Every year we take note of art venues that open and close. We also pay attention to venues move or transform in one way or another. Below you’ll find a summary of the changes we noticed. If you know of other venues that have gone through some sort of change in 2019, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Different Path Gallery closed. New gallery to open???
The owner, Katherine Weston, closed A Different Path Gallery, sold the building and relocated to Vermont this past summer. A Different Path Gallery was an art fixture for nearly a decade on the west side of Monroe County within walking distance of the SUNY Brockport campus and shouting distance to Lift Bridge Book Shop, Java Junction Coffee and The Strand movie theater among other business institutions along Main Street in the Village of Brockport.
The gallery was a hotbed of creative expression for those makers whose base of daily activity tended to hug the western edge of Monroe County. Rooms above the gallery housed one or more artist studios. A charming boutique gift shop with many artisanal and handmade items was located adjacent to the gallery space through an open threshold.
Our sources tell us that an artist has purchased the building and may open a new gallery in that space before too long. Our fingers are crossed!
Axom Gallery moved.
Late in the Fall of 2019 Axom Gallery in conjunction with with the gallery's partner business, Axom Home, moved to a new location at 661 South Avenue. They were previously located for many years on Anderson Avenue near Good Luck restaurant, Anderson Alley and the Village Gate. The move returns them to their home territory in the South Wedge neighborhood where the owners, Robin & Rick Muto, have lived and started their businesses decades ago.
When you visit the new location you'll immediately see the benefits of their new first floor storefront location and their dramatically larger retail space for walk-in customers. The artwork on exhibition is integrated throughout the retail area of the business. I'm told by Rick Muto, Axom Gallery's co-owner/curator, a more defined exhibition space will be developed over time. Still, very often the art will be shown in the context of their design offerings since most art buyers install the art they buy inside of their homes and offices.
Cad Red opened.
Cad Red opened their doors at in the Village of Pittsford at 34 South Main Street in the fall of 2019 with their first exhibition in October. The owner opened the gallery as a compliment to her beautifully curated antique and housewares business immediately next door but due to the quick success of the gallery she has decided to focus her entrepreneurial efforts on art rather than antiques.
This lovely, intimate new gallery is located in a recently restored historic building nestled between other active businesses and where foot traffic is high. Two large storefront windows draw in light as well as passersby. Convenient parking is available immediately outside the front entrance to the gallery.
Cad Red will host solo exhibitions as well as small group shows. The work will mostly feature living regional artists in most media including but not limited to photography and works on canvas. The gallery may also include artists working outside of the Rochester/Finger Lakes area on occasion.
Fleuron Gallery closed.
Fleuron opened their doors at in the center of the Village of Honeoye Falls at 10 North Main Street in June, 2018. That new retail venture was set in a charming early twentieth century storefront with big windows. Fleuron was what we call a "hybrid" commercial art gallery. In this instance the fine art gallery was nestled between a botanical boutique at the front of the shop and a small graphic design work space tucked away behind the gallery, up a small flight of stairs. Sadly, this sweet little village gallery closed in sometime during the winter of 2019.
Gallery 74 has transformed into WOC ART Collaborative
Over the years Ralph Thompson developed and nurtured a powerful artistic studio space called Gallery 74 that became a magnet attracting creativity in all forms. Although the gallery was used as a studio and exhibition space for his own creative purposes he welcomed other artists in all media as well as dancers, actors, musicians, community groups and more. Exhibitions and performances were regular elements of the gallery's operation. Thompson didn't apply for grants or solicit outside donations. He just opened the doors and the community he cherished found a home. In 2019 he decided to retire but that's not the end of his or this story!
One very important measure of a successful life is the new growth that springs from the legacy of that life. In 2017-2018 Ralph Thompson welcomed Rachel Y. DeGuzman when she was looking for a place to host a series of "Long Table Discussions" around race, intersectionality and community in Rochester. Coming out of those discussions and others in January, 2019 WOC ART Collaborative began planning their future in a generous space adjacent to and carved out of Galley 74.
Since that time DeGuzman has built a multi-generational collective of Black women & women of color creators in Rochester committed to bringing the power of their individual accomplishments, visions, and social justice practices to create an institution rooted in intersectional equity for women, femme, gender-variant and non-binary artists of color. WOC ART Collaborative was born in cradle of Ralph Thompson’s Gallery 74.
Founding WOC ART Collaborative members include Rachel Y. DeGuzman, N’Jelle Gage-Thorne, Reenah Golden, W. Michelle Harris, Delores Jackson-Radney, Tianna Mañón, Rachel McKibbens, Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, Danielle Ponder, and KaeLyn Rich. Many more creatives have been drawn to the cause and joined the organization as affiliate members. Expect to see some significant activity from WOC ART Collaborative in 2020.
After a year of careful plannning WOC ART Collaborative now fully occupies the same space as the former Gallery 74 including the entire the third floor of the the Kee Lox building at 215 Tremont Street in Cornhill. There are two very large rooms and two smaller rooms which will eventually be reorganized as five rooms with three smaller rooms for storage, studio arts and podcasting and the remaining two larger rooms for administration, exhibition, meeting, social gathering and performances.
Gallery 384 closed.
This past spring Gallery 384 closed but not because the it wasn't succeeding. It was! Gallery 384 was what we call a "hybrid" venue. In this case the gallery was a mutually beneficial collaboration between gallery operator,Howard Koft, and the owners of the East Avenue Inn; located on the corner of East Avenue and Alexander Street. Artworks by local artists were allowed to exhibit in the motel lobby area, restaurant and hallways on the first floor. While the gallery organizer did not take a share of the sale proceeds a small portion of each sale contributed to a local charity. Gallery 384 had been in active operation exhibiting and selling artwork for about four years before it closed due to the sale of the motel which was demolished soon after the deal closed in the summer of 2019.
Kristen Campo Fine Art & Design opened a retail location.
Kristen Campo, owner of Kristen Campo Fine Art & Design took an important step in the Fall of 2019 when she opened a bricks-and-mortar location for her gallery at 3025 Monroe Avenue in Pittsford. Her brand new retail gallery is strategically placed on a high traffic stretch of Monroe Avenue across from Jewelers between Pittsford Wegmans and what may someday be the new Whole Foods. This stretch of Monroe Avenue has to be the hottest, most successful, high end retail stretch in all of Monroe County.
Campo has combined over 20 years of creative expertise as an art dealer and interior designer in the greater Rochester area. She grew up in a family of artists and worked towards a BFA at Nazareth College. She gained her knowledge working in local art galleries for 17 years before obtaining her LLC in 2017 and branching out as Kristen Campo Fine Art & Design. In less than two months, her fledgling gallery headed to Miami to exhibit for its first time in Pinta Miami 2017, during Art Basel week. In 2019 she organized and promoted a large scale "artfare" in Rochester's Strathallan Hotel.
Norchar's gallery space is on hiatus.
Norchar has hosted bimonthly art exhibitions on the first floor of their office on Park Avenue for the past few years. The exhibitions were distinctive in that they were beautifully curated and expertly installed; not usually the case when artists exhbit in spaces where the artwork is not the focus of the environment. In addition, Norchar hosted well attended opening parties to celebrate the exhibitions and invite the public in for a look. Norchar is poised to expand in 2020. As a result, the owners did not feel like they had the capacity to continue on with the exhibitions for the time being.
The owners have indicated they will take another look at exhibitions in their Park Avenue location at some point in the future. We hope they decide to take up the project again. In the meantime they will be missed.
Pittsford Fine Art opened.
Pittsford Fine Art opened their doors informally at the four corners in the Village of PIttsford as the curtain was falling on 2019, Their grand opening will be in early January, 2020 but they were already exhibiting and selling art from the get-go in December.
Pittsford Fine Art is co-owned and operated by ten artist-partners: Kathy Armstrong, Steve BonDurant, Gilbert Jordan, Laurence E. Keefe, Chris Kolupski, Nancy Lane, Chris Manaseri, Rebecca Maynard, Robin McCondichie, Bill Mowson, and Roland (Chip) Stevens III. The gallery will show representative samples from each of the partners in the front of the space plus one artist featured on a more-or-less monthly basis. Visitors will be able to see more works by the partners as they move through the gallery.
After January 7, 2020 the gallery will be open Tuesday through Sunday at noon and will remain open on those days until 6:00 pm except on Fridays when they will be open until 8:00 pm.
Rochester Community Collage emerged.
In case you haven't noticed collage art is SUPER hot in Rochester at the moment. in 2019 a new group of artists founded Rochester Community Collage. This new group offers studio arts programming as well as exhibition offerings. Rochester Art Collectors has listed this group under "ARTIST STUDIO/GALLERIES, ARTISTS' SPACES & CO-OPS" on our SOURCES page. You won't necessarily find this group in a dedicated gallery space. Instead they host pop-up exhibitions around town. Artist groups and coops help make the Rochester arts scene vibrant and interesting. One thing we can tell you for certain is there's never a dull moment around the Rochester Community Collage group!
Header image © Roy Sowers 1999
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