Finding college art in the big city

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The Rochester Institute of Technology has a very large art population. The school features majors such as Photography, Graphic Design, Illustration, Glass work, Metal Crafting, Ceramics, Film and Animation, and even Furniture design, amongst many others. So how are student artists preparing to enter the “real-world?”

Many students are doing their best to get involved in the Rochester community. This means gallery showings. Students like myself yearn for support from local galleries, but also from the citizens of Rochester.

Local galleries, such as Gallery r, and Visual Studies Workshop, amongst many others, have greatly helped these students show and/or sell work, giving them their first career boost.

As I am rounding the end of my college career, I have found myself overwhelmed by how little exposure my photography has gotten in the community in which I’ve lived for four years. Disappointed in my feat, I began looking into local public showings. As a photographer, this is a large part of career building. I was able to find two photographic upcoming shows that are open to the public.

One show is for the seniors of the Fine Art Photography program at RIT. The show, titled F.L.O.A.T., is set to open on Thursday, March 14, from 5-8 p.m. in the SPAS Gallery at RIT. The gallery is located on the third floor of Gannett Hall (building 7a).

Kristin Asche, project manager of F.L.O.A.T., has been working diligently on the show’s preparations. She has prepared a website displaying the work of all the featured students, to be made public one week before the show’s opening reception. Asche said she’s excitedly awaiting public exposure for her own work and the work of her classmates.

The second show is the 10th annual Draft Magazine showing, also featuring the work of RIT’s students. This show accepts submissions from all RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences students. The show will take place at Community Darkroom Galleries on Monroe Avenue. The opening will take place on April 19 from 7-9 p.m. According to DRAFT 10’s website, their purpose is “is to break photography down to its simplest elements.”

Margaret Stockman, an RIT student and submissions judge of DRAFT 10, is eagerly sorting through hundreds of submissions to prepare the best show possible.

Rochester also features an event called First Fridays. This event often features the work of locals, students included. First Fridays take place every month at various locations.

Shows such as these have helped to shape many artistic careers, and the students of RIT are lucky to have such an art-appreciating and welcoming community of galleries and citizens.

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