoy this holiday that remembers ancestors, with free activities for the whole family.  The festivities will include Mexican crafts, face painting, dance and drama performances, sand painting and ofrenda displays, and special food tastings.  All activities will continue throughout the day: a full schedule can be found at www.MedinaDoD.com

The Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration is a time of joyful remembrance of deceased loved ones, filled with an array of colors, scents, sounds and stories. Centered around the observance of All Saints and All Souls Days on November 1 and 2, the celebration also includes images and ideas about the roles of ancestors in our lives that trace back to Mexico’s indigenous peoples.  Tradition holds that this is the one time of the year when souls can return to earth for a day and commune with their families and friends.  

“We’re excited to be at the YMCA again this year, with the continuing support of local Medina businesses and community members” says Karen Canning, director of GLOW Traditions at GO ART!  Mexican celebrations of the holiday often include animated skeletons, colorfully decorated skulls (calaveras), and elaborately cut tissue paper banners, emphasizing life’s continuing vibrancy in the midst of mortality. Local business owners and community groups are hosting workshops in such arts, including sugar skulls, paper flowers and banners, and paper masks. Hosts and volunteers include Della’s Chocolates, The Downtown Browsery, Oak Orchard Girl Scouts, and Medina High School students.  Canalside Tattoos will offer temporary tattoos, Case-Nic Cookies will have Day of the Dead-themed treats for sale, and Las Toxicas will feature Mexican jewelry and clothing for purchase. GO ART! staff will host face painting, and Mariachi de Oro will provide samples of Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muerto (bread of the dead), typical food of the holiday.

Beautiful altars (ofrendas) in homes welcome the returning souls and feature candles, wild marigolds, incense, photographs, mementos and loved ones’ favorite foods like fruit, tortillas, tamales, chocolate, and bread.  Members of the Rosario family will again create a large ofrenda at the YMCA in the style of their hometown in Oaxaca, Mexico. Artist Antonio Cruz Zavaleta will create a sand painting in front of the ofrenda, another decorative art found in Oaxaca for the holiday—check the schedule for a Q & A with the creators of these artistic traditions.  Attendees can contribute to a community ofrenda, where they can place a candle (electric, provided) and add their own remembrances of loved ones.

Mexican dance and music performances will be presented by Alma de México, a group from Rochester led by Karla Alcalá.  A former member of a folkloric dance group in Mexico, Karla now teaches community members traditional dance from a variety of regions. Live music will also be provided by La Marimba, a marimba band from Buffalo, led by Tiffany Nicely. Large monos de calenda (street puppets), created by artist, Antonio Cruz Zavaleta, will also return to dance and wander among attendees.  Everyone’s invited to join in, and feel free to come in Day of the Dead-themed outfits.

This year we welcome four artists—Dan Butler, Ted Canning, Ruben Ornelas, and Gaitrie Subryan—from the newly-formed GLOW Creatives collective, supported by a 2-year grant from Creatives Rebuild New York. They will assist with face painting, sound reinforcement, and presentations of personal ofrendas and dance—see the online schedule for exact timing (www.medinadod.com).

The event is co-sponsored by GLOW Traditions at GO ART!, Mariachi de Oro Restaurant, and the YMCA, with partial funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Submitting photos.

Top photo: Karla Alcala, front, leads dancers from Alma de Mexico who will perform at the Day of the Dead. Photo from Batavia in 2022, by Karen Canning


Leonel Rosario adjusts the hat on a mono de calenda (street puppet) at the 2021 Day of the Dead celebration, Medina. Photo by Christine Zinni


An attendee enjoys a paper mask-making workshop, 2021 Day of the Dead Celebration, Medina. Photo by Christine Zinni


Lola Alvarado, center, and Gladys Rosario, right, in Dia de Muertos face paint, 2019 Day of the Dead celebration, Medina. Photo by T.C. Owens

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


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."





September 8, 2022 - 5:48pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Society of Artists, GO ART!, batavia, arts, news.


Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Karen Crittenden on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia.  Karen will be doing a hands-on demonstration of Mono Printing on Gelli Plates.  Non-Members are welcome for a $5 fee.  Tavern 2.o.1.will be open for cash purchases during this demo.

Karen is a lifelong artist.  Starting with office supplies, cereal boxes and construction paper when she was very young.  Karen received her first camera at the age of 10 as a gift and has not put one down since then.  She has explored many mediums and styles of art.  In recent times, mixed media has been a well-received favorite as well as her photographs.  

Karen owns and operates Karen’s Yarn Paper Scissors, 550 E. Main St., Batavia, where she offers classes in mixed media, junk journals/folios as well as other art and craft lessons.  She has been doing this for the last 10 years.

Her philosophy regarding art and craft is this: “I sincerely believe that anyone can be an artist.  It takes time and practice and finding a medium you really love and feel comfortable doing.  Anyone can practice art and craft and can learn.  It is up to the teacher to find appropriate ways for people to learn.”




August 27, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GO ART!, batavia, comedy, entertainment.


Drawing from both sides of Genesee County, GO Art! host/comedian Chris Hasenauer of Rochester, center, relaxes before Friday's show with fellow comedians Sarah Benderson, left, of Rochester, Ryan Garcia of Rochester, and, far right, Alex Brady of Buffalo. Hasenauer would like to offer more comedy nights through winter, he said, at the East Main Street site. 

GO Art! Executive Director Gregory Hallock said that the facility creates, sponsors and presents all forms of art, "including, but not limited to, fine, performing, literary, culinary, design, tech, horticultural, folk and media." Now Comedy Nights are a new venture for the downtown Batavia nonprofit.

"When they happen, they are on Friday nights." he said.


Ryan Garcia of Rochester talks about his children, first dates, work situations, personal hygiene, homophobia and being Dominican during Friday's Comedy Night at GO Art! in Batavia. It is an adult show with some expletives. 


Sharing laughts before their performances, Sarah Benderson, Ryan Garcia, Chris Hasenauer and Alex Brady get to know each other through a comedian's perspective.


Chris Hasenauer played dual roles of host and comedian during Friday's Comedy Night at GO Art!


Rochester comedian Sarah Benderson, in a voice resembling a female cartoon character, picks out a couple for her questions about dating.

Photos by Joanne Beck.



August 25, 2022 - 5:37pm
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, batavia, news, arts.


Press release:

GO ART!, on 201 E. Main St. Batavia, is soon to host two new art exhibitions. In the ground floor's Tompkins Bank of Castile Main Gallery, witness Rebecca Graham's “Traditional Mixed Media in a Digital World,” a series of subject-driven works that evoke warm nostalgia for analog experience. This show will run from Sept. 7 through Oct. 29, with a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept 17.

The second floor's Rotary Room gallery will feature works of various media by the GLOW Creatives, a group of artists that are collaborating (with each other, with GO ART!, and two other area arts councils) on a two-year grant-funded series of art projects intended to engage four rural Western NY counties. Sculpture by Susan Ferrari Rowley, photography by Keith Walters, painting by Dan Butler, and digital artwork by GO ART! marketing coordinator Austin Retzlaff will be featured. To learn more about the collaboration, please visit goart.org/glowcreatives. With an opening reception on September 15th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the show runs from Sept. 7 to Oct. 29.

Please visit https://www.goart.org/upcoming-exhibitions for more information on these and other anticipated gallery exhibitions at GO ART!




August 15, 2022 - 4:21pm
posted by Press Release in news, arts, GO ART!, grants.

Press Release

GO ART! Announces Upcoming Statewide Community Regrant Program Funding Opportunities and Schedule of SCR Grant Workshops. What is the SCR Program? The Statewide Community Regrant Program (formerly DEC) was developed by the New York State Council on the Arts in 1977 in response to a mandate by New York’s Legislature that there be a greater local involvement in funding decisions, affecting local non-profit organizations, offering artistic or cultural services and programs, and to ensure New York State’s cultural funding reached every part of the State.  The program is funded statewide – in all 62 counties, and funds are regranted by local arts agencies through a transparent peer panel funding process. 

An organization or individual with a fiscal agent that meets NYSCA and GO ART! criteria may request regrant funds.  Through the Statewide Community Regrant Program (also known as the SCR Program), GO ART!, NYSCA and the New York State Legislature hope to extend, upgrade and increase the arts and cultural programming in Genesee and Orleans Counties. The goal is to make state arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state’s population. 

SCR grants are designed to support and develop the capacity of individual artists, collectives, and small nonprofit organizations to develop high quality local arts projects and programming and contribute to Genesee and Orleans County communities by providing opportunities for the public to experience and engage with the arts. Emphasis is placed on the quality and artistic merit of proposed projects and the depth and authenticity of audience experience, participation and engagement. 

Through the SCR Program, GO ART! awarded over $100,000 to individuals and organizations throughout Genesee and Orleans Counties last year alone and over 1.5 million dollars in the 35 years that GO ART! has been administering the program.

Applications will be accepted from Sept 15 – Nov 1, 2022 for the 2023 SCR Grant Cycle.

Funding Opportunities:
Community Arts Grants (Reach Grants) provide seed grants to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans County communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. Individual Artist Commission (RIPPLE Grant) supports local, artist-initiated activity, and highlights the role of artists as important members of the community. The Commission is for artistic projects with outstanding artistic merit that work within a community setting. 

The Arts Education Program (Spark Grant) is offered in two funding strands: K-12 In-School Projects and After-School and Community-based Learning. Funds can support arts education projects that take place in-school during the school day and/or in after-school and community-based settings for youth and/or senior learners and must be carried out in partnership with a public school or a community-based organization. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process. Inter-curricular collaboration for in-school projects is encouraged but not required.

Funding amounts differ from program to program, but the maximum allowable project request from each applicant is $5,000. Applicants may submit up to THREE separate project requests in any grant cycle, with the total of all requests not to exceed $5,000.

Who is Eligible?

  • Nonprofit organizations, NYS incorporated nonprofits, agencies of local government (not New York State agencies)
  • Individual artists, groups or collectives, unincorporated entities must have a fiscal sponsor or community partner (see specific program guidelines)
  • All applicants must be over the age of 18 and have a permanent address in the county in which the programming will take place.

Selection Process:

Awards are based on a competitive, transparent peer panel review process. A panel composed of artists, arts administrators, and community leaders (who work and/or reside in Genesee or Orleans county) review each project on the basis of its own merits and against others in the application pool. Awards are based on panel recommendations at the completion of the review
process. Limited funds are available, and priority is given to applications that meet the specific program criteria published within SCR guidelines.

Schedule of upcoming SCR Grant Workshops ALL potential applicants are required to attend a grant workshop. Registration is required at least two days prior to the scheduled workshop.

  • Sat, 8/27 @ 10am GO ART! 201 E Main Street, Batavia
  • Sat, 9/3 @ 10am, Virtual (zoom link will be provided upon registration)
  • Tue, 9/6 @ 6pm, Woodward Memorial Library, 7 Wolcott St, Leroy
  • Sat, 9/10 @ 10am, Hoag Library, 134 Main St, Albion
  • Mon, 9/12 @ 5pm, Hollwedel Memorial Library, 5 Woodrow Drive, Pavilion
  • Tue, 9/13 @ 6pm, Orleans YMCA, 306 Pearl Street, Medina
  • Sat, 9/17 @ 10am, Haxton Memorial Library, 3 N Pearl St, Oakfield
  • Mon, 9/19 @ 6pm, Virtual (zoom link will be provided upon registration)
  • Tue, 9/20 @ 5pm, Byron-Bergen Public Library, 13 S Lake St
  • Sat, 9/24 @ 5pm, Yates Community Library, 15 N Main St Lyndonville

For more information on the application process, to register for a workshop, to apply, or nominate a panelist please visit www.goart.org/grants. If you have any questions about the program contact the SCR Program Coordinator, Mary Jo Whitman, at [email protected].

July 3, 2022 - 8:10am


Chuck and Kathy Walters just happened to be driving down Main Street, Batavia Saturday when they noticed some commotion on Jackson Street.

The entrance was closed, but the rhythmic beat of drums and tents along the street enticed them to stop for a visit.

“We didn’t know this was happening,” Mrs. Walters said during the annual Batavia Ramble Explore Art and Music Fest. “We watched the African drummers and dancing … it’s the first time I’ve seen African music that’s not on TV.”

Womba, a group of authentic African performers, was a new element to the music festival. Organized by GO ART!, a series of culturally rich musicians and dancers, artists, crafters and puppeteers filled the street with activities throughout the day.


The Walters found a spot at a picnic table to nosh on grilled hotdogs from a nearby food stand. Troupe Nisaa members, dressed in sparkly, colorful outfits, performed a traditional bellydance at one end while a singer belted out tunes at the Jackson Street stage on the other end near Ellicott Street.

“They should have more of these,” Mrs. Walters said, adding that they would “definitely” come again next year.

The Bergen couple agreed that it was nice to visit Batavia, especially since “they’ve got so much more than Bergen.”

When asked if they would like to see anything else at the event, Mr. Walters suggested a large sign with a schedule for visitors to know what’s happening, when and where. They had never attended a Ramble and had not been to Jackson Square before.

Mrs. Walters likes country western music, she said, and would like to see that featured.

Overall, though, she was ready for more.

“I would like a two-day event,” she said.

As the Walters finished and walked away, Jay and Christine Elmore and a friend, all of Le Roy, sat down to enjoy some Red Osier fare. Mrs. Elmore’s sandwich was filled with prime rib, coleslaw and barbecue sauce, capped by a roll with salty crystals promising a sweet and savory bite.

“This is so good,” she said.

She and her friend had gone to a concert at Batavia Downs Friday, and decided to return Saturday to use their freeplay money. They then stopped downtown, first at O’Lacy’s and then the Ramble just around the corner.



Foot traffic had thinned out some, and most art vendors had left by that time in the early evening. Mrs. Elmore suggested that a corn hole tournament would be a fun addition to draw people and provide more interaction.

“My husband is a huge cornhole (fan), that would be a big draw,” she said. “It would bring a lot of out-of-towners.”

Her husband Jay agreed that he’s really into the game, but not exactly sure why. His wife suggested that it’s about the competition and camaraderie of people getting together.

It may be something for Ramble organizers, including lighting and sound man Stephen Kowalcyk to consider for next year. During a talk with The Batavian, he had mentioned wanting to expand the offerings at Jackson Square, including themed music nights.

“This is an awesome asset to this music scene. Typically, I would like to see some new stuff in here. I've talked to the owners in here (Eli Fish), we have some ideas of doing some DJ nights out there, or doing an 80s night, one night, maybe a hip hop night or something just to change things up,” he said. “And I think that benefits all the restaurants around here. So it'd be a fun thing to do.”

See also:

Top photo: Chuck and Kathy Walters of Bergen stop for a bite during Batavia Ramble Explore Art and Music Fest Saturday downtown. Photo by Joanne Beck.

Womba entertains spectators at the GO ART! tent, a crowd enjoying the art vendors, food, and cultural performances on Jackson Street Saturday. Photo by Howard Owens.

June 30, 2022 - 5:01pm
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, news, arts.


Press release:

Working with GO ART!, the Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) and the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts (GVCA), ten local artists announced today they received an Artist Employment Program (AEP) grant from Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY). Designed to support employment opportunities for artists, the program is funding 98 collaborations involving a dynamic group of 300 artists employed by community-based organizations, municipalities, and tribal governments across New York State. CRNY has awarded a total of $49.9M in funding to support artists’ salaries and benefits, with an additional $11.7M in funding provided to the organizations holding employment.

“If we are to truly rebuild our amazing state, we must celebrate artists’ contributions not only to the economy but to what makes us human,” says Creatives Rebuild New York's Executive Director Sarah Calderon. “The incredible work being funded through CRNY’s Artist Employment Program underscores the importance of direct support for both individual artists and the organizations that hold their employment.”

The artists will work with the three arts councils to provide arts programming throughout the region. The ten artists, listed below, are skilled in diverse visual and performing arts, including painting, sculpture, music, choreography, and theater. They will collaborate over a two-year period to create various exhibits, performances, classes and experiences. GO ART!, ACWC, and GVCA will collectively receive $1.5 million to support the collaboration, including artists’ salaries and benefits.

The ten artists included in this project are:

  • Dan Butler, visual artist and muralist
  • Ted Canning, musician and teaching artist
  • Ruben Ornelas, choreographer and dancer
  • Jill Pettigrew, visual artist and teaching artist
  • Susan Ferrari Rowley, sculptor
  • Rashaad Santiago, special effects artist and director
  • Gaitrie Devi Subryan, choreographer and dancer
  • Annette Daniels Taylor, poet, filmmaker and actress
  • Paul Thomas, ceramicist
  • Keith Walters, photographer and videographer

“The artists and staff of GO ART!, ACWC, and GVCA worked really hard on getting this grant. We are proud and beyond excited for this opportunity,” said Gregory Hallock, Executive Director for GO ART!. “This truly is an amazing, talented, and hard-working group of artists and art administrators. Look out Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties; we are going to be providing some amazing programming and art displays. Make sure to follow us on our social media pages and help us make art happen!"

Artist Employment Program recipients were selected through a two-stage process by a group of twenty external peer reviewers alongside CRNY staff. From an initial pool of over 2,700 written applications, 167 were shortlisted for interviews with reviewers. To view the list of 98 Artist Employment Program participants, visit https://www.creativesrebuildny.org/participants/.

For more information about Creatives Rebuild New York’s Artist Employment Program, please visit creativesrebuildny.org. 

Photo: File photo of Rashaad Santiago from 2017. Photo by Howard Owens

June 10, 2022 - 5:30pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Society of Artists, GO ART!, batavia, news, arts.


Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Colette Savage Tuesday, June 14th at 7 p.m. at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia.  Colette will be demonstrating painting with pastels.  Non-members are welcome for a $5 fee.

We will also have a very affordable Art Supply and Frame sale before the demo starting at 6:30 p.m., at the break, and after the demo.  The supplies and frames have been donated by the Virginia Carr-Mumford Family to help with the cost of artist demonstrations.

Award-winning artist, Colette Savage, is a native Rochesterian whose love of the area in which she grew up is reflected in the art she produces.  A life-long artist, Colette has painted en plein air for 18 years.  Most of her work is done in pastel, a medium with incredible versatility.  Colette feels that there is always something new and exciting to be discovered when painting with pastel.

Colette received her BA from SUNY College at Brockport but feels that her greatest education has come from frequently working on location where the challenge to produce a finished painting before the light has changed has taught her to work faster, more accurately, and efficiently.

Colette is a member of Suburban Rochester Art Group, the Greater Rochester Plein Air Painters and the Pastel Society of Western NY.

You can see Colette’s extensive body of pastel paintings on the internet.  Colette maintains several websites: www.colettesavage.blogspot.com and www.colettesavage.weebly.com.  You can learn about Colette’s plein air process at www.pastelsenpleinair.blogspot.com/.  She has recently posted several videos on You Tube, demonstrating several pastel painting tutorials.   These can be viewed at (3) Colette Savage - YouTube

In addition to doing demonstrations and workshops, Colette teaches classes in pastel painting, drawing and plein air painting at the Art Stop and through Irondequoit Community Education.  Original paintings and prints can be purchased on her Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/ColetteSavage.

When not focusing on art, Colette works at Monroe 2 – Orleans BOCES as a Student Behavioral Assistant and job coach, working with young adults with developmental disabilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center.



June 3, 2022 - 4:16pm
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, news, arts, batavia.

Press release:

Friday, June 3, 2022, from 5 to 9 p.m. Open Art Night
Bring a project, start a new one, or come and hang out and learn a new art during our first Friday Open Art Session!  The bar is open and stocked with Beer, Wine, Cider, Mead and non alcoholic beverages.  Don't forget to bring a friend!

Saturday, June 4, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tie Making for Teens
For this month's teen workshop, teens will be learning how to sew a tie.  They can keep the tie for themselves or give it as a Father's day gift!  This workshop is FREE for teens ages 12-18 and lunch will be provided.  To register for this workshop please call (585) 343-9313 or online at www.goart.org/teens

Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hooked on Yarn
Want to get hooked on yarn?  Stop in and crochet the night away.  All skill levels welcome but please bring your own supplies.

Friday, June 10, 2022, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Gallery reception
Stop in Friday, June 10 between 6 and 8:30 p.m. to view a portion of AIDS posters which were once a private collection of Dr. Edward C. Atwater but now are part of University's River Campus Libraries Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation.  These posters are on loan from the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery where over 150 posters are currently on display.  For more information on our portion of the exhibit please visit www.goart.org/current-exhibitions

Thursday, June 16, 2022, from 5 to 8 p.m. Gallery Reception
Stop in, Thursday, June 16 between 5 and 8 p.m. for a chance to meet the artists of our two most recent exhibitions.  In the Tavern 2.o.1 Gallery John Midla's "Female Inmate Portraits" is on display.  The exhibit will run from June 1 until July 30, 2022, if you can't make the reception.  In the Oliver's Gallery in the Seymour Dining Room Madeleine Rusch's "Song Lyrics " will be on display from June 15 until July 30.  

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break