Centennial Sculpture Park: Wendell Castle’s Unicorn Family


Wendell Castle is an American furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft. He is often credited with being the father of the art furniture movement. His bold and graceful pieces, often organic, and sometimes whimsical, are crafted from rare and beautiful hardwoods, plastics, veneers, and metals in a timeless contemporary style. His expression of color and exotic materials are synonymous with the Wendell Castle name.

The Memorial Art Gallery commissioned this monumental cast-iron sculpture by Castle as one of the anchor installations of its planned Centennial Sculpture Park. The piece (working title Unicorn Family) will measure 22 feet in diameter and consist of a gathering area with a table and three chairs and a 13-foot LED lamp. A maquette of the work is on view in the Gallery’s Vanden Brul Pavilion. The piece is planned to be installed in spring 2013.

Read the Press release.

Some items in Central’s collection.

This is a reference book in Local History. A circulating copy is on order.


Black Heritage Month Gospel Fridays Concert Series

Experience the rich culture Gospel music

The City of Rochester’s Black Heritage Committee presents Gospel Fridays in celebration of Black Heritage Month 2012. The concert series will be hosted at noon each Friday of February in the City Hall Atrium at 30 Church St. and features gospel music of local performers and churches. This program is part of the Black Heritage Committee 2013 event series.

Click on this link to see more video

Hallwalls: Buffalo NY Upstate Avant Garde



Many don’t associate Buffalo in western New York State as a place for the avant-garde in the art world.  Yet that is exactly what Hallwalls is, a place of art outside the mainstream. Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, New York, which was founded in 1974 and is one of the first alternative art centers in the United States.

Hallwalls was begun by art students who attended Buffalo State College in an old warehouse. Some of those artists were Vito Acconci, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Charles CloughDiane BertoloNancy Dwyer, Larry Lundy, and Michael Zwack — decided to transform the hallways between the artist studios there into a gallery — hence the name “Hallwalls.”

Hallwalls was one of the first places to mix it up, that is fine art, film, performance art, video, music, anything visual, from Longo to Clough. You didn’t have to go to New York to experience an art happening, you could see one in Buffalo.

As I lived in Buffalo during the 80s, I remember going with friends to shows at Hallwalls to see the art and the fashion. Young people loved it, because it not just because of its alternative space but the gallery was open to new ideas that you just didn’t see in galleries back then. Back in the late 80s, it organized Buffalo’s first gay and lesbian film festival, and was almost closed down for allegedly displaying lewd material.

Hallwalls has always supportive of the avant-garde and the alternative and still is open to those ideas. You can visit them in Buffalo, NY.

Read more at ArtInfo

View the slide show

Clothesline Art Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery

Visit Rochester’s largest and longest-running fine art and crafts festival at the Memorial Art Gallery. It’s a great place to experience all-day live entertainment, sample food from some of Rochester’s favorite vendors, enjoy free family art activities, visit the museum, and  of course, browse and buy original work by regional artists.

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

Anna Torma: Primitive Stitch Work that Tells a Story

As a librarian who likes fiber art, enjoys stitch work and buys fiber art books for the Central Library Art collection, I’m always looking for new fiber artists. While researching I came across this artist, Anna Torma.

She blends together her love of primitive art and children’s storytelling together to create these colorful works.  Her work is so energetic and happy. They almost look like children’s drawings. Her colors are vibrant. While reading about her I leaned she does indeed  use the drawings and stories of her children to create many of her works.

Torma was born in 1952, Tarnaors, Hungary. She leaned how to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider from her mother and grandmothers. Her interest in working with textiles goes back to early childhood when she learned to sew, knit, crochet and embroider from her mother and grandmothers. Torma graduated with a degree in Textile Art and Design from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary, where she studied from 1974-79. Since then she has been exhibiting her large scale hand embroidered wall hangings.

Let’s hope she publishes a book of her work. Until then you can view her new work called Bagatelles here at Selvedge Magazine.

More of Anna’s work.

Until we see a book of her book you can come into the Art Division and explore the 746 Dewey number for Fiber Art. We are always getting new books and you never know what you may find.

5th Rochester Biennial at the Memorial Art Gallery

Central Library Arts Division. Rochester, New York

June 10–August 5, 2012 in the Grand Gallery. Exhibition opening partyJune 9

Each summer, the Memorial Art Gallery presents a showcase of regional art. This year, it’s the turn of the Rochester Biennial, an invitational featuring five individuals—Roberto Bertoiaof Ithaca (sculpture), Yvonne Buchanan of Syracuse (video), Val Cushingof Alfred (ceramics), Eunsuh Choiof Rochester (glass) and David Higgins of Corning (painting)—and the team of Larson & Shindelman (Marni Shindelman of Rochester and Nate Larson of Baltimore) (photography). As in previous years, one artist (Buchanan) was selected on the strength of her work in last year’s Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition.

Call the Gallery for more information at 585-276-8939

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