Local Matters

Community Sponsors


October 30, 2019 - 5:15pm

Submitted photos and information:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Rebecca Maynard from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12th, at GO ART!, located in the historic Seymour Place building at 201 E. Main St., Batavia.

She will be doing a hands-on demonstration of acrylic pour on Christmas ornaments and tiles.

If anyone would like to do more than one ornament each the cost is $5 per ornament. Non-members are welcome with a $5 fee.

Demo will consist of different acrylic pouring methods. It will be a hands-on event, with each person pouring their own Christmas bulb and a ceramic tile.

Maynard will demonstrate the flip cup, dirty pour and swipe methods and then participants will get to work and have some fun.

It is a very low stress and fun way to paint.

October 22, 2019 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, batavia, video, arts, entertainment.
Video Sponsor

On Thursday, at 4 p.m., the new Musical Garden at GO ART! officially opens. The Batavian, along with some Girl Scouts, got a preview on Saturday.

October 16, 2019 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO OUT, GO ART!, news, LGTBQ, Human Rights Campaign, education.

GLOW OUT is hosting its second educational program on "Welcoming Schools" at GO ART!, located at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

The presenter for this program is Carole Ebersole-Weis, who is the WNY coordinator for the Human Rights Campaign, which is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States.

There will be a Q-and-A session with Ebersole-Weis following the program.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is FREE. All are welcome.

RSVP to Gregory Hallock at GO ART! 585-343-9313.

October 11, 2019 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in Jeanne's Table, GO ART!, Culinary Arts, news.
Here's a menu announcement for next Thursday's premier of Jeanne’s Table at GO ART!
This first eight-course Small Plates dinner will celebrate the local Fall Harvest and it promises to be a memorable experience! Cost is $60 per person and seating is limited to 20 people.
Here are some of the items that will be on the Oct. 17 menu:
  • Fresh rosemary, sea bass, bacon and ciabatta kebabs
  • Roasted Fall vegetables with chimichurri
  • Smoky peppered pork loin with apple slaw
  • Autumn herbed shrimp
  • Salted caramel-pear gallette with vanilla-scented cream
  • Lemon-thyme sorbet
Sign up today to reserve your seat and experience the rest of this delicious menu!
Craft beer and wine will be available at GO ART’s 2.0.1 Tavern, and there are multiple art exhibitions for you to view during your visit!  
Please click on this link to register for this or other future Jeanne's Table events.
October 5, 2019 - 2:12pm

Submitted photos. 

By Samantha Stryker, Richmond Memorial Library Community & Adult Services librarian​

On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 26, the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library was filled nearly to capacity for the inaugural Richmond Reads author visit.

The purpose of the Richmond Reads one-book program was to bring the community together through the common experience of reading a book, engaging in thoughtful discussions about it, and hosting a visit from the author.

This year’s selection was the novel "Southernmost" by Silas House, who visited the library that evening to share a reading, give a talk and, as he put it, “have a conversation” with the audience.

The Richmond Reads program began months prior, when the book selection was announced in February. Many related events followed, including a contest during Summer Reading for a chance to win attendance to a tea with the author, a Joni Mitchell tribute concert by artist Leah Zicari to celebrate the musical influences in "Southernmost," a film screening of the documentary "Hillbilly" and community book discussions.

As homage to the Tale for Three Counties program, the Richmond Reads committee also decided to revive the review contest that had been a hallmark of Tale. Four winners were selected to attend a small tea event with the author for a chance to interact one-on-one prior to the main event.

Reviews were judged anonymously by the Richmond Reads committee for creativity, originality and writing quality. The four contest winners chosen were Ruth Andes, Sue Blanchard, Laurie Mastin and Rita Nan Tresco. Excerpts from their review are included below.

Ruth Andes (Elba):
"Southernmost requires each of us to look back at pivotal points in our lives. We confront the beliefs we hold and realize that they no longer fit the person we have become. The two gay men forced Asher to take that public stand. Once confronted, we cannot go forward in the life we have constructed. Change is required and often that change is radical.”

Sue Blanchard (Lockport):
“While reading this story, you can’t help but put yourself in the same set of circumstances and examine your own prejudices, values, morals, and beliefs. Not only was the book a well written story, but it challenged my thinking. I admire Asher for standing up for what he believed was right, despite the negative impacts, and, in the end I believe he made the right decision. Southernmost illustrates the struggle that judgement and hatred cause – Asher was judged by his community, and he judged his brother - both situations caused emotional turmoil. Tolerance is indeed a hard quality to embrace.”

Laurie Mastin (Pavilion):
“ 'Brainwashed: persuaded, convinced, indoctrinated, molded.' (courtesy-- Thesaurus: English (U.S.))
The term was only used twice in this book but it struck me as a central theme. Aren’t we all brainwashed by the experiences we’ve had and the people we are surrounded by?

"Reading this novel was thought provoking at a time when our country is being divided by extremely different points of views on many of these issues. It’s time to reconsider our past brainwashing, and use critical thinking to reach common ground.”

Rita Nan Tresco (Batavia):
“To flee with his son Justin is the only option Asher Sharp, a small Tennessee preacher feels he has after examining his conscience and finding his voice to speak to his congregation, on the topic of tolerance and human kindness. Preacher Sharp loses everything; his wife, family, and congregation and is also shunned by his community. With little access to the son he loves above all else, he sees no way out but to run…Along the way, as the story unfolds, we find our author, Silas House, weaving his words to be like a musical river of honey with many bends, twists and turns. The lovely conclusion has a beautiful message of learning to care for others through kindness, finding forgiveness in your heart, and being tolerant and respectful of each other. But mostly this lovely story is about finding the voice and the courage to love all of humanity.”

The Inaugural Richmond Reads Event

During his talk Sept. 26, Silas spoke to the themes in the book as they related to his personal experiences, ranging from his own journey as a father to his experience growing up in the evangelical church. He read passages from the text, particularly those that spoke to his theory that dogs are symbolic of “the presence of the divine.” Indeed, throughout the book, we see the pivotal part that dogs play as a metaphor for the lost and found faith of the main characters.

During an interactive discussion with participants, House graciously answered questions ranging from “what are you working on now?” (he said he has many “pots on the stove,” or projects, all at once -- one of which is a novel about a man and dog traveling across Ireland, set in the near future) to “what are you reading now?” ("Whiskey When We’re Dry" by John Larison, which he highly recommended, along with "Women Talking" by Miriam Toews) and answered many questions about his themes and characterizations in the novel.

The only question he declined to answer (to avoid spoilers) was what he thought happened to his main character, Asher, after the end of the book. He did note, however, that he likes to end his books with hope, which was certainly the case with "Southernmost."

After his talk, House signed books and interacted even more with attendees, sharing his open and generous spirit. He was warmly received, with one attendee showing him true Western New York hospitality by gifting him with some heirloom tomatoes to take home!

Making it Possible

This project would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Richmond Reads Planning Committee, comprised of Sue Briggs, Sue Chiddy, Leslie DeLooze, Irene Hickey, Frances McNulty and Judy Sikora. Thanks also to Lift Bridge Book Shop, of Brockport, for selling books at the event. 

Richmond Reads was sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library, as well as through a grant through GO ART!

This project was also made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

About Silas House

Hailing from Kentucky, Silas House is the best-selling author of six novels, three plays, and a book of creative nonfiction. He is a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” is the recipient of three honorary doctorates and has won numerous prestigious awards for his work. "Southernmost" in particular was long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was honored with many more awards.

House recently produced, wrote, and was featured in the documentary "Hillbilly," which examined the myths and stereotypes of Appalachia, historically and in the context of the 2016 election season. "Hillbilly" was chosen as the winner of the Best Documentary at the L.A. Film Festival and was long-listed for an Academy Award.

Silas currently lives in Lexington, Ky., with his husband, Jason, and has two children. 

Top photo: The Richmond Reads Planning Committee pictured with author Silas House. Back row, from left: Irene Hickey, Sue Briggs, Sue Chiddy, Judy Sikora and Leslie DeLooze. Seated: Samantha Stryker, Community & Adult Services lbrarian and Richmond Reads coordinator, and Author Silas House. (Not pictured: Frances McNulty) (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

Photo below: Author Silas House speaks to a packed room at Richmond Memorial Library for the inaugural Richmond Reads Program. (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

Below: Summer Reading and Review Contest winners attend a small one-on-one event at GO ART! with the author ahead of the main event.

Below: Author Silas House signs books following his talk for the 2019 Richmond Reads Program. (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

October 3, 2019 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, business, Culinary Arts, Jeanne's Table.

Press release:

Culinary art is an important medium in the arts and officials with the local nonprofit GO ART! are realizing its significance by expanding the scope of their collaborative efforts into multiple culinary programs at the Bank Street site.

A number of food-related programs have emerged at GO ART! as they offer new food and drink opportunities in the community.

The most recent addition is Jeanne’s Table, which will offer a prix fixe eight-course theme-based dining experience once a month. Local gastronome Jeanne Walton is in charge of this enterprise that is sure to delight diners.

Cost is $60 per person and seating is limited to 20 people.

Other culinary offerings at GO ART! include Afternoon Teas, which have been offered every month for the past year and can also be booked privately, and its first Farm to Table Dinner. Tavern 2.O.1 regularly schedules wine and craft beer events; it is open to the public at 5 p.m. Wednesday –Saturday.   

Use of the commercial kitchen has increased significantly with regularly scheduled cooking classes by Genesee Valley Education Partnership.

For more information, contact Valeria Antonetty, GO ART! Facilities and Operations coordinator, at 585-343-9313.

September 27, 2019 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in musical garden, GO ART!, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.


Jill Pettigrew puts the finishing touches on a sidewalk mural she painted on the walkway leading into the new musical garden in the side yard between the Seymore Place (GO ART!) and the YMCA on East Main Street.

Installation of the musical instruments in the grant-funded musical garden is nearly complete. No word yet on when it will be open to the public.






September 27, 2019 - 10:29am
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, batavia society of artists, news, cartooning.

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Chris Humel from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8th, at GO ART!, located in historic Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia.

Humel will be doing a hands-on demonstation in cartooning.

Non-members welcome with a $5 fee.

Cartoon images, courtesy of Chris Humel.

September 16, 2019 - 5:08pm
GO ART!'s annual Open Studio Tour in Genesee County will be held on Sunday, Sept. 22. Time is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Help GO ART! bring back weekend drives, artist style.
Hop in your car and travel to some amazing art studios in our county.
Some of our artists will be located at public venues since they do not have a studio. Please feel free to support all these locations by buying art, food or a drink from them!

For a map of the tour locations, click here.

Maps can also be purchased for $5 at GO ART!, located at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

This year's Genesee County participants are:

  1. David Burke art (David Burke, Ell Bee Arts (Lyndsay Baker), Miranda Fix (Linda Fix), at GO ART’s Tavern 2.o.1, 201 E. Main St., Batavia;
  2. Ivy Lane/The Potter’s Nest (Jean Grinnell) – 3384 Broadway Road, Alexander;
  3. Art a la Carte (Kimberly Argenta) – 39 Jackson St., Batavia;
  4. Shelley Acquard Moore art (Shelley Acquard) – 9510 Alleghany Road, Corfu;
  5. the ART of Mandy (Mandy Humphrey), 20 Main St., Le Roy;
  6. Julie Lambert Coleman – 44 Summit St., Le Roy;
  7. Eric Wulfgang – 23 Lincoln Ave., Le Roy;
  8. Bethany Arts and Antiques (Terry Weber) – 5769 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany.

For more information, contact GO ART! at 343-9313, or email Executive Director Gregory Hallock at: [email protected]

September 10, 2019 - 12:43pm

On Monday, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo announced awards totaling more than $500,000 to 28 Western New York nonprofit organizations through its 2019 Competitive Grants process.

The Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council -- GO ART! -- was the sole Genesee County recipient of a grant from the foundation. GO ART! will receive $20,000.

Competitive grants will go to area nonprofits that support the Community Foundation’s four strategic community goals:

  • Improve educational achievement and workforce readiness for residents living in low-income households;
  • Increase racial/ethnic equity;
  • Protect and restore significant environmental resources and promote equitable access;
  • Strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts and culture.
August 29, 2019 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, batavia, art, video.
Video Sponsor

Local artist Jill Pettigrew designed and is overseeing a community art project, a mural that depicts the history of Batavia on a wall on Bank Street behind the GO ART! building.

August 27, 2019 - 2:27pm

Photos and information from Teresa Tamfer, Batavia Society of Artists:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Shauna Blake (in top photo) from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10th at GO ART!, inside Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., in Downtown Batavia.

Blake will be doing a hands-on alcohol ink demonstration.

Non-members welcome with a $5 fee.

Below, Blake's "Teal Rust Reflect."

Bottom, Blake's "Purple Bloom."

August 20, 2019 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, art, L.B. Grand, news, The ART of Mandy, mural, GO ART!.

Submitted photo and story by Mary Margaret. 

LE ROY -- Local artist Mandy Humphrey has completed her colorful mural on the outside wall of the L.B. Grand Restaurant on Main Street in the Village of Le Roy and it’s her biggest project to date, she said.

Humphrey has a master’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Art Education and owns The ART of Mandy, a studio in Le Roy, which offers classes to all ages.

In order to complete a mural of this size, which according to Bill Farmer, owner of L.B. Grand, is 33 x 96 feet, Humphrey learned to use a high lift and worked on sketching out the artwork ahead of time for scale.

Details and drawings of her vision for the mural were submitted to both Farmer and GO ART! for approval. After reviewing her submission, the project was greenlighted by both parties and she received a grant from GO ART! to complete the creative project.

“I hope this artwork helps to beautify our town as well as inspire others to create," Humphrey said. "Art, simply put, is a form of communication but it doesn’t need to be straight forward – everyone can interpret what they want from this and it can evoke different emotions.

"In a world where we are constantly told what to think, how to feel and how to act, it’s refreshing to take a step back and wonder a little bit.”

Humphrey hopes to work with other business owners in the future who might like a mural on the sides of their buildings. She just completed a freshening up of the colors of the American flag on the Tully’s restaurant building on East Main Street in Batavia.

August 17, 2019 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, art, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Thursday, three art shows opened at GO ART!, including a show for the Batavia Society of Artists, Patience Wnek, and Kenneth Brant.

August 10, 2019 - 12:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GO ART!, new art exhibits.
Two upcoming art exhibits were announced by GO ART! on Friday, both will be on display starting in mid-September, at Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia:
  • "Maps & Legends" by Kevin Hammon -- Sept. 12 to Nov. 9. 
  • Members' Challenge Exhibit -- theme "Purpose" -- Sept. 12 to Dec. 7.
There will be an Artist Reception for both exhibitors from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Gallery hours are: Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
August 8, 2019 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, news, art, batavia.
GO ART! presents two new exhibits:
  • Alcohol Ink Explorations by Patience Wnek
  • Works by Kenneth Brant
They are both now on display at GO ART! Seymour Building, 201 E. Main St., Batavia
Exhibit runs today, Aug. 8 through Oct. 5.
Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be a reception at GO ART! for the artists from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15.
July 26, 2019 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GO ART!, GO OUT!, art.
Press release:
GO ART! presents two new art exhibits starting today: "Psychedilia" by Alex Segovia; and the debut art exhibit by GO OUT!
Both run through Sept. 7 at GO ART! 201 E. Main S., Batavia.
Galleries are open Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July 18, 2019 - 12:50pm

Press release from the Genesee County Economic Development Center:

Several projects designed to create play spaces for thousands of kids will receiving funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation's "Built to Play" initiative, in conjunction with the nonprofit organization KaBOOM!

One of the projects includes space along an existing art trail in Batavia that will feature interactive musical instruments, and a musical-themed mural. The project from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, or GO ART!, is called "Play Me a Tune Garden," and should be completed by the end of August.

“I know as a kid, my parents could send me outside and I could go play,” said Gregory Hallock, executive director of GO ART! “And now it takes a little extra work to do that because you have to be out there with your kids. So I'm excited they're making it possible for parents to go out with their kids and have fun with them at the same time.”

Hallock says GO ART! received $70,000 from the “Play Everywhere Challenge” for the project, which will be part of a larger cultural garden along East Main Street in Batavia.

“Eleven drums going out there, there's chimes, xylophones, there's 18 instruments in all that are going to be taking up this entire space," he said. "They're meant for little kids, all the way up to teenagers, and I'm pretty sure adults will be playing with them as well."

Hallock says the “Built to Play” initiative is about making play happen in everyday places.

July 4, 2019 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in picnic in the park, batavia, Centennial Park, GO ART!, video.
Video Sponsor

Some sights and sounds from GO ART's annual Picnic in the Park today in Centennial Park.

June 27, 2019 - 9:00pm

The executive director of GO ART! spoke plainly to Batavia Development Corporation board members this morning -- it needs funding ASAP in order to make badly needed improvements to its headquarters -- the historic Seymour Building at 201 E. Main St.

GO ARTS!'s Gregory Hallock asked board members to provide financial backing for a $50,000 loan, which would make the nonprofit eligible for funding from the NY Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Arts and Cultural Facilities Improvement Program Mid-Size Capital Project.

The NYSCA grant is available through the Empire State Development Regional Council Capital Fund (REDC) initiative. GO ART! must prove its ability to finance restoration projects in order to qualify for $150,000 in state funding. 

Hallock’s request comes after the New York Preservation League conducted an assessment of the GO ART! property and identified areas for improvement totaling $500,000. Hallock determined that at least $176,000 is required for immediate changes to the building. 

High-priority needs include the installation of both an air-conditioning unit and elevator. Hallock said he wants second-floor offices and meeting spaces to be available for rent within the next few months in order for the building to remain accessible and easy to use.

Hallock said time is of the essence. The REDC grant application is due July 27, but GO ART! will not know if it received that state funding until December. He's also waiting to hear back about grant applications to organizations in Buffalo and Rochester, but those responses will not arrive until August. 

“$500,000 is what [the improvement cost] is marked at now,” Hallock said. “They said this number is going to grow substantially. So, that’s why there is a priority on my list of things to get done to get this grant money. Also, the REDC doesn’t guarantee this money is going to be there from year to year.”

In response, Rachael Tabelski, BDC director of economic development, proposed that the BDC could back the $50,000 loan, so NYSCA could see GO ART! has access to funds for this capital project.

“We would be issuing a long-term, conditional offer to match these state funds,” Tabelski said.

Tabelski offered that BDC could set aside $50,000 of its Revolving Loan Fund for GO ART! and issue a conditional loan approval with an expiration date. Then, Hallock could return periodically with updates on the project scope and costs. 

According to this proposed plan, the board could keep extending its conditional loan approval until the grant is potentially awarded to GO ART! Hallock noted that GO ART! may never have to tap into the loan if it qualifies for the grant. 

“We get repaid with the funds down the road. One way or another, this will go through. So, this is a fairly safe loan,” said Pierluigi "Pier" Cipollone, BDC board president.

The board did not vote on the conditional loan today, but Hallock is slated to update board members on GO ART!’s progress toward grants and renovations. He will return at the board’s meeting at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 22 in Batavia City Centre.

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