Take the “Wonderland at Central” Ornament Hunt Challenge

Big, beautiful ornaments handmade by local artists are hanging throughout the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County during the month of December.  Fifteen of the ornaments in the Bausch and Lomb building are part of an ornament hunt.  Pick up a clue sheet on the 2nd floor in the Arts Division or Children’s Center, look for ornaments, and return your completed sheet to the Arts Division for a prize.

Here is a sample of a few of the amazing ornaments on display:



blue snowflake ball

icosohedron stars



Rochester’s Fringe Festival September 19-23, 2012

Welcome to the Fringe

Five days. Dozens of shows. All on display throughout Rochester. It’s a festival the likes of which Rochester has never seen before. A spectacular celebration of the performing and visual arts in the heart of Rochester’s East End, featuring world-renowned performers as well as up-and-comers.

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

The Rochester Fringe Festival is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that connects venues, performers, artists, educational institutions and the audience. We give artists and performers the freedom to stage their own work and venues to decide their own programming. The Fringe was pioneered by several of Rochester’s premier cultural institutions, including Geva Theatre Center, the George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance, as well as up-and-coming groups like PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine. Our Board of Directors includes representatives from the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, RIT, Center for Youth, Boylan Code LLC, and Mengel Metzger Barr. Additionally, numerous colleges, government representatives, museums, galleries and philanthropic organizations have joined in enthusiastic support of Rochester’s first fringe festival.


In 1947, eight theatre groups turned up – uninvited – to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival. The groups performed at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these renegade performers. Today, there are more than 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with approximately 20 existing within the United States. Each fringe festival is a creative and economic engine for its host communities. For example, last year the Edinburgh Fringe saw 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues lasting the entire month of August. It grosses over $100 million annually for the Scottish economy.

North Adams, MA: A Place for Art and Artists and the Band Wilco

In a valley at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains, a struggling industrial town is trying to make an artistic comeback. North Adams is now home to MASS MoCA, one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the world — housed in 26 former factory buildings.

There are many small towns across the country struggling to keep themselves viable as they lose business to overseas manufacturing. Marfa, TXBeacon, NY and North Adams, MA are three who are succeeding by making themselves a destination for art and artists.

This post concentrates on North Adams and the Berkshires. so if you are looking for something to do this fall head up to the Berkshires and the town of North Adams, MA. If you love art and the fall season, you will very much enjoy western MA. What is so great about the Berkshires besides being a lovely place to visit anytime of year; MASS MoCA old industrial buildings, pretty bike trails, covered bridges, Williams College and the artsy town of North Adams.

MASS MoCA is an old factory tuned into a extraordinary art museum. MASS MoCA is made up of 26 brick buildings: 600,000 square feet of sunlit space, equivalent to a mid-sized airport. The museum was created to exhibit large works of contemporary art that would not fit in conventional museum galleries.

One of the large galleries at MASS MoCA

An old textile plant, the museum houses 100 huge drawings by Sol LeWitt and a sound installation crafted out of a rusty interior bridge by Glenn Kotche, the drummer for the band Wilco. The museum is part of the revitalization of North Adams, MA., a mill town that crumbled when manufacturing moved overseas. North Adams also a location for numerous art galleries spread throughout the city old mills have been converted to lofts for artists to live and work in. Read more at NPR .

What does the band Wilco have to do with North Adams and MASS MoCA? On April 6, 2010, Wilco announced during their Boston performance that they would be headlining and curating a festival in North Adams, Massachusetts, dubbed Solid Sound Festival. The event ran at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and featured various Wilco side projects, including The Autumn Defense, Pronto, The Nels Cline Singers, and Jeff Tweedy solo. Wilco has helped North Adams become a premier cultural destination for art and music.

For more art there is also Williams College about 7 miles west of North Adams. When you imagine old college towns in New England in the fall, Williams College is what you are imagining. Old buildings surrounded by brilliant maples and a main street full of art shops, hippie shops, and coffee shops. It is full of students and is very friendly. Visit Williams College Museum of Art where 13,000 objects and growing, from Assyrian reliefs to contemporary photography are housed.

Williamstown, MA.
If you are going to to go up to the Berkshires you may as well travel to Brimfield, MAfor the largest antique show in New England.

Then you can end your Berkshire visit by driving on Route 2 filled with hairpin turns and spectacular fall color. It was America’s first scenic automobile route.

So grab some Wilco to listen to and head up to Western, MA.
Below are some items in the Central Library to help you with your trip. Click on the images to access our catalog.

American Dreams :American Art to 1950 in the Williams College Museum of Art

Wall Art Therapy in Rochester

Ian Wilson, standing in front of the Troup Street mural created in July 2011.

Driving around  Rochester you may have noticed some extraordinary murals that have been painted on buildings.
So if these have caught your attention and you want to know more, read on. These murals are part of a larger project, called Wall Therapy.

Faith47′s North Union Street mural, created in July 2011 as part of the first Wall Therapy project.

The first Wall Therapy project, Visual Intervention, happened July 2011.  Therefore, this year’s project will officially be known as “WALL\THERAPY, the second movement of Visual Intervention. Wall Therapy encourages local and International artists to transform neighborhoods through art. These large sometimes brightly colored murals are being painted by twelve artists, some from Rochester and others from Spain, South Africa and China.

You can view these murals in different locations around the city and at the Public Market. Public Market artist Justin Suarez says, “Doing something like this brightens up the building a little bit and it adds some beauty to an otherwise decrepit building,” and “it inspires people to take a little more pride in their community.”
You can read more about this project at RocCity News and here at Rochester Homepage. Here is a map with the mural locations.


Wall Therapy Locations:

Avenue D Community Center
Public Market West
Public Market East
World Wide News
Back of  Little Theatre
56 South Union Street

First Fridays for Art in Rochester

First Friday is Citywide Gallery Night in Rochester, NY

The first Friday of every month is is a citywide gallery night that encourages collaboration between non-profit, university, and commercial art venues in Rochester, NY. This Friday May 4, 2012,  is a First Friday night and you can support local artists by visiting the galleries listed here between 6-9pm.