Small Works: A National Juried Exhibition of Artwork 12″ or Less

Join us for the opening of our Small Works exhibition, Saturday, November 8, 4–7p.m!

129 works of art by 90 artists from across the country.

129 works of art by 90 artists from across the country.

Small Works includes 129 works of art, 12″ or less, in a variety of media by 90 artists from across the country. $1,000 in cash awards will be announced at the opening.

Exhibition Dates: November 8–December 29, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 8, 4–7p.m.

Artists included:
Atsuko Chirikjian, Alice Chen, Anne Punzi, Brock Flamion, Brad Daruszka, Bethany Haeseler, Carol Acquilano, Cheryl Dawdy, Chalda Maloff, Colleen Pendry, Cathleen Ryan, Craig Wilson, Doug Frohman, Domingo Parada, Denise VanDeroef, Elizabeth Andrews, Fumiko Kashiwagi, George Lorio, Gabriella Soraci, Geoffrey Stein, George Wallace, Harriet Heller, Hannah Lightbody, Ileen Kaplan, Judi Cermak, Julian Cartwright, JoAnn Gentle, Justyn Iannucci, Jennifer Kotler, James Mai, Jacquelyn O’Brien, Jim Pearson, John Ruggles, Joe Tarantelli, Jane Zich, Katherine Baca, Kathryn Bevier, Kristine DeNinnio, Katelyn Jurney, Kevin Stuart, Kenneth Townsend, Lauren Furushima, Lanna Pejovic, Larry Poole, Katharine Wood, Mary Begley, Madalyn LaCava, Maria Victoria Savka, Marissa Tirone, Mari Takagi, Michele Vair, Margaret Wilson, Mark Zeh, Nancy Hicks, Namdoo Kim, Owen Karrel, Phyllis Bryce Ely, Peter Bucklin, Paige Kleinfelder, Patti Miskell, Peter Russom, Robert Fiacco, Ryan Hoevenaar, Ryosuke Kumakura, Roberta Kappel, Rebecca Strohm, Rikki Van Camp, Sarah Arditti, Sara Basher, Sage Churchill-Foster, Samara Doumnande, Sofie Hodara, Susan Kaye, Stephen Komp, Stacy Liberati, Shannon McDonell, Simone Ochrym, Steven Piotrowski, Sean M. Witucki, Taylor Kennedy, Trisha Max, Terry Oakden, Trina Smith, Virginia Cassetta, Vincent Leandro, Vanessa Rivera, William Barkin, William Holowka, Yoon Jee Kwak, Zach Dietl

This is our first national juried exhibition and we can’t wait to see all of the work up on Main Street Arts’ walls! Stay tuned for more information about Small Works, as well as images of select pieces.

Pictographic Prints by Mike Goscinsky

Rochester printmaker Mike Goscinsky currently has a solo show Upstairs at Main Street Arts featuring his pictographic woodcut prints.

Mike Goscinsky, "The Dog Builders", woodcut on paper

Mike Goscinsky, “The Dog Builders”, woodcut on paper

Mike’s work consists of woodcut prints and drawings featuring fantastical imagery of animals and pictographs. His woodcut prints are incredibly detailed. You can really see how much time he spent carefully crafting each one!

Mike Goscinsky, "The Zebra Builder", woodcut on paper

Mike Goscinsky, “The Zebra Builder”, woodcut on paper

Mike Goscinsky, "The Lion Builder", woodcut on paper

Mike Goscinsky, “The Lion Builder”, woodcut on paper

There are two series in this show. The first, The Animal Builders, depict mythical creatures known as elementals. Elementals are invisible beings in nature who are responsible for building all creatures from land, air, and sea.

Mike’s second body of work, The Pictographic series uses Asian characters along with images of the animals described by the character.

Mike Goscinsky, "Aquadic Echoes II", woodcut on rice paper

Mike Goscinsky, “Aquadic Echoes II”, woodcut on rice paper

Main Street Arts is hosting a free woodcut printmaking demo by Mike Goscinsky tomorrow, October 18, 2014 at 2pm. Absolutely free, no registration necessary. Just stop by the gallery at 2pm!

Watch Mike go through the steps of printing one of his incredibly detailed woodcut images, in the midst of his solo exhibition upstairs at Main Street Arts. He will talk about his ideas and process, and will be on hand to answer questions about both!

Exhibition Dates: October 3–November 29, 2014

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Bradley Butler: Part Two

Bradley Butler

Detail of Inner Interior (2012)

I have always been attracted to a darker palette. Muddy colors, mixing lots of black and white with my colors, using copious amounts of India ink and powdered charcoal… This led me down a path of slightly grey, almost “dim” work that masked the color that was present in my paintings. For a while, I was trying to mask this color as a way for people to discover it as they stared into the surface. Images and colors would show themselves after your eyes adjusted to the darkness on the immediate surface. You would begin to notice that it wasn’t a flat black or grey you were looking at but a rich grouping of blues, reds, browns and greens.

Bradley Butler

Detail of Sliding Frame of Reference (2011)

Bradley Butler

Detail of Underneath The Expanse (2012)

My work as of late has been a reveal of the colors that were always there but were just hiding beneath the surface. I still “muddy up” the palette and most likely, will always do that;  but more color—vibrant at times—has been showing up in my compositions. I see my recent work (March–October, 2014) as a refined approach to color and also to mark-making. Using brushes I have not picked up in years, leaving marks I would have otherwise covered in the past, and trying to think differently about the way I begin a painting. These are all ways in which I have “forced” a change. Other natural changes have resulted from this as well.

studio shot bradley butler

Two new 30in x 30in canvases are in the works in the studio.

detail of new work by Bradley Butler

Detail of 30in x 30in painting in progress

The paintings have become more consistent, and I feel, more impactful. There are still subtle and understated areas but they pack more punch now… The mystery and depth I am after is still there and will always be there (I hope), but with a new palette. I still use the same colors, I just mix them differently and set different expectations for myself. The colors I use are Golden Brand acrylics because that’s what Kathy Calderwood told me to use when I took her class in college. I use cadmium red, napthol red, cadmium yellow, phthalo blue (green shade), ultramarine blue, titanium white, and mars black. At times, additions or substitutions are made but that happens rarely.

Bradley Butler

My current palette as I work in the studio. This is a popular mix for me lately: ultramarine, pthalo, and cad. yellow with varying degrees of black and white… I also let the colors run into each other to see what happens!

Part three in this series will be coming soon. Until then, stop into the gallery to see The Opposite of Concrete where six of my paintings are featured, along with great work by 4 other talented artists.

Read part one of Inside The Artist’s Studio with Bradley Butler, here.

October Shows Upstairs at Main Street Arts

We have some great new October shows Upstairs at Main Street Arts! Stop by to check out the prints & paintings of Dennis Revitsky, wood cut prints by Mike Goscinsky, puppets & paintings by Rand Darrow, and handmade ceramics & furniture by Samantha Stumpf and Adrian VandenBout.

October Shows Upstairs at Main Street Arts

October Shows Upstairs at Main Street Arts

See more information on these shows on the Main Street Arts exhibitions page.

Exhibition Dates: October 3–November 29, 2014

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Bradley Butler: Part One

Bradley Butler

The studio just before bringing these paintings to the gallery. Pictured (L to R) “The Impossibility  of Understanding”, “Intentionally Losing Direction”, and “The Mirage of Truth”.

Preparing for this exhibition, for me, was a multi-faceted experience. Being both the gallery director and also 1 of 5 exhibiting artists, I found myself feeling many different things. Even though I was concerned with the way inclusion of artwork by the gallery director would be perceived; I was excited to host an exhibition featuring abstraction as the unifying conceptual theme on the main floor.

Abstract painting has been the most direct way for me to communicate visually with an audience. It affects me on the most primal level and allows for a contemplative and direct connection to my deepest thoughts in the studio. When painting, I am sorting out my thoughts and beliefs, processing world events, and also cultivating a visual language. I am constantly experimenting with different approaches to achieving images that are thoroughly “worked” and wrought with a fury of brush strokes, washes of fluid paints, and linear scratches of charcoal and conté crayon.

Bradley Butler

Detail of “Intentionally Losing Direction” while in progress.

For this exhibition, I knew I wanted to have an entirely new set of paintings and I had already begun working towards my current frame of mind in the studio. On January 1, 2013, I began working on new paintings in a new studio for the first time in 8 months (My wife and I bought a house, I had 3 jobs, and no time…). This was a very important time for me and I experienced a renaissance of artistic activity that was lacking from my life. I began to make a body of work that was distinctly different from my MFA thesis body of work from 2010, while still working within the confines of an overall aesthetic I had developed. Realizing this, I pushed on and continued to evolve as an artist. This is still happening and I couldn’t be more excited.

Bradley Butler

Six paintings on paper, part of the “Planes of Existence” series. Three of these are included in the exhibition.

The paintings featured in  The Opposite of Concrete are my most recent. They represent the direction I am heading in as well as my chosen format for the foreseeable future, or at least for a while… I have come to realize that working within a structural standard (30in x 30in canvases and 6in x 9in or 9in x 12in works on paper) takes my mind off of questions like “how big?” and “vertical or horizontal?” I am able to focus on the composition and the development of a more refined color palette, as well as a larger repertoire of the lines and shapes that make up my images. The intuitive manner in which I work usually dictates the direction I end up taking with my paintings. It is an adventure without a specific plan and that is both exciting and frightening! Making formal decisions about the surface or color palette is the only control I allow myself to have. Everything else after that is a chance encounter with brushes and pigments…

Bradley Butler

Detail of “The Mirage of Truth” while in progress.

You can see more images from my studio on Instagram.

Read Part Two of Inside The Artist’s Studio with Bradley Butler, here.

Check out our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post, by ceramic artist Samantha Stumpf.

Main Street Arts: Online Gallery Shop Giveaway

Main Street Arts is celebrating the launch of our Online Gallery Shop by giving away two handmade ceramic mugs from our exclusive new line of Samantha Stumpf’s Signature Tableware Series!

Two of Samantha Stumpf's porcelain mugs will be given to one lucky winner!

Two of Samantha Stumpf’s porcelain mugs will be given to one lucky winner! Mugs are as pictured here.

To be entered in this free giveaway all you have to do is fill out a ten-question survey about the gallery. The survey will be available until September 30, 2014 at midnight. The winner will be announced on October 1, 2014.

Fill out the survey here.

To see the rest of Samantha Stumpf’s collection, check out her Signature Tableware Series in our Online Gallery Shop.

“Paintings, Made Outdoors” by Terry Oakden

Terry Oakden currently has a solo exhibition Upstairs at Main Street Arts. “Painting, Made Outdoors” includes expressive oil and acrylic paintings on paper and board made outside and in the Finger Lakes region.

Terry Oakden, "Through the Vineyard 'Seneca'", Acrylic on board

Terry Oakden, “Through the Vineyard ‘Seneca’”, Acrylic on board

These paintings are full of vivd and sometimes unexpected colors. Splashes of bright pink contrast with bright green grass, swaths of red, blue, and yellow create deep, beautiful skies.

Terry Oakden, "Addison", Acrylic & oil on board

Terry Oakden, “Addison”, Acrylic & oil on board

Terry Oakden, "St. Mary's 'Corning'", Acrylic on board

Terry Oakden, “St. Mary’s ‘Corning’”, Acrylic on board

The exhibition combines paintings on paper with paintings on panel, emphasizing the spontaneity of Oakden’s work. His brushstrokes have a loose quality that add so much emotion to what would otherwise be a simple landscape.

Terry Oakden, "Paintings, Made Outdoors"

Terry Oakden, “Paintings, Made Outdoors”

Stop by to see Terry Oakden’s solo exhibition Upstairs at Main Street! His work will be here through September 27, 2014. You can see more information about exhibitions at Main Street Arts here.

Exhibition Dates: August 5–September 27, 2014

Main Street Arts Online Gallery Shop

Main Street Arts is excited to announce the launch of our online shop! We now offer limited edition artist posters for our exhibitions, Main Street Arts apparel, and a unique line of functional ceramics by Rochester artist, Samantha Stumpf.

Take a look at our current exhibition posters:

Exhibition posters for "The Opposite of Concrete", featuring artists Carl Chiarenza, Karen Sardisco, Patricia Wilder, and Bradley Butler

Exhibition posters for “The Opposite of Concrete”, featuring artists (clockwise from upper left): Patricia Wilder, Karen Sardisco, Bradley Butler, and Carl Chiarenza

Some poster features:

  • 20 x 16 inches
  • Printed on archival cotton rag paper
  • Limited edition of 5
  • Signed and numbered by the artist
  • Embossed with the gallery logo (bottom right corner)
  • Printed in Rochester, NY

We’re also proud to announce a new line of tableware by Rochester artist Samantha Stumpf. Samantha has been blogging for our Inside the Artist’s Studio series for the past few weeks, walking us through her production process. Here we get to see the fruits of her labors!

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Green Leaves Tableware Mugs

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Green Leaves Tableware Mugs

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Pinstripe Tableware Set

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Circles Tableware Plates

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Circles Tableware Plates

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Blue Lines Tableware Bowls

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Blue Lines Tableware Bowls

Samantha has presented us with tableware inspired by the natural world and intended for everyday use. There are four series of different colors and patterns. Each piece is made of porcelain and layered with unique, hand painted brush marks, adding depth and variation to the surface. This unique line is made specifically for Main Street Arts and our logo proudly appears on each piece. Learn more about the artist, here.

These pieces are food, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.

Head on over to our online gallery store to see the posters, Samantha’s tableware series, and more.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: A Little Bit of Process…

The studio of Sam Stumpf

My studio

I thought I would share with you a look into my studio and a bit about the process of making the sets of tableware now available in Main Street Arts’ online gallery shop.  My studio is currently located in the Susan B. Anthony  district in  downtown Rochester. I really do love my studio,  the city skyline is quite compelling in every season.

For the tableware sets, I thought I would work with porcelain not just for the challenge but also for the lovely qualities that the clay offers. I wanted a simple yet beautiful surface for my brushwork surface decoration.   All of these pieces are handmade on the potters wheel. Thrown with english porcelain,  each piece is then stamped with the Main Street Arts Gallery logo.  Once they are through the first firing I apply a clear base glaze followed with  several oxide washes to create the brushwork patterns on the surface.  I enjoy the intuitive and playfulness of each mark.  After  applying the wash they are fired to 2232 degrees fahrenheit  in an electric kiln for the final firing.

All of these sets are exclusively for Main Street Arts. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Sam Stumpf

Applying cobalt wash

Sam Stumpf

Loading into the glaze kiln

Sam Stumpf

After the glaze firing

Signature tableware series by Sam Stumpf

…it could be yours

 

View and purchase the different series in the online gallery shop!

Part One: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: Ongoing Inspiration
Part Two: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: Process and Perspective

Interview From The Studio with Karen Sardisco

Karen Sardisco

Tell us a little bit about yourself. You are a professor at MCC, an exhibiting artist, guest curator of various exhibitions, how do all of these things relate?

My teaching and my work as a practicing artist have always been intertwined. I am a full time faculty at Monroe Community College in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. I teach Painting, Drawing and Design. The work that I do in the studio/classroom is an extension of the explorations in my own studio. It is a symbiotic relationship… I pass on what I have learned as an artist to my students and my students inspire me with their interest and enthusiasm. Being in the studio/classroom everyday feels like home… the ongoing desire to communicate and create is infectious, and it is wonderful to see it in the students. As a teaching artist I get to be involved with art at all levels and my work as a curator feeds into that. Conceptualizing and organizing exhibitions is a way to continue the dialog as an artist. I am able to see other artist’s work and have the opportunity to put artists together in a way that allows for interesting interactions between the works. It is a different kind of creative effort that is equally as satisfying. The exhibitions that are a result shed new light on artist’s work, and I am able to be a part of that artistic process.

Karen Sardisco's paintings on paper

Karen Sardisco’s paintings on paper

Give us a little formal information on your paintings. What media do you use? Why have you preferred paper over canvas?

I began working on paper when finding time to work became a challenge. I was teaching, had a small child and was working very consistently in the studio. I began using acrylic paint when I was pregnant with my son because I didn’t want to deal with some of the toxic materials that were part of the oil painting process. I discovered then that my natural approach to technique was very spontaneous and the fast drying time of acrylics just seemed to work for me. The more rigid surface of the paper that was tacked up to a board had just the right give for me. I could develop layers and work very quickly. I began to manage the transparency of the paint and also worked with an interaction of forms within the layers that created the spatial effect that is typical in my work.

Karen Sardisco's studio

Karen Sardisco’s studio

You mentioned before that you were thinking of making a move back to working on canvas, what prompted that?

Well, I do miss the character of oil paint… the surfaces that have a more tactile quality. The feel of the paint on the brush and the way the paint engages with the canvas is an aspect of the process that is very seductive. It takes much more time, but it may be workable again. I am also finding that the scale and the difficulty of moving my works on paper around is getting to be an issue… not to mention the cost of framing such large-scale work.

One of Karen Sardisco's framed paintings

One of Karen Sardisco’s framed paintings

Tell me about the prints you have been making. How do you see them in regards to your paintings?

When my husband passed away suddenly, I stopped making work for a while. I knew that I needed to try to find a way to get back into the studio and had been thinking about the monoprinting process. I found a technique that was very direct using water-based inks, and that was that. I spent a whole winter making prints without the thought of showing them… I really just wanted to explore and work through some of the emotions that I was experiencing without thinking about how what I was doing related to my other work. I realize now that they had a very direct relationship, and the paintings that I am doing now come partly from the place that I got to making those prints. I can see myself devoting more time to that process, but when I began painting again the decision always is…what do I do first, and it comes back down to getting the paints out and jumping in.

Karen Sardisco, "Shadow", detail

Karen Sardisco, “Shadow”, detail

Can you talk a bit about the symbolism in your work? What themes seem to materialize? Do you notice a trend in your work over the years?

For me, the ambiguous space of the imagery eliminates a specific place or time. Forms like knots and branches, or anatomical references for example, are pulled from a visual lexicon of forms that speak to me. They suggest something… they allude to aspects of my experience and become a shorthand that encapsulates thoughts and feelings, and arranges them together in ways that I may not have envisioned. I feel as if I am tapping into a collective database that, when shaken up a bit, sheds new light on my personal experiences. It may also relate to the experiences of others, and I rely on that connection to draw viewers into my work.

Karen's reference materials. Many aspects of her paintings and prints are drawn from natural elements.

Karen’s reference materials. Many aspects of her paintings and prints are drawn from natural elements.

Nature is typically a source for me because I can use forms that seem familiar, something that one might see in the natural world. When those forms are paired with invented forms, or maybe more man-made forms, the relationships are questioned, and, as I mention in my artist statement, those new configurations challenge preconceived notions of function and meaning.

Karen Sardisco's reference materials

Karen Sardisco’s reference materials

If there is a thread that works its way through my work I would have to say that I do rely on forced relationships between forms, and tend to create an ambiguous spatial field for them to exist in. It is not a representational environment in any sense, because I feel that moving out of a comfort zone allows one to experience the way being open and aware can lead to new realizations about themselves, the world… the human potential for discovery. Since I never have a plan for what will happen when I approach a new work I have to trust my instincts and accept what comes. When I am totally immersed in my work, and, on a good day, I can experience a connection to the world that is totally satisfying. I hope that happens for my viewers.

Karen's reference materials

Karen’s reference materials

What will you be working on next?

That is a good question. I never make plans in regard to my work, at least not specifically. I may work on canvas again. I will probably make more monoprints. I will continue my process until I discover that there may be another approach that serves me just as well.

Karen Sardisco, "Game", detail

Karen Sardisco, “Game”, detail

You can see more of Karen’s work on her website: www.karensardisco.com

Four of Karen’s paintings are on display in Main Street Arts’ current group show, The Opposite of Concrete: An Exhibition of Abstract Painting and Photography. Stop by this Saturday (September 6th) from 4-7pm for the opening reception!

Check out our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio post, by painter Sarah Sutton.