Tag Archives: Patrick Kana

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From The Director: Cultivate

I often ask myself the questions “who are we?” and “how are we perceived?”. At this moment in time, I am being especially reflective and thinking about the larger vision of Main Street Arts and how we fit into the cultural context of our region and beyond. I am also thinking of what defines the gallery and our point of view. What gives us continuity year after year?

Installation shot from CULTIVATE; Left to right: work by Jody Selin, Lanna Pejovic, and Pat Bacon

Installation shot from CULTIVATE; Left to right: work by Jody Selin, Lanna Pejovic, and Pat Bacon

Above all else, I believe it is the process of curating. The careful consideration of what happens when two seemingly disparate pieces come together in close proximity in an exhibition. I want to present art in a way that gives a new context or a different understanding — a reexamination of something commonplace or well known. More than showing any one thing specifically, I am interested in the way we look at the world and at the people, places, and things within it. How the artists that we show interpret both the human experience and the world in which we live is integral. I look forward to each year of programming at the gallery with fresh eyes and an appetite to discover something new and interesting with the hope to share that with everyone who visits Main Street Arts.

Installation shot from CULTIVATE, In foreground, work by Chad Grohman

Installation shot from CULTIVATE, In foreground, work by Chad Grohman

CULTIVATE is not only an exhibition of great work by Pat Bacon, Chad Grohman, Patrick Kana, Meredith Mallwitz, Lanna Pejovic, Jody Selin, Mike Tarantelli, and Sylvia Taylor, it is also the start of something new. With this exhibition serving as the kick off event, we are starting to represent the work of these eight gallery artists. Thinking about the launch of our new program at Main Street Arts gets me thinking about where we have been and where we plan to go; as this comes on the cusp of our five year anniversary of opening the gallery in June of 2013.

Left: Our first exhibition,"Locality" in June 2013; Right: "Cultivate" in April 2018.

Left: Our first exhibition,”Locality” in June 2013; Right: “Cultivate” in April 2018.

I have learned many things since starting this journey as a gallery director and curator. Some have been practical and others have been existential but everything has contributed to getting us where we are at the present moment.

We have always made an effort to put together exhibitions that showcase engaging work in a variety of media from across the upstate New York region. As we move forward, we will hone in on this even more by mounting solo exhibitions and small group shows from our new roster of gallery artists. I am extremely excited about being involved with a select number of artists over a long period of time. The depth that we will be able to achieve by showing an evolving body of work from a group of artists presents great possibilities.

Left: Drawing by Tricia Butski, who will be featured in the upcoming "Upstate NY Drawing Invitational" at the end of August; Right: Work by Lin Price and Carrianne Hendrickson from "Dream State", January 2018.

Left: Drawing by Tricia Butski, who will be featured in the upcoming “Upstate NY Drawing Invitational” at the end of August; Right: Work by Lin Price and Carrianne Hendrickson from “Dream State”, January 2018.

In addition to showing the work of our gallery artists, we will of course continue to have the same kind of exhibitions that people have come to know and expect from Main Street Arts. From our national juried shows to the invitational exhibitions that bring together the work of different artists from across the region. Whether the exhibitions are media specific (i.e. our upcoming Upstate New York Drawing Invitational) or centered around some kind of subject or theme (i.e. Sacred Curiosities, Dream State), we will still continue our search for new work by artists we have yet to meet.


The exhibition CULTIVATE will run through Friday,  May 18, 2018. More information about each of the eight gallery artists can be found on our website. View available work on the gallery’s Artsy page.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Patrick Kana

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the idea of making things with my hands. I started as a child in my father’s basement workshop making carefully assembled model boats and planes, and over the last 15 years continued to gravitate toward working with wood as my primary creative practice.

Patrick Kana working in his studio

Patrick Kana working in his studio

I grew up on the coastal eastern shore of Maryland as a son of two marine biologists, and these influences remain at the forefront of my experimental woodworking today. I am currently the studio technician and visiting faculty for the Art and Architecture Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, and have my independent business and studio: Kana Studios.

Finished texture and form exploring biological specimens.

Finished texture and form exploring biological specimens.

My work ranges in appearance and context, from fine client-based commissioned furniture to sculptural and carved objects that are grounded in my curiosity of the natural world. All of my work is experimental on some degree, by testing and exploring what certain specimens of wood can provide, how form integrates with the material, and how surface texture and color can enhance the gesture of the piece.

Development of Geneva Chair, 2012.  Mock-up before final production.

Development of Geneva Chair, 2012. Mock-up before final production.

The collection of work currently on view at Main Street Arts is more about showing the spectrum of my work rather than honing in on one central theme. The Geneva Chairs were my first long-term design and research project in 2012 that yielded a user-friendly and intriguing product for the masses, while keeping the material use and construction process efficient in my workshop. These are designed to be made in multiples, which contrasts well to the inherently one-of-a-kind carved wall vessel, Nascent, a piece that is designed and made using one specific piece of wood.

Organic development of Nascent.  Arranging free-form parts until I am drawn to a pleasing composition.

Organic development of “Nascent”, arranging free-form parts until I am drawn to a pleasing composition.

"Nascent" by Patrick Kana

“Nascent” by Patrick Kana

As my work has progressed over the last 5 years, I have found more intrigue in curves and contours of surfaces, as seen in the reed-like curves on the back of my Palea Chair, where multiple laminated slats combine to generate a contoured, gestured, and most importantly comfortable back to the chair.

Sketch developments of Palea Chair.

Sketch developments of Palea Chair.

Sketch refinement of Palea Chair.

Sketch refinement of Palea Chair.

Mock-up development of Palea Chair.

Mock-up development of Palea Chair.

"Palea Chair" by Patrick Kana

“Palea Chair” by Patrick Kana

My outlook on making is one that is central to understanding material. I want to learn the deep characteristics of wood—it is a seductive material in its natural state, tempting to simply sand and leave smooth, but I challenge myself to look at the raw material with a curiosity of what is within, or what it wants to become. I believe that through a range of working methods, we gain a more thorough understanding of medium, and in return we become stronger designers and artists.


Patrick Kana is one of eight gallery artists represented by Main Street Arts. He is featured in the exhibition CULTIVATE which runs April 7 through May 18, 2018. More information about Patrick and his work can be found on our website. View more pieces by Patrick Kana on the gallery’s Artsy page.

From The Director: End of 2017 Edition

The last exhibition of 2017, "Small Works"

The last exhibition of 2017, “Small Works”

It’s the end of the year, so naturally we are getting into a reflective mood and reminiscing about all of the great things that happened at the gallery in 2017. This is also a time when we start to get really excited about new things on the horizon in the year to come. If you are thinking to yourself right now, “I wish I could look back at 2017 with Main Street Arts and see some of the exciting things coming up in 2018″, well you are in luck! Keep reading!

Top: Multifaceted, jewelry exhibition; Middle: Re-emerging artists: John Greene and Robert Marx; Bottom: Sacred Curiosities

2017 Exhibition Highlights – Top: Multifaceted, An exhibition of fine jewelry; Middle: Artist talk with John Greene and Robert Marx during Re-emerging Artists; Bottom: Sacred Curiosities

This year, we hosted  fifteen exhibitions on two floors including artwork by a total of 246 artists. Through five solo exhibitions, three two-person shows, four group invitationals, and three national juried exhibitions, we presented a variety of media and artistic perspectives over the course of the year. Highlights for me include hanging jewelry on the wall, hosting an exhibition featuring two artists with over 100 years combined art making experience, and an exhibition based on found objects.

2017 Finger Lakes Regional Student Painting Competition: Self Portraits

2017 Finger Lakes Regional Student Painting Competition: Self Portraits

We also held the 4th annual Finger Lakes Regional Student Painting Competition, which featured 5×7 self portraits by 203 student artists in grades 6 through 12 from 10 area school districts.

May/June, 2017 Artist in Residence, Nick LaTona

May/June, 2017 Artist in Residence, Nick LaTona

Our artist residency program, now well into it’s second year of existence, has been an exciting and meaningful addition to Main Street Arts. This year, we welcomed 18 different artists into our community, including our first ceramic artist in residence, Mandy Ranck, providing them the time and space to focus on making their art. We had artists from the Finger Lakes/Rochester areas; Brooklyn, NY; Staten Island, NY; Jersey City, NJ; Lenox, MA; Phoenix, AZ; and Austin, TX.

2017 Workshop Highlights – In order from top left to bottom right: The Beauty of Small with Cathy Gordon; Printmaking with Chas Davis; students from Penn Yan Academy on a field trip to the gallery making Collage/Assemblage pieces; Encaustic Collage with Ali Herrmann

2017 Workshop Highlights – In order from top left to bottom right: The Beauty of Small with Cathy Gordon; Printmaking with Chas Davis; students from Penn Yan Academy on a field trip to Main Street Arts, making Collage/Assemblage pieces; Encaustic Collage with Ali Herrmann

Artists in residence have the opportunity to teach workshops during their stay at the gallery. In 2017, we ran workshops with 7 of our artists in residence in the following media: ceramics, embroidery, encaustic wax, painting, printmaking, and mixed-media collage. We also offered several workshops in jewelry making and fiber arts with a handful of regional artists as the instructors.

Artist Talks

2017 Event Highlights – Top: Upstate NY Painting Invitational Artist Talk; Bottom, left to right: Sketch session with Andy Reddout and Genine Carvalheira-Geman; Artist talk with John Greene and Robert Marx; and Tintype Demo with John Coffer.

In addition to showcasing the artwork of great artists, we sometimes also ask them to come to the gallery to talk about their work. This year, we hosted artist talks with Robert Marx and John Greene in April in conjunction with their Re-emerging Artists exhibition, Genine Carvalheira-Gehman and Andy Reddout in March for their exhibition of sketchbooks on our second floor, along with a talk with 7 of the painters featured in the Upstate New York Painting Invitational in September. We also invited nationally-known tintype photographer, John Coffer to do a demo here in March as part of the Alternative Process Photography exhibition.

Students and their art teacher, Sherry Blanco during their field trip in October

Penn Yan students and their art teacher, Sherry Blanco during their field trip in October

In October, we also had a group of 15 art students from Penn Yan Academy come in for a field trip to learn about our Sacred Curiosities exhibition and to make their own mixed media collage/assemblage pieces!

Now onto 2018…

The first exhibition of 2018, "Dream State" will open on Saturday, January 13.

The first exhibition of 2018, “Dream State” will open on Saturday, January 13.

We have an exciting schedule of exhibitions planned for next year. Our first exhibition will be called Dream State and will include the work of four artists. Through painting, sculpture and photography, this exhibition is an exploration of time and space, a suspension of reality, and a journey into a personal mental space. The four artists included in this invitational exhibition are Matt Duquette of Buffalo; Bill Finger of Seattle, WA; Carrianne Hendrickson of Rochester; and Lin Price of Ithaca.

“Former King Ferry Scoreboard”, photograph by Harry Littell (Selection from the new book “UNROOM: New 2 U”, a collaboration with author Ron Ostman documenting the surrounding region, finding the beauty in the everyday built environment.)

Next up is an exhibition called Unknown, Overlooked, and Unfamiliar. This exhibition opens on February 24 and will present three distinct bodies of work from three photographers. Each series of images is an investigation into a unique and distinct subject matter. Presented together, the similarities and differences between each body of work will be amplified as parallels between different concepts are made. 30 Photographs by Jasna Bogdanovska, Harry Littell (pictured above), and Nigel Maister will be included and an artist talk will take place on Saturday, March 10 at 1pm.

Main Street Arts’ profile on Artsy, showing our eight represented artists

In April, we will open an exhibition called Cultivate and it will be an introduction to a new gallery program. Main Street Arts will be representing a roster of regional artists. This is something I have wanted to do for a few years and I am so excited to start with eight wonderful artists: Pat Bacon of Lyons, Chad Grohman of Buffalo, Patrick Kana of Geneva, Meredith Mallwitz of Canandaigua, Lanna Pejovic of Honeoye Falls, Jody Selin of Buffalo, Mike Tarantelli of Rochester, and Sylvia Taylor of Ithaca. Work by our represented artists is regularly available on Artsy and at the gallery. Expect to hear much more about this in the new year!

Photo from a visit to Lanna Pejovic's studio in June

Photo from a visit to Lanna Pejovic’s studio in June

There will be a solo exhibition each year for one of the gallery artists, and this year we are excited to mount a solo exhibition of paintings by Lanna Pejovic in October. Stay tuned for more info…

Aside from a solo exhibition and perhaps a group exhibition including these artists each year, I am still excited to have invitational exhibitions which include artists from our region and beyond. A majority of the year will still be filled with the types of exhibitions you have come to know (and hopefully love!) at Main Street Arts.

The Cup, The Mug 2017; our last show of the year on the second floor

“The Cup, The Mug”; our last show of 2017 on the second floor

As we continue to focus our efforts, things will be a little bit different on our second floor. In order to focus on the eight main exhibitions per year in our first floor gallery space and promoting the work of our represented artists, we will no longer have regular exhibitions on our second floor. That space will be dedicated to showing the work of our artists in residence, our gallery artists, and special pop up exhibitions.

And now for 2018 and beyond…

Finally, I would like to announce that this coming year Main Street Arts will be starting the process of converting from a commercial entity to a non-profit. From the beginning, in 2013, we have been graciously funded by Marjorie Morris and the Morris family. Mrs. Morris has, and continues to be, a wonderful patron of Main Street Arts and by extension, all of the artists we have been fortunate enough to show here. Moving forward with a non-profit status will allow us to function in a more sustainable manner and help us to continue to promote the work of artists for many years to come.

This also means that we are able to accept donations and are currently accepting them for a scholarship fund for our artist residency program. If you are interested in supporting our residency program, please contact the gallery for more information.

Main Street Arts, decked out for the holiday season, 2017

Main Street Arts, decked out for the holiday season, 2017

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support over the past four and a half years. We look forward to many more years of continuing our mission of promoting the work of artists from our region, encouraging the creation of art, and fostering a creative community through exhibitions, artist residency program, workshops, and events.

— Bradley Butler, gallery director and curator


There were so many great exhibitions, workshops, residents, and events in 2017 and it was impossible for me to talk about everything in a concise manner. So, I encourage you to look back and see everything in detail for yourself: 2017 Resident Artists, 2017 Exhibition History, Photo Albums on Flickr.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Patrick Kana: The Rumson Low Table

I have had the pleasure of exhibiting my work at Main Street Arts for almost two years now, and I jumped at the opportunity to participate in this collaborative show.  Ceramic artist Peter Pincus and I have been looking forward to an chance to collaborate for some time now and this exhibition is a great fit.

The table I designed for this show is a fusion of new energy and expertise with a product I had made three years prior: The Rumson Table.  The Rumson Table was designed as a simple and elegant occasional table, with crisp hand-shaped details.  I chose Mahogany for the stand and Zebrawood for the top to bring a warmth and color contrast not typically seen in contemporary furniture.  While I enjoy the color tones and overall form, my goal was to create a companion coffee table with a lower, more gestural stance and refined proportions.  The original Rumson Table stands 30″ tall while the new Rumson Low Table stands 15″ tall and 36″ across.

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rumsontable1cornerdetail

I formally started my career as a furniture maker in 2007, training as an apprentice for master furniture maker and luthier Peter Dudley.  One apprenticeship led to another, and after receiving my degree in Architectural Studies and Studio Art from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I continued to receive my MFA in Furniture Design from the prestigious School for American Crafts at RIT.  These experiences have cemented traditional craft execution in my practice alongside a contemporary design process.  Currently, my work is often inspired by botanical and marine biological forms, though there are times when the utility of an object takes precedence.  The Rumson Low table was a chance for me to refine the process by which I make this table.

While I often prioritize natural forms,  I am very driven by the selection of my material.  The majority of the wood I use is either milled from local logs, or sourced as reject material from lumber companies and sawyers.  In the case of the Zebrawood for the Rumson Low Table I was fortunate to obtain a sun-beaten pallet of African hardwoods that were destined for the dumpster. As I often discover, just beneath the grey weathered surface is warm color, texture, and most importantly, potential.

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I begin by selecting boards for matching grain patterns for the table top, trying to balance uniformity, contrast, energy and visual rest in the wood grain.  I step mill the planks very carefully to guarantee stability over the lifetime of the piece, and lastly, edge joint each seam with a hand plane for a flawless glue-joint.  Simultaneously, I begin making patterns and templates for the base components, to not only ensure that each component becomes an exact match, but to also build upon my inventory of “visual vocabulary” from which to pull inspiration later on.

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As you can see, I saw out the components for the base, and then cut the joinery.  Typically, joinery is cut first, then components cut out, but in my experience, I can attain more components per plank and waste very little wood in the process.  Although it’s slightly more labor intensive in the joinery-stages, it’s well worth it in my process.

At this point in the process, the components are still “blocky” to me.  I find my greatest enjoyment in the stages to come–laying out guidelines for the shaping process, and giving life to these components.  I add tapers, bevels, and progressing curves to the outer surfaces of each component, which not only adds dimension and depth, but gives them a vibrancy when light reflects off of the multiple surfaces.  My go-to tools for this process are spokeshaves, and Japanese rasps.  Some tools leave polished surfaces ready for finish, others leave behind a surface in need of careful sanding.

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I pre-sand all components prior to assembly.  This makes for easy work refining details on smaller components rather than sanding details on a completely assembled, unwieldy piece. Assembly for a base like this is not as easy as it may seem. Precise clamping pads are made for each corner to guarantee perfect pressure on each joint, and yes, it requires a lot of clamps! When it assembles smoothly and nothing shifts during the process, you know you’ve done your job well.

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Final touches are easily done at this point–cleaning up any glue, sanding any transitions, and my favorite, giving each sharp corner and edge a simple chamfer to make the piece soft to the touch.  Lastly, I finish all my work with a hand-rubbed oil varnish blend which not only allows the richness of these woods to pop, but also offers great protection for a utilitarian piece.

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The finished piece retains crisp lines and curves, while having an updated and more gestural stance.  These details, plus the bulbous square top relate nicely to Peter Pincus’ porcelain urns.  While slightly drastic, I am very happy with the color contrast between our work. I believe it brings out different qualities in the work that may not have been evident without the other.

I currently live and work in Geneva, NY  where I create work on commission and speculation for clients around the country.  I am also the Studio Technician and teach as Adjunct Faculty for Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  I welcome visitors to my 4000 square foot furniture studio, where I have available space for fellow artists and woodworkers, along with a suite of fully restored 1940′s vintage woodworking equipment.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Patrick Kana’s furniture in our current exhibition “Setting the Table” (runs through November 25th). You can see more of Patrick’s work online at www.patrickkana.com or follow him on Instagram @pk_designermaker. You can contact Patrick with questions, comments, and orders at patrick@patrickkana.com.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by furniture maker Chara Dow.