Member Spotlight

November / December
Greg Townson
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo? 
A: RoCo is so completely unique to our city. I love the way it connects local, regional and international artists, both as a way for the artists to present their work and as a way to educate and share ideas in our community. Every time I've stopped in, I've had an enriching experience I wouldn't find anywhere else. 

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: I've been following RoCo since their days as the Pyramid Art Center, but i'm just recently a member. I wanted to give back for all the years of wonderful work, plus it's a great way to keep up with everything they're doing. It's always fun to receive their mailings and see what they've come up with next!

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: It's a tough choice, but I would say 6x6 is pretty hard to top, given the scope and variety of the artwork.

Q: What is your favorite piece from a recent exhibition? 
A: That's another tough choice, but I would say Meleko Mokgosi's Pax Kaffraria exhibition. No particular piece, just the entire exhibition. Very moving.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: Well, since this is for fun, I'll say Jim Flora. I love collecting records and if I see a Jim Flora album cover I'll buy it, regardless of the music. 

Q: What type of art do you collect?
A: I don't have much money left over after the aforementioned records and guitars! I did have painter/musician Michael Hurley create a painting for me years ago, something I treasure now. Right now I'm saving my money the 6x6 event next year! 

Q: If you could own any piece of art, which would it be?
A: I have to say I wish I could own a piece of my own art, meaning I envy all these artists I see at RoCo so much. I can't help but wish I could do something even close to what they do! I have my music, though, so I guess that's my contribution. 

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: I know it's a boring answer, but as I've gotten older I appreciate Edward Hopper's work more and more.  I spend quite a lot of time by myself creating my music and I can relate to the solitude in so much of his work. 

     
April / May
Casey Sanders
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo? 
A: I love RoCo because of the ways in which I feel that it promotes accessibility in the local art scene - by offering Rochesterians the opportunity to experience diverse exhibitions at an affordable price and by inviting them to more actively participate in the arts through events such as 6x6.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: I became a member in 2016.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: My favorite past exhibition is "Vanish," because of the powerful and thought-provoking message that the artists involved in it conveyed through their unique perspectives on loss. "State of the City: Street-ish" will always hold a special place in my heart though, because my earliest memory of RoCo takes place during this exhibit, when I stumbled upon Craig Colorusso's "Sun Boxes" in the yard adjacent to the gallery.

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: My favorite artist varies by medium. One of my favorite art forms is street art, which I first gained an appreciation for thanks to Rochester's WALL\THERAPY project. My favorite street artist is currently Invader. Unfortunately he hasn't invaded Rochester with his arcade game-themed mosaics but I have spotted his handiwork in NYC and in Paris.

     
October / November
Torre/Hall Family
   
  Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: We love RoCo because it offers an amazing array of contemporary art in an urban and intimate setting. They feature local, national, professional, and amateur artists, something from/for everybody. RoCo is unique to Rochester, and a place where we always feel at home and far away at the same time.
 
Q: How long have you been a member?

A: 7 years or so.
 
Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?

A: For us it’s definitely the 6x6 exhibit. The exhibit of thousands of artworks by renowned artists, up and comers, amateurs, and hobbyists is dizzying to the senses. You can go every day of the exhibit and find something different depending on your mood. One of our favorite pieces was chosen after the exhibit had closed and we were picking up our artwork. The RoCo staff were busy dismantling the exhibit so there were only random pieces still up on the wall. We saw this piece and marveled that we had never seen it before and that it was still available. It occupies a prevalent space in our home 6x6 exhibit that includes more than 50 pieces.

Q: What is your favorite piece from the current exhibition?

A: Haven’t been to it yet, but, love the idea of the Graphic Arts Workshop Exchange!

Q: What type of art do you collect?

A: We do not limit ourselves to a particular genre. We have quite a bit of contemporary Canadian art from the 50s and 60s, but have focusing lately on local Rochester artists. We like Tom Carpenter’s work, love David Bleich’s photography, and Annette Hakiel’s mixed media collages of Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass are totally badass! Art is so subjective, and we have many pieces that some people might not even consider art, but that we love, from the garbage-pick fiberglass faux church window hanging over our fireplace, to the display of  28 individual album covers of Ian Dury’s 1979 album “Do It Yourself”, to the polaroids of every day of our summer in 2009. It all holds different weight and light.
     
February / March
John Tracey and Martha Bush
   
 

Q: Why did you become a RoCo member?
A: John is an artist and I’m an art lover and we both feel that RoCo is the one organization in Rochester that has most ignited the visual arts community over the last decade. From creating an exciting environment to experience new art, building collaboration across a wide community of artists and taking risks by showing art we wouldn’t see anywhere else in Rochester, RoCo is an organization we are proud of and should be supporting as much as we can!
 
Q: Tell us an interesting experience you’ve had at RoCo?

A: I just love the energy the 6x6 show brings to the whole city. I love how it turns new people into artists and gets them talking about the work they made and the work they purchased.  Every year I have interesting conversations about art with people both inside RoCo during the 6x6, and outside with people who never would have otherwise felt comfortable talking about art.
 
Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: Edith Lunt Small would do an awesome wood carving/painted portrait.  Wouldn’t that be fun to have?


Q: Where is your favorite place in the East End to have dinner after a RoCo opening?
A: We venture a bit out of the East End to Han Noodle on Monroe. Our home away from home!

Q: If you could own any piece of art, which would it be?
A: John would like a piece by Yves Tanquy and I’d like one by Kandinsky. Could you arrange that??

     
November / December
Robin Whiteman
   
 

Q: Why did you become a RoCo member? 
A: I see RoCo as a bridge between our local art scene and the broader world of art.  I joined Roco to support that vision and to be part of the conversation.

Q: Tell us about an interesting experience you've had at RoCo.
A: My most extraordinary experience at Roco was sitting in the audience listening to my mentor Richard Hirsch talk about his work, feeling so grateful to be showing with him and the other fabulous ceramic artists invited to participate in that show.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: I would have Wendy Menzie paint my portrait, because I have a suspicion that she might not render me as human and her work is magical.

Q: Where is your favorite place, in the East End, to get dinner after a RoCo Opening?
A: This is a hard one, but I have a weakness for Golden Port's turnip cake with egg and red bean buns.


Q: If you could own any piece of art, which would it be?
A: A Cy Twombly painting.  Not sure which one though.  I saw a show of his work at MOMA and I could hardly breathe.
     
September / October
Sonia James-Wilson
   
 

Q: Why did you become a RoCo member?
A: RoCo has played a major role in helping to maintain a sense of vibrancy in the East End. I think we all have a responsibility to create the type of community in which we want to live, and being a member of the Gallery is an easy way to do that. They also have an amazing staff and Executive Director who always make being in the space a great experience.
 
Q: Tell us an interesting experience you’ve had at RoCo?
A: During the Question Bridge exhibition, Ed Brockenbrough, Associate Professor at the Warner School and I organized a panel discussion with African American male educators. It was a great opportunity to provide a platform for an amazing group of dedicated men, and  to hear their perspectives on some of the greatest challenges facing youth in our community.
 
Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: Kehinde Wiley. In May, I saw his The New Republic exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, and I was blown away.


Q: Where is your favorite place in the East End to have dinner after a RoCo opening?

A: Veneto Restaurant. The food is wonderful, and it is one of the few places where you can still have a conversation without having to yell across the table.

Q: If you could own any piece of art, which would it be?
A: Magnum photographer, Raymond Depardon’s New York City. Harlem District 110th Street (1981). The energy and joyful expressions of the girls in this photograph always take me back to my childhood in Brooklyn.

     
July
James Farley
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo? 
A: The assortment of different events and shows throughout the year spanning from everyone can be involved ones (6x6), member shows, and traditional Artist exhibits. There’s a multitude of styles and mediums showcased throughout the year which pretty much ensures you discover something new and appreciate at least a few shows a year (if not all).
 
Q: How long have you been a member?
A: I think 3 years.
 
Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why? 
A: The Member Show in the fall! To be able to appreciate just how much talent we have here locally in the community among some of the fellow members that I know and so many that I’d like to know is incredible. I bought my first piece from RoCo at the member show and it’s still my favorite event to attend.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: Egon Schiele


Q: What type of art do you collect?
A: Various but many portraits many of them specific to my passion for music.
     
June
Laurel Bahe
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo? 
A: I love RoCo because (I live in Colorado) the first time I entered RoCo 6x6 my pieces all sold on opening night and I added to my resume a line about selling out at my first New York show! It catapulted my art sales in Colorado Springs to have that true statement on my resume, I still use my "annual New York show" as a pitch on First Fridays here at home.  I have only been to RoCo once, for 6x6 in 2013, and I did love the venue and everybody I met.  We have two somewhat  similar art centers in this area but they are both struggling financially and finding their place in the art community.  RoCo seems to be well established  and vibrant in comparison.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: For 3 years.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: My favorite is 6x6. I loved attending in person but I also spend hours looking at the artworks online.  So so so many incredible works!

 


Q: What is your favorite piece from the current exhibition?
A: I can't say which piece is my favorite in the current exhibit because I haven't seen it but I like the theme of Art and Bikes because I am an avid biker.  I think bicycles themselves are great subject matter for artwork, and seeing thing while riding a bike is inspiring too.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: I would have liked Modigliani to paint my portrait.  I really like his work.

     
May
Vivian A. Palladoro, EdD
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: RoCo provides a window to the current world of art which is often linked with social issues.This gallery is unique and plays a pivotal role in our community. It excels in bringing people together around a topic.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: 3 years.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: Question Bridges is my favorite exhibit because it dealt with the important topic of racial issues, particularly impacting men and included a community dialogue.

Q: What is your favorite piece from the current exhibition? A: I appreciated the fact that it included bikes which are very Eco-friendly and had community involvement.

Q: What type of art do you collect?

A: I particularly love sculpture because it is 3-D, it changes depending on lighting and many pieces evoke motion.

     
April
   
 

Join today, and you could be featured as next month's spotlighted member!

RoCo's Member Spotlight is an initiative to show our members how much we appreciate them and provide a place for them to be recognized. The Member Spotlight program features your image and a brief interview.

     
March
Marlene Boutet & Stephan Quessy
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: First and foremost, we love RoCo because of it's strong support of both emerging and local contemporary artists.  RoCo is also very creative in putting forth events and exhibitions that attract new people to art.  We also cherish the opportunities RoCo provides to art lovers like us to meet the artists at both formal events like "The Days the Artist Spoke" and impromptu encounters.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: Since 2008.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: We are fond of State of the City and Makers & Mentors.  Stephan particularly enjoyed the 2008 State of the City where he discovered the work of Jim deLucia.  Marlene particularly enjoyed the 2010 Makers & Mentors and Juliana Furlong Williams' rabbits!  The State of the City exhibition allows a time of reflection on the health of our communities, locally and globally.  Makers & Mentors offers new discoveries of both established artists we may or may not know and emerging artists.


Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?

A: Stephan: Robert Marx; yes it could be dark but it would also be a very powerful portrait.

Q: If you could own and live with any piece of art, which would it be?
A: Stephan: Madame X by John Singer Sargent
Marlene: anything from Jean-Paul Riopelle or Paul-Emile Borduas

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: All the artists met in Rochester!
     
February
Zac Braun
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: RoCo does a great job cultivating an artist community that celebrates the range and diversity of the people that make up Rochester.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: Less than a year.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: 6x6. Not only am I a fan of multiples, I love the energy that’s created when everyone is encouraged to participate – young and old, near and far, celebrated artists and those who have never lifted a brush.  2014 was a first for me (along with my family), and it was a thrill to explore the masses, find our favorites, then come back again and again to discover new gems each time.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?
A: Jean-Michel Basquiat. I'm curious to see how he would create my biography on canvas through his chaotic imagery.


Q: If you could own and live with any piece of art, which would it be?

A: Christian Marclay's "The Clock" for sentimental reasons, and owning it would likely be the only way I’d see all 24 hours of it
     
January
Shree and Kishan Pandya
   
  Q: Why do you love RoCo? 
A: The range and type of exhibits that are offered by RoCo.
 
Q: How long have you been a member?

A: Since December 2013
 
Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?

A: We love 6x6 and the Members Exhibits. The 6x6 brings out the artist in each of us, and the Member Exhibits provides an opportunity to appreciate local artists.
 
Q: What type of art do you collect?
A: We do not restrict ourselves to a specific type of art or a specific artist. We buy what touches us and enjoy having around us.
     
December
Bill Garvin
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: The constant changing of the type of artwork displayed, from prints and video to the 'found objects' in this year's State of the City - 2014.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: I just renewed my membership for my second year.

Q: What is your favorite exhibition and why?
A: My favorite exhibit is 6x6. I think most people expect artwork to be something that can be viewed from a distance, so we see paintings, for example, that are 18" or greater in width and height, or several feet wide and high.  Sculpture that can fit on a display stand in our house to steel structures that tower over our head.  Artists want to express themselves in a 'big' way. 6x6 challenges participants to create a piece of art within the confines of a limited space that we are not accustomed to.  The result this year was over 6,000 pieces of art, in every medium possible.  It took several visits to see everything on display.


Q: What type of art do you collect?

A: I collect a variety of types of art. Masks from Africa, Europe, S. America, Asia, as well as from local artists.  Native American pottery.  Watercolors, oils and woodblock prints.  Metals and glass.  I tend to be an impulse buyer.  If something appeals to me, I'll purchase it right away.  I've lost out on a few pieces because I've hesitated, only to find out when I went back at a later date  that it had been purchased by someone else.  Do I any great regrets for buying certain pieces?  A few.  But not enough to make me stop.  By the way, do you see that piece over there?  I'll be right back...
     
November
Peter and Gloria Monacelli
   
 

Q: Why do you love RoCo?
A: All in all, we treasure our relationship with RoCo. It adds a necessary modern flavor to the entire western N.Y. area. We love RoCo because of the vision that Bleu Cease brought to this wonderful contemporary art gallery. In fact we joined for just this reason.

Q: How long have you been a member?
A: We were members off and on in the past but our commitment really started once we got to know him. Since then, our membership has become a priority.

Q: What type of art do you collect?
A: We have a large collection of local artists and it is difficult to say who our favorite artist is. We love them all.

Q: If you could have one artist create your portrait, who would it be?

A: If we were having portraits done, we would want Kurt Feuerherm to do them.