Inside the Artist’s Studio with Anne Muntges

Anne’s artwork is on view in “Trying to Understand the World: Artwork by Anne Muntges and Sylvia Taylor”. The exhibition runs from January 14 2017–February 17, 2017. Her work is available for purchase in our Online Shop: store.mainstreetartsgallery.com


Anne Muntges Artist Extraordinaire

I am obsessed with drawing. I doodle, make marks, and slap line after line down on paper and board. Drawing is the way in which I see the world and understand myself within it.

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In general, when developing work, I have focus on the home as a theme. In earlier works this would mean recreating the space I physically occupied. Often that meant reflecting upon houses I lived in through drawings that explored the possibilities of what was and what could be. In Buffalo, where I began these works, it was easy to find crazy ornate homes to explore and occupy. My life was interior, and I spent a lot of time indoors. The work was fitting to the place I found myself in!

Im at McDonalds

That definition has grown over the last year or two though, as I have found myself traveling more for residencies and projects. My practice was also greatly impacted by moving to Brooklyn in January of 2016. Rather than finding myself in a constant indoor space to reflect in, like I had in Buffalo, I wander around and explore.

NYC_Fuck You Police Box

The drawings for the show Trying to Understand the World are a reflection of me figuring out my new home. These drawings helped me to understand the space I live in more closely than I ever could have imagined.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see “Trying to Understand the World: Artwork by Anne Muntges and Sylvia Taylor”. The exhibition runs through February 17, 2017. Anne’s work is available for purchase in our online shop: store.mainstreetartsgallery.com. Visit Anne’s website at www.annemuntges.com.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by painter Victoria Brzustowicz.

Meet the Artist in Residence: Adriane Smith

Adriane Smith is our first writer in residence at Main Street Arts! She’s working in one of our two studio spaces during the months of January–February 2017. We asked Adriane a few questions about her work, life, and more:

AdrianeSmith_headshot_small

Q: To start this off, tell us a little about your background.

A: I’m from right outside of Rochester, NY. I’ve always kept my hand in the literary arts from doing community relations at a bookstore to graduate work and teaching writing and Literature to working on a lecture series. I’ve had cool opportunities to write for various places, but I’m looking forward to devoting some time to my own personal projects.

Books and decorations in Adriane's residency studio

Books and decorations in Adriane’s residency studio

Q: How would you describe your work?

A: Victorian Futuristic Punk. I’m interested in fairytales, nostalgia, and liminality or the spaces between. I grew up on Molly Whuppie, Baba Yaga, the Grimm Brothers, and Hans Christian Anderson and I love how these fairytales are eerie and dark and violent and beautiful and clever and whimsical all at once. They tell us about the world on a very primal level as they illustrate life, death, love, goodness, sacrifice, and loss. Fairytales are also deeply nostalgic texts. They are the creation of and yearning for a time and place that never existed. Thus, fairytales speak to the deepest parts of our psyche. So, I’m also interested in exploring nostalgia for both the past and the future—how it imbues our memory of the past, our action in the present, and our hope for the future is an important element in my work.

Inside Adriane's residency studio

Inside Adriane’s residency studio

Q: What is your creative process?

A: Procrastinate, write really terrible prose, revise said prose, repeat until it’s not terrible anymore. That’s really the writing process in a nutshell. But it can also include reading, researching, drinking copious amounts of tea, writing lists, and staring into space. And I’m developing a penchant for writing on blank walls, so we’ll see where that takes me.

Adriane's cozy writing studio at Main Street Arts

Adriane’s cozy writing studio at Main Street Arts

Q: What are your goals for this residency?

A: So, there’s this great story about Douglas Adams’ editor locking him into a hotel room until he finished a long overdue project. He was a notorious procrastinator which gives me hope for myself and my own procrastinating tendencies. I think of this residency as my own version of the hotel room, but with better art. I plan to use this time to focus, discipline, and organize my writing life. So far, it’s working. I’ve got a longer novel in the works but there are also a couple shorter projects that I’d like to finish up. I will be teaching writing workshops—stay tuned. And I would love to work with artists who might want some help with artist statements or other writing for their careers—stay tuned on that one too.

Writing materials

Writing materials

Q: Who is your favorite writer and why?

A: My favorite writing usually brings together the fantastic with the ordinary. I like Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, and Douglas Adams very much for these reasons. There are so many great authors who have done and are doing so many interesting things and I’m very bad at lists because I always change my mind and/or leave something/someone out.

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Q: What advice would you give to other writers?

A: Write! Even if it’s just for a matter of minutes every day. There is no substitute for sitting down and putting one word after another over and over again. And don’t be afraid to write badly—just keep going; that’s what revision is for.


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Housing is available. Submissions are reviewed and residencies awarded quarterly. Upcoming deadline: February 28, 2017 for a residency in April, May, or June 2017.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Victoria Brzustowicz: One Tree x 52

Victoria’s artwork is on view in “8x8x52: Weekly Paintings by Victoria Brzustowicz”. Her work is available for purchase in our Online Shop:
store.mainstreetartsgallery.com


In December 2015, I was looking for ways I could push my painting routine. I considered one of those painting-a-day challenges, but I knew that was an unrealistic goal given my crazy schedule and the vagaries of Rochester weather. See, I don’t have studio space, so I do most of my painting outside.

I came up with a painting goal that would be flexible enough  to accommodate works schedule, personal responsibilities, and that crazy, unpredictable weather—I challenged myself to a painting a week of my favorite tree in my garden. My ground rules were that I could paint it from any vantage or any angle, as long as that tree appeared somewhere in the painting.  I bought my 52 canvas panels and painted the first of the series on January 6th, 2016, at 9am.

8x8-01, the first painting in the series.

8×8-01, the first painting in the series.

As I worked on this series, I tried to be open to the moment for each painting. Knowing that I would be painting the tree over and over  made me freer to start with an open mind. I knew there was another painting in which I could explore some other aspect of the composition, the drawing, my palette, or my brush selection. I tried various colors to tone the canvas, tried starting with a white canvas, tried various limited palettes, tried mediums, tried to use up odd tubes of paint, and tried to see what worked or didn’t work for me and the way I feel comfortable painting.

My setup for painting #9 – you’ll see that my biggest task is editing and simplifiying what I see.

My setup for painting #9 – you’ll see that my biggest task is editing and simplifiying what I see.

8x8-09 March 5, 1pm

8×8-09 March 5, 1pm

Here are a couple of other pairs of images, showing my setup and the finished painting. Yes, simplifying what I saw was  a big part of each piece….

That morning, I wanted to capture the glow of the morning light on the foliage against the blue sky.

That morning, I wanted to capture the glow of the morning light on the foliage against the blue sky.

8x8-44 November 4, 9am

8×8-44 November 4, 9am

Here are three shots: one showing my set up, one showing the tree, and the last showing the final piece. This was painted in the evening with a floodlight illuminating the fall foliage — I knew a storm was coming and I wanted to capture that color one last time, even if it was under artificial lighting.

You can see my easel and my supplies, all lit with a small lantern; the tree is in the background, lit by the floodlight.

You can see my easel and my supplies, all lit with a small lantern; the tree is in the background, lit by the floodlight.

The flood-lit tree

The flood-lit tree

8x8-45 November 7, 6:30pm

8×8-45 November 7, 6:30pm

Victoria Brzustowicz is an award-winning  painter, illustrator, and graphic designer. She  graduated from Wells College with a BA in Studio Art. At Wells she studied with noted painter William Roberts. A native of Rochester, NY, Victoria is Co-Studio Manager at the Book Arts Studio of Flower City Arts Center (formerly Genesee Center for the Arts), where she also teaches linoleum block printing. Although she painted extensively through the years, she was recently introduced to the  techniques of painting alla prima by Carol L. Douglas. Victoria is also a co-founder and chair of the Greater Rochester Plein Air Painters, a chapter of the New York Plein Air Painters


Stop by Main Street Arts to see “8x8x52: Weekly Paintings by Victoria Brzustowicz” in our second floor gallery. The exhibition runs through February 17, 2017

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by ceramic artist Jillian Cooper.