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C.O.M.P. Studios

October 2023 - ongoing

C.O.M.P. Studios provides artists with free, temporary space to advance their practice and engage the public. This initiative expands RoCo's work to support artists and build the ecosystem for contemporary art in Downtown Rochester. Organized and administered by RoCo, presented in partnership with Chashama, and supported by The New York State Council for the Arts, this initiative builds upon grassroots efforts like First Friday, Rochester’s Citywide Gallery Night, and 2019's Current Seen, to foster new art spaces. C.O.M.P. Studios is proudly led by small, community-based arts organizations and maintains an artist-centered focus. In addition to providing work space, this initiative will boost an artist's access to audiences and expose the public to an artist’s latest project. C.O.M.P. Studios is Creative Opportunities Made Public.

Hours & Location

C.O.M.P. Studios is open to the public each First Friday 6-9pm
and by appointment and for special events.

The studios are located in the East End Neighborhood, 339 East Ave. on the second floor
just down the street from RoCo. The location is fully accessible.

Current Artists

Unique Fair Smith
Hannah Bell
Aaron Steffer
Rae Wiggins
*contact artists directly to arrange studio visits outside of First Fridays

How to Apply

Artists: Do you need temporary studio space to complete a project and engage the public? Apply here
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

About the Artists

Originally hailing from Canada and having lived in the South Pacific, Hannah Bell now calls Webster, NY home. Her artistic journey is a celebration of nature in all its forms, from the intricacies of cell structures to the lush beauty of flora and fauna. Bell's work, which spans various mediums including painting and ceramics, invites viewers to contemplate the beauty and significance of our world while encouraging deep reflection on human experiences and humanity itself.

A native of Rochester, NY, Unique Fair-Smith holds a BFA in Illustration and an MFA in Studio Arts from RIT. His body of work serves as a revolutionary endeavor, engaging with themes of oppression, liberation, and the human condition. Through portraiture and a focus on underrepresented communities, Fair-Smith's art empowers and amplifies voices that have historically been marginalized. His work aims to provide a platform for disenfranchised communities to speak on their terms.

Aaron Steffer’s art makes viewers question themselves and look deeper within the composition for meaning and explanation. The majority of his work is a dive into his subconscious, featuring lost friendships, relationships and loved ones. Steffer blurs the lines of traditional portraiture and abstract expressionism, forming fun and colorful scenes. Steffer is using the space to create large scale pieces, part of a growing series.

Rae Wiggins was born and raised out of the mud of Sodus, NY. Their art dives into their experiences growing up black, queer and trans in a conservative small town. Rae channels that unrooted emotion into their works. Using a raw and rigid hand style Rae contains the untouched material of what they felt/feel while their oil paint shows the tone and color appeal towards what the story is portraying. In Rae’s work you see their background skills in graphic art and graffiti come through. Finding inspiration through personal life experiences, Rae tells the viewer a story in their works presenting as a visual scripture. Wanting them to dig further than the surface and allowing the story to take them on a journey. @raewigginsart

About the Partners

Chashama helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. These spaces are used for artists, small businesses, and for free community-centric art classes.

The mission of the New York State Council on the Arts is to foster and advance the full breadth of New York State’s arts, culture, and creativity for all.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) is a venue for the exchange of ideas and a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that was founded in 1977. As a center for thoughtful contemporary art, RoCo provides unique encounters for audiences and extraordinary opportunities for artists.

Supported by:

New York State Council on the Arts