Archive for FourWalls Gallery

First Friday, no joke

Posted in first friday, quick pokes, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by Rebecca

Don’t be an April fool; go check out the multitude of art openings taking place this week. First Friday, the monthly city-wide gallery night, is held by non-profit, university, and commercial and indie art venues in Rochester, where we all trot about from station to station, filling our eyes and ears with what’s new and exciting in our community. On Friday, April 1, 6-9 p.m. (and sometimes later) you can check out art openings, poetry readings, and musical performances in various locations. Visit for a list of this month’s participating venues, and check out all the flyers in cafes and such for more events happening the same night. Here are just a few:

Rochester Contemporary (137 East Ave., and The Surface Design Association will present the “Northeast Regional Contemporary Fiber Exhibit,” with artworks by 22 fiber artists from the region. The reception takes place 6-10 p.m. At FourWalls Art Gallery (179 Atlantic Ave.,, a photographic thesis exhibition by Sara Tkac entitled “You Look Just Like Her” will open 6-9 p.m.

During your travels through the Hungerford Building (1115 E. Main St., be sure to stop by Crocus Clay Works (Suite 225, 414-5643, to check out the functional and decorative ceramic wares, as well as “Bears and Brews,” featuring handmade works by John Ballou, the local artist behind JackBear Stamps, as well as local brews, 5-9 p.m. On the first floor, check out “Numb: Portraits from the Pharmaceutical Age,” by Lisa Zarnstorff at Grassroots Gallery (Suite 157,, 5-10 p.m., and artwork by Maidie Andrews at All Things Reggae Art Gallery (Suite 166,, 6-10 p.m.


Check out Ann Porter's stained-glass works in the "Hawks and Doves" exhibit at the Shoe Factory Art Co-op.

“Hawks and Doves: Perspectives on American and the World in Conflict” opens 6-10 p.m. at The Shoe Factory Art Co-op and the Military History Society of Rochester (250 N. Goodman St., Floor 2. 732-0036,, with art contributed by a horde of 28 local artists, including some of my faves: Jim Mott, Stephen Dorobiala, and Ann Porter. On the same floor, head over to The Blackbird Press studio of Robert Marx (Suite 211-213) for an exhibition and sale of the artist’s paintings, prints, and sculpture, taking place 4:30-8 p.m.

This info-bit originally published on Wednesday in Rochester City Newspaper.


First Friday February reactions

Posted in alternative spaces, first friday with tags , , , , , on February 5, 2011 by Rebecca

Last night’s FF travels included some very luscious pop paintings in “The Two Headed Love Show” by Lucinda Storms at the Record Archive, and a trio of artists presenting paintings and installations at Four Walls Gallery’s debut show, “Form & Substance,” at the spanking new location [ 179 Atlantic ].

Today I’ll check out more of the newly opened shows, including the Mentors & Mentors exhibit at Rochester Contemporary [ which will hold the artists’ talk on Sunday at 1 p.m. ]. I’m also excited about a near-future lunch date with Sabra Wood of Crocus Clay Works. What manner of artsy-goings-on and local charity matters will I report? Stay tuned, dear readers.

Lucinda Storms

A view of Lucinda Storms' new work, painted under her creative alias "Belvedere." Those empties indicate works sold off the wall.

The colorful, creamily stroked, and whimsical paintings by Lucinda Storms [ aka artistic alias “Belvedere” ] make it exceedingly hard to maintain a grumpy mood. Her new show at the Record Archive presents a selection of cheeky-messaged candy hearts [ the familiar shape modified with endearing to not-so- phrases like “my nerd,” “scum bag,” and “booger” ]. Other works include human-plant hybrid girls, trippy, smokable butterflies, and some of her silhouette paintings of birds inspired by Audubon.

Storms' sweet sylvan sprites: "Nature Girl" and "Amanita M."

"Monarch Doobiefly"

At Four Walls, gallery director Shawn Dunwoody enthusiastically pointed out a favorite feature: the large windows. The former gallery space in the basement of 34 Elton Street was roomy to be sure, but entirely without natural light or a way to show the art off to passers by.

Victor Pacheco's "Fighter Cock #5" seen through the window front of 179 Atlantic Avenue

Local sculptor Victor Pacheco’s “Fighter Cocks #5” is a work of cast, welded, and riveted battling bird-jets gliding over a bed of undulating, sweeping wood strips. Also in the “Form & Substance” show is his “Extraction Site,” a wall-installation of  a moving oil drilling rig pumping through a bank of ice.

Detail of Pacheco's "Fighter Cocks #5"

Francesca Lalanne’s work reflects her fascination with refining and renewing the surfaces of wood and metal, and draws parallels between the imperfections in and perpetual refinement of those materials and of the body and self. She finds stories in scars, and states that her work is often less about the object being created than the materials and language she is using.

A figurative mixed media work by Francesca Lalanne

Artist and professor Kitty Hubbard’s “Housing Projects” are inspired by her youth helping her mother fix up broken-down homes. “She has always been able to see the potential in buildings, and people,” Hubbard says. Other works in the exhibit address financial strains we feel “as individuals and as a country,” she says. The works incorporate shredded credit card bills and wax, “just barely holding the house together.” Lit from within, the former group emanates a sense of life and hope, but the darkened “discover MC visa” do not lend the same sentiment.

Detail of Kitty Hubbards' wax and milk container "broken homes"

Fashion & Fantasy at Eye Candy

Posted in alternative spaces, review - group show with tags , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Rebecca

Last night brought me into one of those episodes where I once again realized what a small town Rochester can be, and how very many people we randomly come into contact with are living creative lives that we don’t yet know about. Three folks who’ve been on my periphery for years had a reception for their group art show “Into the Woods, Fierce and Reckless” at Eye Candy Clothing on East, one of FourWalls Gallery’s satellite spaces. Besides the racks of trendy, drapey-femme clothes lining the walls, house decor includes taxidermied heads of sheep and other horned beasts tarted up with ropes of pearls and fabric flowers tucked behind ears.  DJ K-OFF BEAT was spinning, and chic youth swanned around talking and enjoying the art.

I knew of Rome Celli in his role as a local realtor, but was unaware of  his photographic work until Shawn Dunwoody, owner and director of FourWalls, told me about this show. Celli’s work showcases expressive, beautiful people; otherworldly models with far-off gazes, in rural and city settings. Bright colors are often set aflame by contrasting overcast gray skies, just as olden clothing is frequently juxtaposed with the models’ ink and piercings.

The artist’s interest lies unmistakably in  fashion photography, and he works with local designers, models, and stylists, but before starting each shoot he comes up with narratives like “Echoes of Consequence – A Waking Dream,” a series from which a few images in this show hail. “Jackie” is a tattooed and pierced punk pixie, dreamily leaning on a tree in a classy vintage outfit. “Patrick” is her “would-be lover,” as Rome calls him, who broodingly stares skyward in an old military jacket. But my personal favorite is “Kayte,”  in layered tattered leggings and shitstomping boots, walking fiercely toward the camera and looking wolfish as hell.

One of my BFFs works in the studio of Tammy Swales, so I’d heard all about this photographer’s epic awesomeness. Swales gets her bread and butter from her very modern and artistic approach to mostly wedding, portrait, and senior portrait photography,  but she does non-commissioned art as well.

Swales’ emphasis on hunting for ever-more-interesting perspectives which transmit automatic volumes about the subject’s personality is evident in this show: the playful “Homemade” features the artist’s mother with an exuberant expression on her face, seen between her close-to-the-camera colorfully striped-socked feet. The tattooed, pierced, vampy vixen in “Shadow Boxing” stares back at us through the ring’s tight ropes. “On Fire” is a scruffly man exhaling smoke, viewed through the window he leans on, with city buildings superimposed in reflection.  And “Cinders” is a mythy portrait of a gowned beauty fleeing up a set of stone steps in the darkness, the right side fading away to downy-leafy debris. The cut of the dress in the back reveals a toned, capable woman – not your average princess.

I knew local interior designer Blynn Nelson from serving her coffee each morning during my barista years, and I well recall admiring not only her bold, funky baubles, but her nonchalant ability to carry off the look. At the Eye Candy show her jewels are draped on mannequins and tree branches in various spots around the space, looking every bit like the ornaments a faerie queen would wear to a cocktail party: pastels and metallics, oversized paste pearls, ribbons and lacy, vintage-y rhinestone pins repurposed as components of the asymmetrical neckwear.

You might assume these statement pieces would only work with plain clothing, but I glanced over at Nelson, who was rocking some well-spaced ping-pong pearls with a patterned and ruffled corset top and saw how it could be done. They should, however, be worn with a pixie cut like Blynn’s, or with a wispy updo: you won’t want to cover up the art. Playful names abound: “Don’t Cross Me (Joan Crawford)” is a tangle-y mass of gold chain and silver hoops, with a giant ornate cross and crystal drops. “High Society (Grace Kelly)” has the same sort of complexity going on, but with more delicate elements of rows of teensy rhinestones and pearls.

The show, which runs through May 15, and the artists – each enjoying their first exhibition of their work – brought to my attention the blossoming fashion-arts scene in this city, which I was pretty unaware of before. Cheers to Rochester feeling a bit smaller, but even more connected and creative!

First Friday 4/2 preview bits n’ pieces…

Posted in first friday, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by Rebecca

It’s time again for your monthly First Friday travels, and your dose of fresh new art happenings in the city…

Visit for a list of participating venues, or check out all the fliers in cafes for the indie ones. Make sure to put these on your itinerary:

Step into “Other Worlds” at Rochester Contemporary Art Center with colorful, whimsical, new sculpture by Paul Knoblauch and densely packed drawings by John Kastner, including his recent illustration project of Nannette Nocon’s “What’s UP with Yuk?

FourWalls Art Gallery and Thievin’ Stephen Dorobiala will present “On the Cut,” a stencil show featuring the talented Thievin’ Stephen, Crook (FUA), Downer, Biles, Jeff Copp, Kurt Ketchum and The Sweet Meat Co’s: MR. PRVRTSarah Rutherford, and St. Monci. Enjoy live turntablism by The NYAC Crew (Fresh Fingaz, Tim Tones, Silly Cutty, & Naps), a performance by the neo-funk band Lifeforms, and a video installation by The NGB.

The Record Archive is keeping the fabulous Allie Hartley’s lovely-dark illustrations and mixed-media mummy sculptures in house for another month!

Gallery r will be showing the Senior Fine Arts Studio Exhibition, and similarly, Image City Photography Gallery is hosting “Through the Student Lens,” an impressive show of student – and teacher – work.

Just around the corner in the same building is Gilded Square Picture Framing and Gallery, with the First Friday reception for the current showing of Lanna Pejovic’s “New Work: Paintings, Drawings, Prints.”

*This is a modified version of my FF bit originally printed in City Newspaper.

Fresh & Sweet.

Posted in art collectives, pop-up galleries, upcoming shows with tags , , , on March 3, 2010 by Rebecca

Art Front’s maiden voyage will focus on a recent shiny newness that Rochester’s art scene sorely needs: independent, audacious initiative, and the community’s attention and support. So, I’m about a month late with this, but I’m still excited to share…

Sweet Meat Co. panoramic

A panoramic shot of The Sweet Meat Co.'s EXTRAVAGANZA, yoinked from their flickr site.

Recently formed art collective The Sweet Meat Co. is comprised of talented young painters, graphic designers, and street artists including Sarah Rutherford, Lea Rizzo, St. Monci, Mr. Prvrt, and Erich Lehman of 1975 Gallery at Surface Salon. Naming their group for the old-timey term for candy, the collective pays homage to the Hungerford [which used to be a flavored syrup factory] where, on 01.30.10, they debuted the fruits of their one-month collaborative project. With guest artists Jordan C. Greenhalgh and Anjolee Wolfe, Sweet Meat Co. rented a 2500 square foot raw space in the Hungerford and completely rehabbed the place into an incredibly cohesive, multi-media art installation using paint and discarded objects found in the building.

Sweet Meat Co. Sarah Rutherford

Sweet Meat indeed. Photo by The Sweet Meat Co.

Both the opening and closing receptions [a week apart] were packed, signaling to the group that the community’s behind what they’re doing. The collective plans on continuing this pop-up gallery business all around the city, so pay attention.

The Hungerford was a “good starting point,” Rutherford says, because they were allowed the freedom to completely alter the space during the month of their collaboration. The group endeavor began with a few of the artists who had exhibited in Lehman’s gallery, and most of the members barely knew each other. Then more artists were invited in, a meeting was held last November, and things progressed from there.

“I really craved the community of working with other artists; it was a lot more challenging but very rewarding at the end,” Rutherford says, noting that seven artists who all have different work schedules, and are used to creating their art solo, makes for some complications. “But in that last week [before the show], everything just emerged and came together.”

The work of MR. Prvrt and St. Monci can be seen this Friday [Mar 5] at 1975 Gallery’s Saints & PRVRTS show, and at least three of the members will have work in Thievin’ Stephen Dorobiala’s ON THE CUT stencil show at FOURWALLS Gallery opening April 2.

on the cut

Save that date!