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Calendar Preview: Traditions, off the wall

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Folks, it’s May. Moms and grads each have their big day coming up, and while the pomp and parties will be missed this year, whatever comes in place will be memorable — if purely by its association to 2020. We also have a rare opportunity to virtually view artworks by the graduating class, who have navigated a year of unanticipated twists and necessary resourcefulness.

The University of Rochester Sage Art Center’s Senior Thesis Virtual Exhibitions 2020 demonstrates that imposed limitations can yield unexpected depth and dimension. We can’t visit the physical space, but through the website we can enter a multitude of spaces – each artist’s portfolio is a gallery in itself, a composition of compositions to explore. Meanwhile, Sage’s other current exhibit, Spread Community: A Virtual Exhibition of UR Artists, features art submitted by UR students, faculty, and staff in response to the pandemic, shown in a slideshow filled with humor and poignancy. Submissions are being accepted through May 8.

Rochester Institute of Technology has multiple student exhibits on view. The School of Art MFA Sculpture class project challenged each student to make five sculptures, each taking 20 minutes or less to create — all connecting to several weeks’ worth of previous research and listening assignments. Another exhibit explores the theme of “substitutability,” eliciting wildly varying interpretations of the prompt, and innovative results. In this exhibit, Yibo Liu reconsiders a common object with a piece named “Inverted Sewer,” while Yifan Qian explores the question, “Which One is My Lunch?” through a series of edible and inedible food sculptures. More awaits from students in the other fine arts programs in Glass, Illustration, Graphic Design, Film & Animation, Photographic Arts, Photographic Sciences, and Visual Media. The inspiration-to-miles-traveled ratio is off the charts.

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and while this year won’t entail crowding at brunches or celebrating the scent of lilacs, some options have popped up that are very 2020. Consider the Mother’s Day brunch-to-go. Curbside pick-up of deluxe brunches will be prepared by places as varied as Genesee Country Village and Museum and The Inn on Broadway. If you’d rather prepare something special at home, many vendors at the Rochester Public Market offer curbside pick-up or delivery of produce and other market goods. And if being together is not possible, consider a shared virtual trip to the Memorial Art Gallery, George Eastman Museum, Rochester Museum and Science Center, and Strong National Museum of Play — not to mention hundreds of other cultural institutions around the globe — who have generously opened their exhibits and archives to explore online for free.

Keep up to date with full listings of local online events on the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to calendar@rochester-citynews.com.