I crush on autumn so hard. You must understand, my fellow art enthusiasts, that besides being the moody, cozy-layering, tea-drinking time that it is, fall is also when my desk fills up with previews for exhibits taking place now through the springtime. There's so much to be excited about in the coming year -- interesting concepts, shiny new talents, and plenty to move and inspire viewers -- that I've had countless bookmark-it-now moments, and have resolved to see as much as possible. The following preview gives you a little peek into some of the shows I'm stoked to see, but make sure to check the art listings at rochestercitynewspaper.com/events for a more complete schedule of openings and exhibits.
As the school year begins again and university galleries resume their programming, the art openings list fattens up and First Friday treks get more exciting. School galleries present the work of faculty, students, and visiting artists, enhancing the learning process and giving the public a glimpse into the world of emerging artists. And there's no lack of school galleries in Rochester; each of the many area educational institutions boasts one or several spaces.
SUNY Geneseo'sLockhart Gallery (1 College Circle, Geneseo) will host "New York State Revolutionary War Sites: The Pastels of J Erwin Porter" October 22-December 3, offering us the chance to meditate on the concept of time healing great wounds. SUNY Brockport presents two bodies of work February 24-March 3 in the Tower Art Center Gallery (180 Holley St., Brockport, brockport.edu): Lucinda Devlin's "The Omega Suites" is a photo show that grapples with the ethical issues of prisons and capital punishment in America, and "On and Off the Wall: Paper as Art" is a group show that explores the dimensional and organic possibilities of the material. The spring will see the return of the area-wide collaborative exhibition "Thaw," including a show at Roberts Wesleyan's Davison Gallery (2301 Westside Drive, roberts.edu) subtitled "Realms and Origins" and featuring Jim Condron and Alberto Rey March 5-April 5.
Because Rochester is known as the ImageCity, we have very dedicated photography museums and galleries that regularly offer shows ranging from curated studies of images of historic import to shows by local professionals and hobbyists. Joining Image City Photography Gallery, George Eastman House, and the Community Darkroom at the GeneseeCenter for the Arts and Education, is the newest space, the Spectrum Gallery, tucked inside the new location of Lumiere Photo (100 College Ave., 461-4447). Through October 31 you can catch Frances Paley's work on the walls. The George Eastman House (900 East Ave., eastmanhouse.org) will feature an exhibition of photographs from the W. M. Hunt Collection entitled "The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious" October 1-February 19. The common theme of this intriguing show is the averted, hidden, or closed eyes of the suddenly more enigmatic subjects.
Other trusty, in-the-city museums and galleries include the MemorialArtGallery, RochesterContemporaryArtCenter, Visual Studies Workshop, Booksmart Studio, FourWalls Gallery, the GeneseeCenter for the Arts and Education, the Oxford Gallery, and countless studio galleries in the Hungerford and Anderson Alley, all with impressive shows coming up or taking shape. Through October 8 at the Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St., oxfordgallery.com) is a show of unspeakably lovely Tonalist works in "American Tone Poem." On September 16 the Firehouse Gallery at the GeneseeCenter (713 Monroe Ave., geneseearts.org) will open "History in the Making VI: Ceramic Traditions -- Contemporary Objects," an exhibition juried by fantastic sculptor Bill Stewart. The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., mag.rochester.edu) will present "Extreme Materials 2" this fall, showcasing works by 41 American, Canadian, and German artists who created masterful works using insects, condoms, packing tape, breakfast cereal, and other unexpected media. The show runs October 23-January 15, with an opening party October 22, 8-11 p.m.
The "alternative spaces" -- i.e. galleries that exist inside other businesses -- hold their own as well, and include the Williams Gallery in the First Unitarian Church, the Central Library's Lower Link Gallery, Lux Lounge, the Bug Jar, The Little Theatre Café, The Gallery @ Equal Grounds, the Record Archive, and countless other bars, salons, and coffee houses. Don't forget the "homeless" galleries: 1975 Gallery, which frequents Surface Salon and Booksmart Studio, will present "1975 x Surface 3-Year Anniversary Group Show" at the salon (658 South Ave., 1975ish.com), October 8-31. Through October 3, the WilliamsGallery (220 S. Winton Road, rochesterunitarian.org) currently presents "April in Paris, Autumn in New York," with works painted in each location by John Wiesenthal. Following that, local art group Creative Hue will have the walls, October 7-November 14, followed by "From Big to Small: In Awe," by Larry Eldridge and John Solberg, November 18-January 2.
We're sure to suffer from cabin fever as the winter deepens, but remember that you're a snow-pro Rochesterian who's used to trekking the pseudo tundra. So don the boots, layer the swaddling, and take in a show or two a bit outside of the city limits. Besides some of the far-flung university galleries, many additional art houses include the Finger Lakes Gallery and Frame in Canandaigua, the MillArtCenter in HoneoyeFalls, and OckHee's Gallery, also in HoneyoeFalls. Currently up at OckHee's, through October 22, is "Healing at Day's End," a show of colorful mixed-media work with elements of sacred geometry and biology by late artist Stephanie Kirschen Cole, who died in the spring after a four-year battle with cancer.
For a full listing of the 2011-2012 visual arts season visit the 2011 Fall Guide at rochestercitynewspaper.com.