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David Cowles: Roc Stars

March 1, 2024 - May 4, 2024

Opening Reception: First Friday, March 1, 6-9pm
Artist Talk, David Cowles in conversation with Jeff Spevak: April 19, 6pm at RoCo

Portraits of Rochester's community leaders will be displayed together like never before in the exhibition "David Cowles: Roc Stars." Renowned educator and illustrator, David Cowles, brings his distinctive style to life in 59 colorful portraits that celebrate the essence of the city's past and present icons.

A fixture in Rochester's artistic scene for decades, Cowles' is also nationally recognized, and his work has been featured in Time, People, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. His signature caricatures, characterized by a fusion of geometric shapes and bold colors, have often become iconic representations of the individuals he portrays.

"Roc Stars" is a testament to Cowles' timeless style, featuring an array of community leaders and celebrities. From the famed abolitionist and activist, Frederick Douglass, to present-day figures like Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Michael Mendoza, and Deborah Hughes, President & CEO of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, the exhibition spans eras and fields.

Notably, the exhibition will also introduce several new portraits (commissioned by Nannette Nocon & Karl Wessendorf) providing a fresh perspective on familiar faces. Each artwork is a testament to David’s keen observation, utilizing his cubist-influenced technique to distill the essence of each subject’s personality.

Join us for this visual journey through Rochester's history and present as "David Cowles: Roc Stars" creates a mosaic of the city's leaders, capturing the spirit and diversity that defines this vibrant community.

h4>About the Book
Cowles has published a new book to accompany the exhibition at RoCo. This publication, also titled "David Cowles: Roc Stars" features numerous additional portraits not included in the exhibition and will be available at RoCo.

About the Artist

David Cowles was born in Rochester, N.Y. in 1961, the last of six children. His father, Hobart, was a Professor of Ceramics at Rochester Institute of Technology, and his mother, Barbara, was manager of Shop One, a Rochester gift shop heavy on the crafts. Cowles landed a job at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester in 1983, and began his freelance career two years later, leaving the paper to work freelance full-time in 1991. Cowles' work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Vibe, Time, Newsweek, Playboy, People, The Village Voice, Money, Worth, Fortune, Fast Company, Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The New Republic and Vanity Fair, among others. Cowles has worked as a creator, writer, designer, storyboard artists and director on animated projects for Disney, Sesame Street, They Might Be Giants and Frederator Studios, among others. @dvdcowles

Supported by:

New York State Council on the Arts
Farash Foundation
Gouvernet Arts Fund
County of Monroe
Mary S Mulligan Charitable Trust
Richard & Vicki Schwartz
and over 1,000 Members!