Rochester Rocks

Brett Eberhardt stands by his art
at the University Gallery

This week I had a lot to think about and much to be thankful for.  We are culturally well endowed in Rochester and at the moment the art scene is bubbling.  I am thankful for the opportunity to bring my art to the public, in my new show “My Visual Life” now on view at The Spectrum Gallery ( through November 29th ), and I am also thankful for having met a guest artist, Brett Eberhardt, who came to share his work with students and faculty at the request of Emily Glass.
Brett is a perceptual realist, who looks to elevate the mundane and the matter-of-fact in his paintings – a few of which he had on hand for his artist talk that he gave in the University Gallery this past Wednesday.  Brett is in good company because there are other gifted artists who share his sensibility, Catherine Murphy and Antonio Lopez Garcia come to mind in that regard.  A painting of Brett’s shows a patch of floor boards and a wall vent, another features a gift box on an old painted crate, not the stuff of high drama, but rather calm, quiet determination to get all the details down while not overworking the subject.  Luckily, Brett could take some time away from his sabbatical to talk with us, and send us away with some valuable inspiration.
Art by Sue Blumendale
Axom Gallery
Sue Blumendale is also part of our vital art world with her new show now in it’s last week at Axom Gallery.  Sue was also on the faculty at R.I.T. for many years and has her MFA degree in printmaking  from R.I.T.  The works she has created are like elegies for her departed relatives.  Her artwork in this show often is found in the form of a coat, dress, or other garment, and the fabric  is imprinted with archival photos of family members.  She goes back into history to rescue old photos that then are used as a way to reflect on who she is, where she came from, and maybe help her recall how she felt about the members of her extended family.  The colors are restrained while some of the emotional connections may not be.  This art reminds me of the archival artwork from someone like Christian Boltanski, and it is a moving tribute.
Student drawing Melinda
Barn Owl in the care of WILD WINGS
Another visitor came to my class this past week at R.I.T., and I am also thankful to the volunteers at WILD WINGS who brought live birds to my studio for students to draw.  Above, Melinda the barn owl was asleep, but sleeping or awake it is always a challenge to have the opportunity to draw from life, in this case bird life!
Lovely Day to Lose It
Transfer monoprint by Alan Singer
on view at
The Spectrum Gallery at Lumiere Photo
I had a lot to think about this week because I was also asked to give an artist talk, and from my perspective – I am swimming in the flow of this work and I don’t often take a break to discuss why I do it and what it amounts to.  Many people who have followed my art want to know how I can go from very illustrative paintings to almost spare minimalist abstraction that is part of the show today.  I would say that I like discovery – and I don’t mind it if now and again I take a hike.  One has to allow for growth, make some mistakes, learn from them, but take the chance to break through to something original, something you feel deeply about, something you can call your own ( even if this feeling is fleeting ).  So as I have said before in this blog, my new work that espouses mathematics is a bit of a conundrum ( right brain – left brain activity ).  I am a visual omnivore – I see potential in pattern, in nature, in science and mathematics, and I was schooled in the theory and practice of color and structure.  I am just working on something that I love doing, and hope others will come to see that too.
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