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State of the City 2022

October 7, 2022 - November 12, 2022

After a two year hiatus, State of the City returns with a diverse group of artists who explore the architecture, public art, and community that define our city. Through painting, photography, and socially-oriented drawing, the three artists included in the exhibition engage with the buildings, the art, and the people that shape our creative culture. As the pandemic, technology, and media increasingly inform how we engage with each other, the projects featured in this exhibition invite us to physically come together and share what makes our city and our community so special.

First launched in 2008, this occasional series of exhibitions and projects brings together artists who document and explore Upstate NY cities especially those working in Rochester, NY. State of the City exhibitions feature local, emerging, established, and internationally known creative professionals who consider the history and envision the future of our cities.

Susan Begy's monumental artwork Entanglement was intentionally half completed for the opening of State of the City. This 33’ long drawing expanded onsite at RoCo. The public is encouraged to visit the artist as she adds new portraits and connections. Begy will be in the gallery Thursdays 12-2 pm and Fridays 6-8 pm through November 11. The installation expanded and continued in RoCo's Upstairs Gallery for several months following the exhibition.

Key Image: Red Light by Emiliano Diaz, The Shape of Us by Susan Begy, Richard Colon with HowNosm mural on Pitkin St, Rochester for WALL\THERAPY by Quajay Donnell

About the Artists

Susan Begy (b. Rochester, NY) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on the shared aspects of being human by exploring topics such as power dynamics, gender, nurturance, polarity, hypocrisy, and productive cooperation. She makes graphite drawings and stone sculptures using sinuous, twisting forms that embody our entanglement with one another and how we wrestle with living together. She develops collaborative projects that playfully reimagine human interactions and institutions, with her Econival project selected as a finalist for a 2015 Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields and featured on Creative Capital’s On Our Radar in 2016. Her Art Collision & Repair Shop project, in which teams of artists transform the "stalled" work of other artists, debuted at Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe in 2014-15 and was a coalescing force in the Santa Fe art community. In Spring 2022, as Artist in Residence at Writers & Books in Rochester she created the Wishbones project in which she carved abstract alabaster sculptures in response to stories collected from community members. In 2010, Begy earned her MFA in Fine Art from School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her works have been exhibited in contemporary art centers and galleries in the U.S. and Europe. She has co-founded and co-directed artist-run exhibition spaces in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. A native Rochesterian, Begy recently returned home after 20 years living in other U.S. cities. @susanbegy

Emiliano Diaz, tag name ANO (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1991) moved to the United States when he was 3 years old with his mother. Growing up in Canandaigua without much of an art scene was difficult. Diaz moved to Portland, Maine, at age 21 and quickly came to the realization that he no longer wanted to pursue a career in graphic design after a couple years in community college. He began to gravitate toward combining graffiti and perspective into his own acrylic paintings with a unique style and precision. Diaz has lived in Downtown Rochester for 6 years, and is thoroughly inspired by all of the architecture and style that this city has to offer. Some of Diaz’s artistic influences include David Hockney, Faust, Amsterdam graffiti art collective The London Police, and Maryland/Delaware artist John Aquilino. Color, linework, and hard-edge precision are the aspects of painting that motivate Diaz to find that new level of creativity. When he’s not painting, Diaz is an active part of the local skateboarding scene. From skating to school as a first grader, to still riding at age 31, skateboarding has been a huge influence in his life. It has taught him that anything is possible with the right patience, coordination, and mindset. While serving as a creative outlet, skating has also shown him the value of dedication and perseverance. In the same way he pushes himself to master his next new trick, he is constantly striving to master his craft as an artist. @anoxxix

Quajay Donnell (b. Paterson, NJ. 1978) is a Rochester, NY based photographer and writer whose most recent body of work focuses on street and public art. His work has been published in local and national publications, including The Washington Post. Donnell is a crew member and photographer for WALL\THERAPY and staff photographer for Roc Paint Division. His work was part of the Memorial Art Gallery’s 67Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition and he was the recipient of the 2020 George Eastman Museum Award for the Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s 30 Annual Members Exhibition. In addition to the current group show with RoCo, his first solo show, How I See It, will be on view this Fall at St. John Fisher University in the Patricia O'Keefe Ross Gallery. @qua.jay


Supported by:

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