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Blog

Main Street Artists Biennial Art Exhibition

Posted on June 20, 2018 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (2)
The 17 members of Rochester’s Main Street Artists group will present its biennial exhibit at Patricia O’Keefe Ross Art Gallery in the Joseph S. Skalny Welcome Center, St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave. Pittsford. 
            The show runs from June 4 to July 6 with an artists’ reception  6-8 p.m. Friday, June 8. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Friday. It is free and open to the public.  
            The showwill include more than 50 paintings in a variety of styles and media. Paricipants are Diane Bellenger, Linda Cala, Kathleen Dewitt-Hess, Margot Fass, Sue Hegan Henry, Kathy Lindsley, Jacqueline Lippa, Gabriele Lodder, Daniel Mack Sr., Cris Metcalf, Eleanor Milborrow, Andrea Nadel, Christine D. Norris, Jane Patrick, Susan Schiffhauer, Lisa Zaccour, and Suzi Zefting-Kuhn.
            The Main Street Artists group was founded in January 2010 by Suzi Zefting-Kuhn and now has 17 members who share gallery and work space in the Hungerford Building in downtown Rochester. Studio 458 has become a popular stop during monthly First Friday and Second Saturday events. The St. John Fisher exhibit provides an additional opportunity for people to learn about this dynamic group.
               “Our members enjoy sharing our art with each other and the public,” says Zefting-Kuhn. “Visitors often comment on the creative atmosphere we have all worked so hard to create and, to me, that is the best compliment.”
            For more information, visit www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com or call 585-233-5645.

Main Street Artists' Gallery & Studio August News

Posted on July 18, 2016 at 3:29 PM Comments comments (4)
Main Street Artists Present ‘Favorite Things’ at St. John Fisher
Month-Long exhibit features work by 18 area painters  
 





The Main Street Artists group will present an exhibit at Patricia O’Keefe Ross Art Gallery in the Joseph S. Skalny Welcome Center, St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave. Pittsford.
            The show runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1 with an artists’ reception  6-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is free and open to the public. 
            The show, with the theme “Favorite Things,” will include more than 50 paintings in a variety of styles and media. A special feature  is the unveiling of an oil painting by Margot Fass that represents all members of the group. Fass has worked on this piece for more than a year, beginning with a collage of pieces from paintings by MSA members.
            The Main Street Artists group was founded in January 2010 by Suzi Zefting-Kuhn and now has 18 members who share gallery and work space in the Hungerford Building in downtown Rochester. Studio 458 has become a popular stop during monthly First Friday and Second Saturday events. The St. John Fisher exhibit provides a new opportunity for the public to learn about the dynamic group.
               “Our members enjoy the experience of sharing our art with each other and the public,” says Zefting-Kuhn. “Visitors often comment on the creative atmosphere we have all worked so hard to create and, to me, that is the best compliment.”
            The St. John Fisher exhibit will feature 50 paintings, largely new work, in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, colored pencil and fiber. A wide variety of subjects are covered.
            For more information, visit www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com or call 585-233-5645.
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Abstract Thinking

Posted on May 29, 2016 at 2:19 PM Comments comments (6)
Abstract thinking
 
 
For three days in May, MSA Studio 458 was filled with energy, focus, color and risk-taking. Six MSA members joined another 12 artists and all were fully engaged in learning how to create abstract art as guided by Debora Stewart during this workshop sponsored by the Pastel Society of Western New York.
 
Debora Stewart is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Master's Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies and the author of a Northlight book titled Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media. She teaches workshops in abstraction throughout the U.S. and her work is available through galleries in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
 
The artists at the workshop were friendly, interesting and ready to learn. And, it was especially nice to be with my MSA colleagues Gabby Lodder, Diane Bellenger, Linda Cala, Jackie Lippa and Margot Fass –  they were all fun and supportive.
 
Materials and approaches that Debora introduced us to opened up many new possibilities for our creation of abstract art. I particularly loved the freedom I experienced on Day 1. To begin, Deborah guided us in a warm-up activity. We needed a piece of compressed charcoal and large newsprint. She stated a word and we made lines and marks on our paper.
 
I worked over the whole page and very much enjoyed the large movements I made with my arm to create  the various marks. I surprised myself with my strong response to "anger." I really felt the anger that had been sitting inside of me because of injury and weakness of a dear elderly friend because I think questionable medical practices contributed to her condition.
 
After releasing these feelings on the paper I was free to take delight in a much lighter word that woke up memories of a recent beautiful RPO concert. This activity truly was a warm-up and an opening up to the activities that were to follow. I have since made a "bag of words" for myself to use as a warm-up often when I work.
 
Another process I really liked was to use a viewfinder to locate abstract images in a black and white picture. I borrowed one of Debora’s that was from a photo of a cliff in Maine. What a delightful challenge to hunt for the lines, shapes, textures and directions that make up an abstract image! I made at least five or six small images and then a larger one that I think is quite strong. Then Debora modeled choosing a range of values from a pair of complementary colors to use in an image. I made a small, colorful abstract and then one that is 8-by-8 inches. There was a lot to explore with orange and blue and different shades and values from these families.

I want to continue exploring an abstract approach to art using the processes and materials Debora introduced. I think within the next year that the walls of MSA and the PSWNY art shows will have some vibrant and colorful abstract art work on display. It was a very successful workshop!
 

-- Sue Henry

Deborah Stewart doing a portrait demo









MSA members and workshop participants, Diane Bellenger and Gabriele Lodder















Abstract by Sue Henry

June MSA News

Posted on May 29, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (1)

You can visit the studio and members during the First Friday (6-9 p.m. June 3) and Second Saturday (10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 11) open studio events. You can also stop in at other times – members are at work almost every day! Call 585-233-5645 to make sure someone is “home.”
 
Meanwhile, please check out our website (www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com) and be sure to LIKE us on Facebook!
 
 
NEWS:
 
Mark your calendars: Main Street Artists will have an exhibition Aug. 1-Sept. 1 at the beautiful Patricia O’Keefe Ross Art Gallery in the Joseph S. Skalny Welcome Center, St. John Fisher College. We’ll have more information in an upcoming newsletter.
 here.

Beyond the Surface

Posted on April 30, 2016 at 9:13 AM Comments comments (2)
Beyond the surface
 
Most of us are resistant to change. In fact, we may dread it, even fear it. And yet we know that change is constant, a fact of life.
 
And then there’s this oft-quoted definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
 
So I try to embrace change, or at least I try to be open to new ideas. And my painting has always been an exploration, a search for something that I don’t expect to find. The journey always brings discoveries, and that for me, is what it’s all about.
 
This line of thinking inspired me to take a one-day workshop on abstract painting with noted Rochester artist Brian O’Neill (www.brianoneillstudio.com). The experience included many firsts for me: using acrylic paints, working standing up at an easel, painting directly (without preliminary drawings and thumbnail sketches) and developing an abstract composition. All new, and more than a little intimidating – but truly exhilarating.    
 
In fact, I enjoyed the class so much I took it again a month later. I’m not giving up my long-time love affair with representational painting in watercolor, but I’m hoping the two processes will cross-pollinate and lead me in a new direction.
 
So far, I think my most successful abstract paintings are what I call “dreamscapes.” Some are based on “real” landscapes, but others just sort of take shape in my head. The hardest part for me is following an intuitive vision and not falling back into strictly representational interpretations.
 
Of course, any artistic representation, even the most realistic work – even photography – is abstract. A picture of a tree is not a tree. As my longtime painting teacher often said, “Only God can make a tree.” I have tremendous admiration for artists with the skill and patience to render a photo-realistic image, but artists – and I include photographers – are striving to do more than depict reality.
We’re trying to create. That’s the challenge.
 

-- Kathy Lindsley

On Being an Artist

Posted on March 2, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (3)

Main Street Artists /Rochester Art Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester Team Up!

Posted on February 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (6)
Rochester Artists Support Boys & Girls Club with Two March Events
A student exhibit and fundraiser are taking place at the Hungerford
 
Rochester Art Club and the Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio are joining forces in March to benefit art programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester(BGCR).
RAC will host a month-long exhibit of 30 pieces by 10 members of BGCR. In conjunction with this show, members of Main Street Artists will be donating proceeds from sales of selected original artwork, prints and cards to BGCR. Both events will kick off at March First Friday, 6-9 p.m. March 4, in the RAC and MSA studios on the fourth floor of the Hungerford Building, 1115 E. Main St.
The studios also will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12, and at other times throughout March by appointment (call 585-233-5645).
“For those of us fortunate enough to call ourselves ‘artists,’ the importance of giving back seems quite obvious to me” says Suzi Zefting-Kuhn, founder of the Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio and president of the Rochester Art Club. “After the tragic shooting outside the Boys & Girls Club on Genesee Street last August, one of our MSA members urged us to find a way to help. We met with Sarah Hwang, director of the art program at BGCR.”
“In December, Main Street Artists members donated more than $200 to purchase art supplies for their newly expanded art area, the start of what we intend to be an ongoing connection with the Club,” says Zefting-Kuhn. “In addition, we came up with the idea of an exhibit for some of BGCR’s most advanced artists. Rochester Art Club leaders were quick to embrace that project.
“We feel strongly that art is a healthy outlet for everyone, and especially for youngsters who are subjected to poverty and violence. We hope to help provide a positive experience and recognition of their talent and dedication.”
The exhibit at the RAC studio will qualify the participants to enter the National Fine Arts Exhibit of Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Rochester Picture Framing, 2094 E. Main St. – a Rochester business celebrating its 50th year anniversary – is donating all framing for the young artists’ work.
            The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester is to inspire and enable young people of all backgrounds to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The organization provides youth development programs that enable young people to acquire the skills and qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. The Club operates afterschool programming designed to produce positive youth outcomes in five areas: 1) Leadership & Character Development 2) Education & Career Development 3) Health & Life Skills 4) The Arts and 5)Sports, Fitness & Recreation.
Empowered with these positive developmental experiences and opportunities, Boys & Girls Clubs members have continually demonstrated their ability to overcome negative, failure-oriented environments and move toward fulfilling their dreams.
Since its inception, the Boys & Girls Club Movement has provided mentoring and leadership specifically designed to change the lives of youth who face daily challenges such as poverty, broken homes, crime, unemployment, prejudice and difficulties in school.

Rochester Art Club, founded in 1877, is the second oldest active art club in the country. The Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio includes 18 Rochester area painters working in a variety of media. For more information, visit www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com.

A Lesson Learned

Posted on January 17, 2016 at 2:13 PM Comments comments (5)
A Lesson Learned
 
Everyone has heard the carpenter saying “measure twice, cut once.” I believe that the same analogy applies to artists when they begin a new painting. Not necessarily cutting but certainly measuring. Getting the perspective and the drawing correct is certainly one of the most important steps.
Without following these all-important steps, everything is off right from the beginning.
I recently learned that the hard way with an oil painting of Reno, a beautiful rescued Greyhound.  The painting was a gift for two special people. I started early enough and had plenty of time to finish it. So why did I rush? Was it the excitement of tackling a new subject matter for me?
Perhaps I should start by offering a definition of perspective: it is the technique used to represent a three-dimensional world (what we see) on a two-dimensional surface (a piece of paper or canvas) in a way that looks realistic and accurate, as we see it in its natural state.  And then of course there is the accuracy of your drawing. 
Have you ever gotten into the beginning steps of your painting and realized that something was off? Maybe the eyes were too far apart or the entire head was just wrong, leaving you looking at your painting in total frustration. Now you realized that you made a big mistake and going back to fix your drawing is going to be a massive hassle. Why were the eyes so far apart? Why was his head longer than I envisioned? His head is tilted a lot more in the reference photo than on the canvas. Oh my –was I off that much? OK – let’s fix it. Get out a straightedge and start making vertical and horizontal lines on your reference photo and then apply them to your painting on the easel. Why didn’t I do this in the first place.
So how does one go about measuring correctly? The idea is to compare two distances on the subject matter (often a horizontal distance, such as the eyes) to find a relationship between the two and apply that same relationship to the drawing. My studio muse always tells me (in capital letters) to measure extensively at first until it becomes a natural part of the process. And as your accuracy improves with practice, you’ll see how helpful measuring can be .
I have always been more comfortable painting landscapes in either oil or pastel, but once in a while I like to challenge myself by painting something out of my comfort zone. With that challenge in front of me I am inspired to greater heights and  better artwork. I am proud of the work that I have completed thus far with several paintings shown and juried into numerous exhibitions receiving Merit and Juror’s awards accordingly.
I invite you to visit the Main Street Artists Studio and Gallery at the Hungerford Building (www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com) to view my work and the artwork of my fellow talented artists. The friends that I have made in this studio, and the endless support that I receive from my associates, inspire me to continue creating great art.
˗ Gabriele Lodder

 

Last Saturday for holiday shopping!

Posted on December 17, 2015 at 11:03 AM Comments comments (9)
Saturday, December 19th  10am-4pm is your last chance to finish up your holiday shopping here at the Hungerford , 1115 E. Main St. Rochester NY 14609. We are in Studio 452-458. The elevator will be manned for your convenience inside Door #2. Handicap ramp available as well. 

Consider an original piece of art that will only increase in value!  Smaller budget? We have many different note cards, art tiles and archival prints of our work as well. 

We look forward to seeing you!  See what we are currently working on as well! Commissions are welcomed by many in the group. 


January's Blog post

Posted on December 17, 2015 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (4)
“It Ain’t Easy!”
 
Have you ever seen someone walk through a studio on a First Friday with a glazed expression without really looking at what is there?  Or heard, “That’s ugly!”  Or “My dog could paint better than that!”   
People who are that judgmental usually are insecure about themselves and don’t find much fun in anything. nvite them to take up the making of art of any form to improve their sense of self-esteem and relationship to their world. 
Yes, there are false advertising claims that lead one to believe that visual arts are simple: paint-by-numbers books, adult coloring books, drawing, sculpting and painting  (in every medium) made easy. There are even books on these subjects for “Dummies” (a term, unfortunately, too many of us use in our opinionated fashion about ourselves and others.) 
Those books may have some merit, but few people actually have the discipline or motivation to actually work through them. There are too many barriers to creativity in all of the arts, let alone in life as a whole. Here, with an apology to all English majors, is my unabashed attempt at a poem.
 
Biologically, creativity has been bred,
Psychologically, it has been shed,
Socially, it has been shred,
And
Spiritually, it has been bled
Out of us.
 
In all human dimensions, we are carefully taught to be the opposite of creative, and through that process, develop a sense of self-loathing. In her classic book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Julia Cameron has written 12 chapters, each designed to be a weeklong practice designed to undo the damage done to our souls. 
She invites us to recover our sense of: Safety, Identity, Power, Integrity, Possibility, Abundance, Connection, Strength, Compassion, Self-Protection, Autonomy, and Faith. In reality, this process takes a lifetime, or perhaps many lifetimes.
On our “About Us” page on the website for Main Street Artists, www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com/About-Us.html, founder Suzi Zefting Kuhn writes,  “We are a group of like-minded fine artists, many award-winning, who love to paint together, support one another, and inspire.” 
Someone once said that trying to get a group of artists to do anything is like herding cats. Somehow Suzi has the gift for creating the environment where we each can develop not only our artistic skills, but also actually the traits that took a whole book for Ms. Cameron to write about.
 

--- Margot Fass

(Image is of the collage painting Margot is currently working on that represents the work of all the Main Street Artists)