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Notorious B.I.G. at George Eastman House?

December 3, 2010 by in Neighborhood of the Arts
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If you were to walk through the Brackett Clarke gallery at George Eastman House between now and January, you might hear “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. being played. If you were me, you might have instantly remembered the 2001 Keanu Reeves film, “Hard Ball.” And then, as you walk through the gallery, you will spot a photograph of The Notorious B.I.G. taken in the 1990s by photographer, Barron Claiborne.

You may be thinking, “What does The Notorious B.I.G. have to do with George Eastman House?” It just so happens that the Claiborne image of “Biggy” is one of the photographs in Eastman House’s recent photography exhibit, Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs selected by Graham Nash. (Yes, that’s Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.)

Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, B. B. King, Tom Petty, Henry Rollins, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, and Kurt Cobain are only a few of the musicians represented in the Taking Aim exhibit. As a music and photography lover, this exhibit was especially fascinating to see. There are photos of nearly every major musician from the 1950s-1990s.

And let’s not forget about the world-renowned music photographers who took these “unforgettable images.” Names such as Anton Corbijn, Lynn Goldsmith, Annie Leibovitz, Jim Marshall, Neal Preston, Mick Rock, Francesco Scavullo, and Nash himself are included.

If you’re looking to add a little rock ‘n’ roll to your life, consider visiting Eastman House to see Taking Aim. The exhibit is up through January 30, 2011. In addition to the photography exhibit, the Dryden Theatre is offering rock ‘n’ roll-themed screenings of films like Rude Boy, Jailhouse Rock, and A Hard Day’s Night.

Until next time… Rock on, Rochester!

Psychedelic Exhibition Opening Party at the MAG: A Groovy Rochester Experience

October 25, 2010 by in Neighborhood of the Arts
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George Eastman House, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum and Science Center, The Strong, and Rochester Contemporary Art Center are just a few of the museums and galleries in Rochester. In any given month there is a new exhibition, opening party, or program for people to enjoy.

The Memorial Art Gallery recently opened, “Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s,” a nationally touring exhibit which showcases vibrant and “psychedelic” art. In conjunction with their exhibition opening, the Memorial Art Gallery threw a “groovy” party. Guests were encouraged to dress up in 60s outfits, enjoy 60s and 70s music, and of course, view the exhibition.

blab, 2008-2009, by Erik Parker

blab, 2008-2009, by Erik Parker

I attended the opening with a friend. Instead of going all out on an outfit, I decided to make a tie-dye t-shirt to wear that evening. Before this month, I don’t believe I made tie-dye anything since my days at summer camp. Truth be told, it was a just as fun making it now (as a twenty-something) as it was when I was twelve years old!

With my tie-dyed t-shirt on, my friend and I arrived at the Memorial Art Gallery. The first thing we noticed while walking in from the parking lot was the lava lamp-like lights coming from inside the building. As we walked to the front entrance, we passed a vintage Volkswagen mini van and two Volkswagen beetles. Upon entering the gallery, I noticed people of all ages dressed up in 60s-style outfits, and the era’s most recognizable songs being played in the foyer area. There were people everywhere! In one part of the museum, guests were dancing to Beatles music alongside go-go dancers. Near the dance floor, guests were eating food, drinking wine, and looking at jewelry. At the other end of the museum, guests were lined up to see the art exhibition and many people were exploring (and buying!) in the gift shop. Throughout the gallery, Metro Retro, a vintage furniture store in Rochester, displayed 60s-styled furniture (even shag rugs!). All in all, it was a terrific night in Rochester filled with art, music, and interesting people.

Museum and gallery openings are a great way to spend a night out in Rochester and help support the many organizations that have had a meaningful impact on the city. If you’re interested in Rochester’s next exhibition opening, then I encourage you to check out George Eastman House’s new photography exhibit called, “Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock-n-Roll Photographs Selected by Graham Nash.” Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, curated this exhibit and included photographs ranging from the 1950s-1990s. Every major artist or musical group from those decades is represented, so if music is your thing, or if you simply want to spend a night out with some of Rochester’s art patrons, you might want to attend this exhibition opening party on Friday, October 29th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Did I mention that you get to see the exhibition before it opens to the public?

Until next time, be cool.


First Friday: Get Your Art On

October 1, 2010 by in Atlantic-University, Center City, Events, High Falls, Neighborhood of the Arts, South Wedge, Upper Monroe
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Alright, I’ll admit it: Where quality of life in Rochester, NY is concerned, I’ve drank the kool-aid.  There’s so much to do in Rochester, at such obscenely low costs, that I ponder nearly every day why Rochester (as a community) seems to have so many self-esteem issues.  Although I can’t agree with the average Rochesterian’s complaints about our weather, I can understand where they stem from (Two words: Lake Effect).  But what I will never understand is the oft heard complaint that Rochester is boring.  Boring??   That’s just crazy.  Tomorrow’s First Friday event, started by the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, is just one more ballot to add to the “Rochester is a Happenin’ Little City” ballot box.

This evening, take yourself on a little tour of Rochester’s artistic spaces.  First Friday takes place from 6PM-9PM at a variety of art venues in Rochester, many of which are, predictably, in The Neighborhood of the Arts.  Many other participating venues are in the Central Business District, and there a handful of participating venues located in High Falls, South Wedge, and Upper Monroe.  The First Friday website has a very handy map to help you find your way around.  There are 27 participants in total, so while you may not be able to experience every single thing the night has to offer, there is no doubt that you’ll be able to fill your evening with as much art as you can handle.

Mixed media piece by Nancy Tropolski

Mixed media piece by Nancy Tropolski

If you begin downtown at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RCAC), you know, just to pay homage to the creators of the First Friday event, you’ll be treated to the labor-intensive abstractions of Christopher McNalty and Andy Gilmore.  From there its not far to the Strum Gallery, inside Black Dog Studios, where Regi Hendrix will pay tribute to his late cousin, Jimi Hendrix, with several new works from his “Room Full of Mirrors” collection.  Just around the corner, The Windsor Family Folk Band will be folkin’ it up from 7PM-9PM at Bernunzio Uptown Music, whilst Jan Wenk Cedras reads poetry at the nearby Greenwood Books.

If you’re in a krumping sort of mood, head North to Cobblestone School Contemporary Space to enjoy the energetic choreography of Caitlin Bowers, whose modern fusion dancers dedicate their energy to “those whose lives are defined by struggle.”  On the way from RCAC, you’ll pass a number of other exhibits, such as Carol Acquilano’s paintings of Cortona, on display at Philips Fine Art, and Anne Clement’s striking photography at the American Association of University Women.

Those looking to get off the beaten path can visit Chait Fine Art, in High Falls, where Stu Chait will display his dreamy watercolors.  On the other side of town, the Gallery at Record Archive will display Nancy Tropolski’s mixed-media explorations of gender-roles, and their effect on our attempts to “create certainty in uncertain times.”  South of the main action, South Wedge’s Equal Grounds Coffee House will display Hope Zaccagni’s geometric, colorful paintings, which beautifully depict the architecture we tend not to notice, and the details we’re normally too busy for.  Nearby, in Upper Monroe, Genesee Pottery will host demonstrations of wheel-throwing, as they create bowls for their upcoming annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff.

If this sampling of events hasn’t been enough to convince you to join Rochester’s cultured many on this crisp Friday evening, you can always check out the full First Friday itinerary at their website.