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Last Year On Earth

March 5, 2021 - May 8, 2021

Exhibition Opens: Friday, March 5, 2021, 6-9pm *Special Admission: $10 free for members/exhibiting artists
**All times have been reserved. Please attend during normal gallery hours with no reservations necessary.
Pick Up Dates: May 8, 5-7pm, May 9 & 10, 12-6pm
Jurors: Tanvi Asher, Kelly Cheatle, Alexa Guzmán

Last Year on Earth explores, documents, reflects, and celebrates (yes, there are things to celebrate) our individual and collective experience of the last twelve months.  We’ve all experienced a year like no other and Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) has organized this exhibition to show what our community has made in response to 2020.

We received a wide range of submissions including works that were inspired by life in the last year, and addressed topics like the pandemic, racial injustice, national and local politics, climate crisis; AND responses of healing, activism, empathy, innovation, community building, and hopefulness for the future.

The jurors selected over 90 artworks created since March 2020. We welcomed and encouraged submissions by all inventive and creative humans, not just those working in the fine arts. This call was open to anyone residing in the Western & Central NY region (including Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse). Submission website:

*This exhibition includes some artworks that use graphic imagery to address social and political issues, death, and racial injustice.

Featured Artists

Vanessa Acevedo
Brenda Allen
Katherine Baca-Bielinis
Maddie Bartley
Ang Bidak
Seth Black
Jim Bliss
Katherine Brown
Carmen Cibella
Andrew Colaprete
Cynthia Cratsley
Cody Donahue
Adam Eaton
Constance Ehindero
Kathleen Farrell
Zachary Frazee
Karen Frutiger
Caroline Garnaat
Faraz Ghorbanpour
Alan Gordon
Angela Guest
Shawn Gworek
Kelly Hanning
Jesse Harrington
Richard Harvey
Sasha Herbert
William Horvatits
Susan Howard
Aaron Humby
Shakiyla Jamison
Tyrone Johnson-Neuland
Kevin Kegler
Jappie King Black
Julie Klein
Bethany Krull


Adam Kujawski
Steve Levinson
Cathryn Leyland
Thomas Lioy
Laurie MacFarlane
Kirin Makker
Paul McKinley
Taina Meller
Roxanna Mendoza
Donald Menges
Barbara Mink
Jeanette Musliner
Dina Noto
Lisa Nudo
Martha O'Connor
Steven Peet
J.J. Pelechaty
Steven Piotrowski
Avi Pryntz-Nadworny
Brittany M. Reid
Penny Santy
Tina Sciarratta
Rachel Shelton
Rivkah Simcha
Ong Siraphisut
Mary Stanley
Jean K Stephens
Amber Tracy
Nereida Vazquez
Julie Waltz-Stalker
Lesley Weston
Julia Williamson
Betty-Anne Zarcone
Joe Ziolkowski

Companion Exhibitions

RCTV is curating a companion exhibition titled Through the Cracks at Rochester Contemporary Art Center that will run alongside Last Year on Earth.

Organized by Mara Ahmed The Warp & Weft is a multilingual archive of stories that seeks to capture the 2020 zeitgeist. A set of three new stories and audio recordings will be released each week via RoCo and Mara Ahmed’s social media.

About the Jurors for Last Year on Earth

Tanvi Asher is the Rochester-based designer behind Peppermint, an emerging contemporary women's boutique line. The Peppermint brand provides the perfect blend of quality, great tailoring, feminine detailing and inspired flourishes. Noticing a void, Tanvi decided to fill her newest collection with affordable sweet and feminine knits that fit into any woman’s closet with ease. All Peppermint garments are designed and manufactured exclusively in the United States. Born in India and raised in Oman, Tanvi earned her MFA in Industrial Design at RIT. She spent a few years working in the trenches as a packaging designer for various NYC & Upstate companies. She began making clothing as part of her MFA thesis & as a way to relieve stress after work, but before long, she had a full-fledged cult following, and after a year her hobby was her new career. On the fly, Tanvi taught herself everything about the business of clothing manufacturing. The endearing Peppermint line debuted in Fall 2011 with buyers in Dubai, Canada and the United States. In 2012, she moved operations from her basement studio to a retail location and studio (Rochester, NY) where now, on any given day, she is seen designing, making, photographing, shipping, and promoting the line.

Kelly Cheatle specializes in elegantly loud design and is a materials and process maven. Her artwork varies in scale by several orders of magnitude, from multi-story massive installations to sculptures small enough to sit comfortably on a penny. With over 20 years of experience in ideation, design, logistics, and marketing Kelly blends art and technology to engage community in conversation and wonder. Playful and powerfully executed, Kelly’s designs are both fun-loving and elegant. As partner and Artistic Director of Airigami she innovates and elevates balloons as an artistic medium. Kelly is a Guinness World Record holder and Silver Abby award winner whose work appears in Make and other magazines. She is also the co-author and illustrator of two children’s books, Artist Eyes and And He Puffed.

Alexa Guzman is a community organizer, activist, poet, and artist. Earlier this year she founded a nonprofit organization and has been president of Project A.I.R. ever since. Her mission is to use the organization to amplify the message of Black liberation and social equity for all marginalized identities through the arts.

Anne Konar

Jean F. Geisel

Michael Bobrow, M.D.

Lynn Vacanti & John Gilroy