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Landscapes and the Unbuilt

February 1, 2019 - March 16, 2019

Landscapes and The Unbuilt is a new exhibition that reflects artist interactions with land and natural places. This two-part exhibition pairs nine Rochester-based artists with nine Genesee Land Trust conserved properties; and presents two new sculptural installations related to human impact on the land.

Ranging from painters to sculptors to photographers, the Rochester-based artists have each selected one Genesee Land Trust project to engage with the land, the history, living creatures, and perhaps even the built alternative. We all need natural unbuilt spaces and through the eyes of these varied artists, we can understand how natural places inspire creativity. The resulting projects present each artists’ response to the site and highlight the many ways in which artists are inspired by the landscape, the environment and the zones between natural land and built landscapes. Each work will be exhibited alongside a map and more information about each location.

Contrasting with the Rochester-based artists’ Unbuilt projects, two sculptural installations grow out of emerging artists’ interest in ecology and human impact on the natural environment. Colin Lyons’s (Binghamton, NY) installations blend printmaking and sculpture to investigate landscapes and environments that have been dramatically impacted by industry. Rachel Eng’s (Carlisle, PA) clay ecosystem micro environments represent botanical samples and even contain cycles of condensation and decay, but are completely handmade by the artist.

Above: artworks by Phyllis Bryce Ely (left), Jennifer Schinzing

About the Artists

Phyllis Bryce Ely earned her BFA in painting/printmaking from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981. She paints en plein air and in the studio, and is regarded for her landscape depictions of western New York, Lake Ontario, and the Finger Lakes. She paints in oil, encaustic wax, and pastel. Phyllis’s work has been juried into regional, national, and international exhibitions, receiving many honors and awards over 40 years. Most recently: International Encaustic Artists Hopeful Darkness (Atlantic Gallery, NYC, 2017); Utopia/Dystopia "Best in Show" (Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY, 2017); Made in New York (Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn NY, 2017); Rochester Contemporary's Members Exhibition, Record Archive award, 2017; and multiple inclusions in the MAG’s Finger Lakes exhibition (Gertrude Herdle Moore/Isabel Herdle Award, 2013). Phyllis created the 2018 Park Ave Summer Art Fest poster which received the International Festival & Events Association’s Gold Pinnacle Award for “Best Commemorative Poster.”

Aaron Delehanty is a Painter, museum fabricator, diorama artist, arts provocateur and all around Active Citizen of the Art world.  If you ever find yourself as an onlooker to his career you would find that he tends to dwell on collision points between the animal-world and the world-of-man. Usually he does not paint a pretty picture (pun not intended) of the current state of affairs between the Natural World and the Un-Natural.  In fact you might find his work to be an indictment of the current relationship!  His methods for critiquing the situation involve an almost unprofessional use of scientific illustration, a complete disregard for the physics involved in reality, and a dangerous presentation of animal behaviors.   Viewers should be warned that his approach to representing the Anthropocene are downright uneducated, treacherously simplistic and hazardously barbaric.

Andrea Durfee creates gouache and ink paintings of imagined places, meshing figures with landscapes. As an artist with an art therapy background, she focuses on the process of creating, and how that translates to mindful living and balance. Durfee’s paintings personify personal mythology, the tension between opposing emotions and inclinations, and how this personal storytelling effects our internal/external environments. Figures embody both power and fragility within the paintings, and geological processes often serve as metaphor for human experience. Her Sleeping Giants represent our connection to our environment, our past, and how we interact with them in our present. Durfee currently lives and works in Rochester, New York, and is exploring this region, pulling landscape inspiration from the Finger Lakes to the shores of Lake Ontario.

Rachel Eng (Carlisle, PA) grew up exploring the deciduous forests of Rochester, NY and her fascination with the natural world continues today. Drawing upon the ephemeral and immortal qualities of clay, her work considers aspects of the controlled and unpredictable in relation to our changing environment. Her work often employs repetitive patterns and the use of multiple elements to create complex visual and textural experiences. In 2017 she was awarded an Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and has participated in residencies throughout the United States and abroad. Eng received her B.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University and her M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Dickinson College.

Nate Hodge received his BFA from the College at Brockport (May '13) and his MFA from the University at Buffalo (May '15). He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Moss Award ('13), the Elliott Painting Award ('14), and the Fairchild Award ('16). His studio practice encompasses drawing, painting, and sculpture, he views his site-specific work as a drawing that is allowed to move beyond the confines of a canvas or paper and inhabit a space. He has created installations and murals from Buffalo to Rochester, including projects for the College at Brockport, MCC, the WallTherapy program, and the Memorial Art Gallery. Currently Hodge is an adjunct instructor at the College at Brockport. He exhibits locally and regionally.

Colin Lyons (Binghamton, NY) was born in Windsor, Ontario, and grew up in Petrolia: ‘Canada’s original oil boomtown'. Fusing sculpture, printmaking, and chemistry, his work considers preservation in an age of planned obsolescence and resource depletion, and reflects on issues around geo-engineering, sacrificial landscapes and urban renewal. Lyons received his BFA from Mount Allison University and MFA in printmaking from University of Alberta. His work has been shown in 25 solo exhibitions across Canada and the United States, as well as in group exhibitions internationally. He has been the recipient of project grants from Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.  In 2016, he was awarded the Grant Wood Fellowship (University of Iowa), and in 2013 he participated in the Kala Art Institute Fellowship (Berkeley). He is currently assistant professor at Binghamton University.

Patricia Russotti is an Associate Professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an active imaging artist producing a wide range of work for corporations, public service organizations, museums, individual artistic commissions, funded projects, and exhibitions. She has done extensive consulting for in-house graphic service departments, ad agencies, photography studios and educational institutions. She develops and presents technical and creative corporate seminars, workshops, and training programs Internationally. Patti’s career has a breadth and depth of experience and skill in workflow, image making (analog, digital, alternative, and historic processes), the creative process, design, and education. She has been a regular presenter at national and international conferences. Patti holds M.S. and Ed.S. Degrees from Indiana University.

Jennifer Schinzing received her BFA from Alfred University with a concentration in sculpture and glass. For over a decade she has worked at More Fire as the Studio Manager, where she has helped to grow the studio into a small scale production shop creating products that are known worldwide. Her glass and sculptural work has a significant avian influence. She has created her own product line of glass sculpture that is minimal and playful in design which has been featured in national publications such as Elle Decoration, Western Art and Architecture, and Phoenix Home and Garden. She enjoys creating mixed media sculpture with found objects as well as incorporating different glass techniques such as flame worked borosilicate and cast glass. Her work can be found in private collections all over the world. 

Jennifer lives a plant based lifestyle in Rochester, NY with her husband and their three rescue greyhounds.

Bill Stephens received his BFA from Layton School of Art, Milwaukee WI, then taught at Finger Lakes Community College from 1969-71. After obtaining a Master of Science in Art Education from RIT, Rochester NY, he was employed by Webster Central School District for forty years, retiring in 2014. Currently he is working full time as an artist.

Jean K Stephens is a Rochester native who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters in Art Education from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her desire for additional training has led to study with David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Carol Marine and the late Thomas Buechner. Her paintings have been selected for national juried exhibitions, and are included in private and corporate collections including numerous branches of Canandaigua National Bank. Jean has taught drawing classes at the Creative Workshop of the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Art Supply, and the Mill Art Center. She has facilitated many nature-based and plein air workshops at Linwood Gardens, Linwood NY. Jean offers instruction in oil painting and drawing in her Works Road Studio in Honeoye Falls New York.

George Wegman was born in Rochester, NY, second in a family of eleven children. For the last 51 years he has been a practicing artist. Rochester has been his home throughout almost all of his life; his work, family, art community, and a rich cultural life keep him here. He is the father to two creative sons, and a grandfather also. George worked as a carpenter and craftsman for forty years. He retired from St. John's Home in 2011 after serving the elder community there 26 years. He continues to be present at St. John's as a volunteer with the senior studio art group. Throughout his career his many mentors including, Peter Monacelli, Jacque and Tarrant Clements, Lawrence Williams, Chuck Haas, Kurt Feuerherm, Bob Conge, and Joe Hendrick have served him as teachers, supportive friends, and prolific artists.

About the Exhibition

Landscapes and The Unbuilt grew out of an exhibition concept proposed by Rochester-based landscape artist and land preservationist, Connie Ehindero. Connie has an incredible passion for the natural world and the creativity it inspires. She is a former Genesee Land Trust board member and an active member of Rochester Contemporary Art Center. This collaborative program wouldn't have been possible without her ideas, research, and facilitation. Genesee Land Trust and RoCo are incredibly grateful for her many contributions.

Jean F. Geisel

Barbara & John Lovenheim

Lynn Vacanti & John Gilroy

Sponsored by:

Hugh & Mary Clare Hamlin
Hon. Sandra L. Frankel
Mary & Dennis Buchan
Patty Parsons & Daniel McIntosh
Scott McRae