Skip to main content

Seymour Place

Watercolor painting demonstration Tuesday at GO Art!

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Batavia Society of Artists is hosting artist Jody Ziehm on Tuesday, April 9 at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia starting at 7 p.m. Jody will be demonstrating watercolor painting.  

Non-members are welcome for a $5.00 fee. Accepting new members, all medium and skill levels. 2024 memberships are $30 per person, $50 per couple, and $10 for students or veterans. 

Light refreshments will be served.  Tavern 2.o.1. will be open for cash purchases.

Jody Ziehm

Jody Ziehm

Residing in the town of Wheatfield, I am a full-time watercolor artist. I have a love of painting and am devoted to watercolors. Inspired by my surroundings. I enjoy plein air (painting outside on site) and whenever possible, work from live models.

Much of my work is done in my studio from photos taken. My work is distinguishable by its vivid colors and dynamic compositions. I also enjoy teaching and hold weekly classes at both Partners in Art in North Tonawanda and the Amherst Museum.

I also travel extensively throughout the summer months to outdoor art festivals throughout New York I am a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, Buffalo Niagara Art Association, Fine Arts League of Buffalo, and Tonawanda Council of the Arts. 

I am represented by Kittenger Gallery in Williamsville, Finger Lakes Gallery, and Frame in Canandaigua, Gallery Morada in Islamorada Florida, Barton Hill Resort and Spa in Lewiston, and The Mansion in Buffalo.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of her painting. Spotlight on the Artist: Jody Ziehm

Submitted photos


New sculptures outside GO ART! emphasize art and shared humanity

By Howard B. Owens

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.


Photos: New mural at GO ART! designed to send a message of welcome to all people

By Howard B. Owens

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."

New podcast studio at GO Art! dedicated to tireless community volunteer and arts supporter, Bob Knipe

By Howard B. Owens

Bob Knipe's passion for the arts, community, media, and technology are all symbolized by the new podcast studio at GO Art!'s home, Seymour Place, in Batavia, according to his son, Tom Knipe, and Knipe's wife, Linda Knipe, who both spoke Sunday prior to a ribbon-cutting at the studio.

"My dad was somebody who this is just such a fitting thing to do in my dad's honor," said Tom Knipe, who currently runs the industrial development agency in Ithaca. "He was a college media guy. He was a radio guy. He, he loved really good sound. He was an audiophile since forever. I remember him putting huge headphones on my head when I was two years old. Listen to this. So it's very fitting."

Knipe was involved in numerous community organizations, most of them around the arts.  He was on the board for GO Art! (and continued to be actively involved after his term on the board expired), as well as playing with and volunteering for the Genesee Symphony Orchester, Batavia Concert Band, and the Genesee Wind Ensemble.  He was also a Rotarian and served on City committees.

"He saw all of his activities as critical contributions to the local community and its economic development," Linda said. "He told us some time in those final days that music brought meaning to his life. He said, 'without music life is kind of a cruel joke. I believe that there is music to the atmosphere, the sciences, the flow of electricity, the beat of the heart. Music is fundamental to everything.' And volunteering was fundamental to Bob's character and upbringing as well."

GO Art! Executive Director Gregory Hallock recalled the arduous path he took to get his job.  He first applied in 2015 and didn't get the job.  He said it was Knipe who called him to say he didn't get the job.  He told him, Hallock said, that he wasn't ready. When the job opened up again in 2016, Hallock applied again.  Again, Knipe broke the sad news but this time with an alternative offer:  Hallock could become the assistant director, a position that hadn't existed before and would need to be funded through a grant.

"He had this plan," Hallock said. "He wanted me to come in as the assistant director because I wasn't from the area. He said you don't know anybody but you're meant to be here. He said, it's not your time. You need to be under somebody. So they hired, they got a grant to hire me, and brought me in, in February of 2016 so that I could work for a year under somebody else and then take over."

Linda Knipe said Bob always saw potential in Hallock and Hallock said Bob Knipe was always there for him.

He painted the main gallery.  He built art displays. When Hallock floated the idea of a library in Seymour Place, Kniped showed up with books to donate.  That was nearly five years before the library opened.

Whenever Hallock put the call out to board members, and even though Knipe was no longer on the board, he was always the first to respond.

"I always got a phone call or text from him, saying, 'What do we have to do? How do we make this happen?' Hallock said. 

Linda said Bob loved Batavia and wanted to see it prosper and its people do well.

"Those of you closest to Bob probably understood his motivations but he loved people," Linda said. "His efforts were to change people's lives for the better, individually through programs and through building a community that was fun, interesting, and fulfilling to live in. He worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for people to grow."

Top photo: Bob Knipe's grandchildren, Alice, Eleanor, and Alder, along with Linda Knipe and Tom Knipe, cut the ribbon in the new podcast studio.

Tom Knipe.

Local emerging artists featured in newest GO Art! shows at Seymour Place

By Howard B. Owens

It was a busy night at Seymour Place, 201 East Main St., Batavia, on Thursday night with GO Art! hosting two art show openings and a Celebrity Bartender Challenge.

In the challenge, Lauren Humphrey and Mandy Humphrey faced off in a tip-fund raiser for the arts council.

Artists Adrian Morris and Rita Mallison opened, for each of them, their first solo exhibitions.

Morris, above, is originally from Ireland. He married a gal from Stafford (they're now divorced) and moved to Genesee County about a decade ago.  He said he's been painting and drawing all of his life and enjoys his membership with GO Art because being part of the local community of artists is like being with a family (his family is all in Ireland, and he may return there at some point, he said, because his mother is getting older).

"I love the supportive nature," Morris said. "It gets me out of the house and I meet a lot of other artists and we socialize and network here."

He has given art demos at Seymour Place, most recently a pallette knife demonstration in which he produced an Irish landscape painting.

He specializes in landscapes and portraits and said he's done numerous portraits on commission for local residents and is available for more portrait commission work.

There is another Celebrity Bartender Challenge at GO Art! tonight featuring Rebekah Ireland vs. Ryan Duffy starting at 6 p.m.

Rita Mallison, a long-time Batavia resident, started painting just a few years ago.  She specializes in portraits of nuns, priests, saints, and religious heroes.  She took up the subject after her conversion to Catholicism but said she has long been fascinated by nuns and wanted to be a nun when she was a little girl.  She said she could never afford to buy paintings sho she keeps the prices of her paintings low.

In the main gallery is a show of work by William Mathews, which opened previously.

Photos: Jankowski, Tabelski tending bar for charity at GO Art!

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia City Council president Eugene Jankowski and City Manager Rachael  Tabelski faced off in GO ART!’s Celebrity Bartender Challenge at Seymour Place tonight.  Tabelski and Jankowski both said they weren't really competing and that tips would be combined, though.  All tips are donations to the arts council. 

All things paranormal offered along Haunted History Trail of NYS

By Billie Owens

Information from a press release:

Along the Haunted History Trail of New York State, you will find the largest collection of haunted and Halloween events statewide.

Three sites on the trail are in Genesee County: the historic Seymour Place building at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia, home to GO ART!; Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany; and the Haunted Bergen House, built in 1858 and located at 6571 W. Sweden Road, Bergen.

More than 500 events -- from authentic ghost hunts and paranormal investigations to staged haunted houses and Halloween hayrides -- can be found on the Haunted History Trail's online event calendar, offered now through the end of October.

Ghost hunting is offered year-round in historic Palmyra and its William Phelps General Store, with special events in the fall.

Home to all things paranormal, 365 days a year, the Haunted History Trail features more than 90 authentically haunted locations across the state. These locations offer investigations, ghost hunts, guided tours, and other experiences that allow visitors to interact with the haunted side and seek out spirits during a dining experience, special event, or overnight stay.

But, during the "spooky season" in the time leading up to Halloween, the trail opens its offerings to all forms of haunted events -- from the serious spirits right down to the spirited pretenders.

"We see a lot of attention this time of year due to the season and the nature of our trail," says Kelly Rapone, administrator of the Haunted History Trail.

"People are seeking out opportunities to be scared -- whether that's on a guided tour that tells them about ghost sightings and the history behind them or experiencing a jump-scare as they go through a haunted house. We want to be their resource for all things haunted."

While many of the trail events lead up to Halloween as the major fall holiday, Sept. 28 also marks a holiday celebrated by select Haunted History Trail partners. It's "National Ghost Hunting Day," established in 2016, which "recognizes and celebrates the novice, curious and expert execution of ghost-hunting methods."

Several trail locations, including Palmyra's William Phelps General Store, East Bethany's Rolling Hills Asylum, and the Haunted Hinsdale House in Hinsdale, participate on that date in the "World's Largest Ghost Hunt" -- an international phenomenon that brings people together from across the globe to take part in a night of paranormal investigations.

Themes for the 2019 event will include historic preservation, celebrating haunted towns, and exploring cultural diversity within the ghost-hunting field around the world.

To learn more, visit the Haunted History Trail of New York State's website here.

To view the online trail brochure, click here.

About the Haunted History Trail of New York State

It is the only statewide ghost tourism initiative in the United States. It was created in 2013 by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with tourism promotion agencies across the state and with support provided by Empire State Development's I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative.

The Haunted History Trail of New York State features more than 90 haunted locations found within almost every region of New York State. Guided ghost tours, paranormal investigations, haunted dining and overnight stays are available on the trail, with many of the attractions tying back to New York's local history.

(Photo from Haunted History Trail of New York State website.)

The pressure is on for GO ART! to find community lender for NYS grant eligibility

By Lauren Leone

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.

Photo: Rainbow over GO ART!

By Howard B. Owens

Mother Nature got a little artistic this afternoon, putting a rainbow over Seymour Place, home of GO ART!, in Batavia.

Reader-submitted photo.

Photos: Appraisal Fair at GO ART!

By Howard B. Owens

Modeled after Antiques Roadshow, GO ART! hosted its second annual appraisal fair today at Seymour Place. Area residents were able to bring in the rare, the antique and the unique to have experts give their best estimate of the piece's value and quality.

Photos: GO ART! Appraisal Fair

By Howard B. Owens

GO ART! hosted an Appraisal Fair today at Seymour Place.

Appraiser H.P. Prazer with John Seartz and Louis Call.

Appraiser Jason Helenbrook of Gold N Time.

Photo: Rotary Annie on the moooove

By Howard B. Owens

We are told that Rotary Annie is typically delivered to the unsuspecting victim in stealth, but Ray Shirtz and Ed Leising were caught in the act -- dropping off the sacred cow at Seymour Place/GO ART! early this evening.

Our highly confidential source informs us that since GO ART! is host to Rotary meetings, it's unlikely anybody in the building is facing a fine for having the cow on display.

Typically, the fine for a Rotary member who gets the cow is $60, though it's possible to purchase insurance for $30.

There should probably be some fine for getting your picture on The Batavian moving the cow.

Sweet Ecstasy fits right in at Seymour Place in Downtown Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

Tonisha Price has a growing little bakery business -- so much so that she needed to move Sweet Ecstasy out of her cramped shop in Stafford and find a space closer to her growing customer base in Batavia.

While going through the city's grant process, she had a meeting at Seymour Place, the former Batavia Club building at Main and Bank streets that is home to GO ART!

She'd already scouted several locations in Batavia, but immediately recognized Seymour Place as the perfect quaint locale for what she wanted to do -- expand her bakery business, but also provide a cozy setting for lunches and catered affairs.

"As we were going through the approval process, we ran across this place," Price said. "This wasn't our first choice, but once we saw it, we fell in love and here we are today."

Besides sweet treats, Sweet Ecstasy will offer grilled sandwiches, quiches and soup on a daily basis for lunch. Every Friday is "fresh bread Friday."

Price is also planning "supper clubs," where one night a month, there will be a special dinner served. The first one -- date to be announced -- will feature sushi.

The new location opened Friday and Price has already booked five special events that take advantage of the unique space at Seymour Place and she's looking to book more bridal showers, receptions, birthday parties, tea parties, office parties and other such events.

Sweet Ecstasy is also applying for a liquor license so they can serve wines and craft beers.

Photo: Price, Jean Robbins, and Tonisha's mother Carla Price, seated.

Chris Collins announces winners of annual art contest for high school students

By Howard B. Owens

Rep. Chris Collins was at Seymour Place today to announce the winners of the annual congressional art contest. Students from throughout the NY-27 submitted artworks, which were displayed at Go ART! and judged by local artists.

The winner, above with Collins, was Mitchell R. Krumm, of Clarence High School. Second place, bottom photo, was Judith Brennan, also of Clarence.

The awards were presented by Collins and Diana Kasten (second photo with Collins), a member of the GO ART! Board of Directors.

Chats with Calliope- The Phoenix Arises

By Joseph Langen


GO ART!, Seymour Place

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What have you been up to?
JOE: Busy, busy, busy. Along with smaller projects. GO ART! is getting ready for the grand reopening of our building next Friday.
CALLIOPE: How grand is it?
JOE: The building was built for the Bank of Genesee in the early 1830′s to finance the Holland Land Purchase which I studied in grammar school. Later the Batavia Club bought it and used it for many years. A few years ago they donated it to GO ART!. We recently completed renovation of the historic building and are planting flowers in final preparation to formally share it with the public next week.
CALLIOPE: Sounds exciting.
JOE: It is for us. I rummaged around in the basement and found original dirt floors from the 1830′s, several artifacts from over the years and old programs from events we sponsored.
CALLIOPE: Anything mysterious?
JOE: Yes. the most mysterious finding is an old safe on rollers. No one has been able to open it despite various efforts. We don’t know how far back it dates or what it might contain.
CALLIOPE: It’s fun to speculate sometimes.
JOE: We think so. Talk to you again.


Authentically Local