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She Said ‘Yes.’

It happens. The phone rings and suddenly you are a part of that couple’s most memorable moments.

It’s not surprising. Sometimes the couple met here, or had their first date here, or took a Creative Workshop class together. Or maybe it is a favorite date location. Or maybe they both just really love art.

Just two days ago, Adam called to tell of of his plans. He just needed the chance to go over a couple ideas. What might work best – which Gallery or location? One thought was out in Centennial Sculpture Park.

"Unicorn Family" by Wendell Castle

“Unicorn Family” by Wendell Castle

Or under the Allee.


The Allee

Adam finally decided on the Fountain Court on the second floor at MAG. We think Katie was well pleased.

She said 'yes'

She said ‘yes’

The Fountain Court

The Fountain Court

The ring

The ring

Adam sent us an email the very next day. He just wanted to say that with the help of the Memorial Art Gallery, he was able to to ask the love of his life and his best friend to spend the rest of her life with him. Happy to be of assistance, Adam and Katie. Best Wishes from all of us at the Gallery.

New on View in the Upstairs Galleries

Despite their small footprint, there are some major additions to the 17th-century and Renaissance galleries. We’ve added a case in each to display works on paper; we’ve also reinstalled most of our collection of European Judaica. An example from each area is shown below, just to whet your appetite.

From top to bottom:
1) German or Austrian; Spice Container (Besamim), Tower Form, probably 1800s; silver (Forman Fund, 2006.56)
2) Albrecht Dürer, The Sea Monster, ca. 1498, copper engraving (Gift of Emily Sibley Watson, 13.19 (note the accession number…this engraving, a gift from our founder, was the 19th work to enter MAG’s collection in 1913)
3) Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe), ca. 1652, etching, engraving, and drypoint (Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr., 77.149)

Spice Container (Besamim), Tower Form, probably 1800s

Spice Container ca. 1800s

Albrecht Dürer, "The Sea Monster", ca. 1498

Albrecht Dürer, “The Sea Monster”, ca. 1498

Rembrandt van Rijn, "Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe)" ca. 1652

Rembrandt van Rijn, “Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe)” ca. 1652

In the Renaissance gallery, the case contains the Judaica as well as prints by Durer, Tintoretto, and Andreani (after Mantegna).

The new case in the 17th-century gallery contains several of our best prints by Rembrandt. In our efforts to keep the permanent collection galleries fresh and the works on paper safe from light damage, the rotations will occur every six months. So take a trip upstairs soon; you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these gems from MAG’s collection.


Submitted by Nancy Norwood
Curator of European Art

Summer of Opportunity

It all begins with a request. Sometimes it may take a few months to get everything in place, but often all one has to do is ask. In fact, as it turns out, opportunity was one of the running themes of the afternoon – always stay open to to possibilities of an opportunity.

Debora speaks to the group  in the B&L Parlor

Debora speaks to the group in the B&L Parlor

In February, we received a note from the Summer of Opportunity program at Ibero American Action League. This summer, their focus is on STEM and the arts. The program provides Rochester area youth with work readiness skills, leadership development skills, community awareness and a creative outlet to voice one’s skills while working with local artists. One of the goals by the end of the summer is to design and create a vibrant mural in the Northeast quadrant of the City. They are working on a limited budget, so Debora McDell-Hernandez, Coordinator of Community Programs and Outreach here at the MAG, put together an afternoon that included a free tour of our collection, an impromptu class as well as hearing from a few of the staff about working in a museum.

Four of our Docents, Cynthia Goldstein, Marguerite Quinn, Annette Kelly, and Isabel Kaplan, introduced the group to MAG’s art collection and the current exhibition on view – the 6th Rochester Biennial. One of the adult counselors mentioned that he graduated from the neighboring School Of The Arts in 2004 and was a past recipient of a Creative Workshop scholarship (available thanks to the Gallery Council at MAG. Remember what we said about being open to opportunity?) He went onto to earn a B.A. in art history. He wanted to know how to become a Docent and Debora explained that we probably would not be recruiting our next class very soon. Our Docents are one of our most important support systems around here.

Another program that Debora provided was a drawing activity in the Creative Workshop led by artist and Curriculum Director Rachael Baldanza. Each was asked to bring a sketch note pad and pencil, and keep an open mind. It was a group of 24 students and 7 adult counselors. They all had their sketch paper or pads.

drawing in the Sculpture Park

Drawing in the Sculpture Park


Gathering near Mary Taylor’s “Filly”


Entrance to the Creative Workshop as an impromptu classroom.

Following the drawing class, the group heard from Carol Acquilano who is a Preparator, a person who prepares museum displays, as well as someone from the Public Relations office. They both spoke a bit about the circuitous route that brought them to a career at an art museum. Yet another example of being open to opportunities.

Only a handful of the students had visited MAG in the past, so everything was new to the majority of the students and they enjoyed the tours. As a bonus, Debora offered free return visit passes.

Mark your calendar for later in the summer to check out the student’s work on the mural near Ibero American Action League on 214 Clifford Avenue and the Family Services Office on 218 Clifford Avenue.

MAG as muse for Wedding Photographers

It may be one of our best kept secrets, but in the last few years alone, we have had over 73 weddings or wedding parties here at the Memorial Art Gallery. We think we offer a great backdrop. Looking today at some of the photographer’s work – we thought we could share some of the results. Who knows? You may be looking for a wedding photographer in your near future!

John Schlia Photography

John Schlia Photogrpahy


Gregg Horst Photography

Gregg Horst Photography


Fotoimpressions Studio

Fotoimpressions Studio


Gabrielle Plucknette Photography

Gabrielle Plucknette Photography

Here are just a few samples… and in case you are in the market for a special event at MAG – just contact our events office coordinator Gal D’vir at 585.276.8950.

Now on View

We have installed three terrific early 20th-century French paintings in the Auditorium Corridor. You may wonder why these masterworks aren’t on view upstairs…it’s simply a matter of space, or lack thereof.
Henri Matisse
French, 1869-1954
Landscape, ca. 1918
Oil on canvas
Gift of Charlotte Whitney Allen, 64.34

"Landscape" by Henri Matisse

©2007 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Raoul Dufy (French, 1877-1953)
La Fontaine, Vence, ca. 1921
Oil on canvas
Gift of Charlotte Whitney Allen, 64.33

La Fontaine, Vence

Maurice Utrillo
French, 1883-1955
Street Scene
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr., 91.83

Street Scene
MAG has all three paintings because of the exceptional generosity of our friends in the Rochester-area community. Two—the Matisse and the  Dufy—were originally in the collection of Charlotte Whitney Allen, long-time Gallery patron and Board member. The Utrillo Street Scene was given to us by Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr.

Please take this new opportunity to enjoy these favorites on your way to and from the Galleries.

Creative Workshop student profile – Heather Kormalos

Currently on view in the Adult Student exhibit in the Lucy Byrne Gallery, one of Heather’s latest works, Sophia, is an expressive, up-close and personal study in charcoal. We took a few minutes to hear why Heather chose to take classes at the Creative Workshop.

Heather with Sophia

Why do you take classes at the Creative Workshop?
“For enjoyment! I just enjoy drawing. This is my ‘me’ time. This is where I come to expand my drawing skills. Sometimes you need a little guidance and I can’t draw at home. I‘m having fun and improving.

Drawing gives me a sense of purpose—when a drawing is done it feels good. It’s nice to get an end product that makes other people happy as well.”

What have you learned at the Creative Workshop?
“My teacher [Gina Zanolli] tells me to work around the picture—to hop around—so I can see the whole thing. That was very helpful coming back to drawing.”

“I started when I was six—I had a talent but my family couldn’t afford classes so a scholarship helped. I took classes for at least five years in the mid 1980’s and I remember when we were asked to make drawings to inspire the gallery expansion design project at the time [the 1987 connection between Cutler Union and the Gallery]. I went to school for art, worked, and then took a break and now I’m mom with two daughters.”

What are your biggest challenges?
“Drawing small! As I tell my daughter and remind myself, we might see drawings we love, but I have to keep true to my own style.”

A few Stories about the Creative Workshop’s Summer 2014 Adult Student Show

Submitted by Creative Workshop intern Melis Schildkraut

Curated exhibits are often  meant to tell a story.  In Creative Workshop exhibitions, since the pieces come from artists of different backgrounds, skill levels, and experiences, the story of our group exhibitions is one that must be unearthed from a jumble of individual stories.  In the current Adult Student Show, multiple different narratives emerged from the myriad pieces we sorted and received.  Among these narratives are a tale of natural forms, an assemblage of tea cups, and a wall of pears.
USE nature wall
One of the most striking walls presents an array of natural themed pieces.  This wall begins with Phyllis Abram’s untitled piece, a ceramic vessel composed of irregularly shaped rings stacked upon one another.  The exterior is imprinted with fossil-shaped forms and glazed in browns and dark blues.  Two watercolor artists display ambitious works in the next two pieces: Liz Billing’s Driftwood and Linda Delaney’s Desert Rock.  Mary Crowe’s piece Flow, a moss green ceramic pot adorned with florets of beautifully sculpted clay, serves as a transition.  It leads the eye to a landscape of warm brown and pink rocks at Lake Superior, painted by artist Jayne Fox.  The last three pieces include Donna Carson’s pottery set titled The Organics, which incorporates both live branches and clay, and Laura Morihara’s Reflections, A Study.  The wall comes to completion with Marilyn Monkelbaan’s Dancing Daffodils.
Baston and Nicholson

Another wall of artwork presents the story of two friends.  It includes two very similar pieces, both renditions of the same stack of tea cups.  Artists Vicki Nicholson  and Jeanette Baston, both participants in Angela Amato’s painting class, chose to paint from the same photograph.  As the story goes, Jeanette was the first to begin painting from a photo source of the tea cups, and Vicki borrowed her idea.  Although the two works were composed from the same picture, they have very different artistic qualities.  Jeanette’s traditional approach contrasts with Vicki’s technique.  Her rendition of the tea cups uses an entirely different species of mark-making, as she fills her tea cups with dots of color, rather than with continuous lines.  Jeanette’s piece is titled, Grandma’s Good Dishes, and Vicki’s is titled, Thank You Jeanette, as a tribute to her friend.


Additional relationships are seen throughout the exhibit in a quartet of pears and a wall of gazes.  The four pears were created in Larry Keefe’s beginning watercolor class, by artists Amy Schultz, Jamie Chudyk, Kay Cordello, and Leslie Scott Lindler.  The paintings were created as an exercise, and their success proves that these burgeoning artists are off to a great start.  Another relationship is displayed in a wall of gazes.  This triptych of images contains two animal portraits, along with a portrait of a human baby. Rachel Wu’s Baby EEG resides in the middle, showcasing an EEG-clad child whose luminous eyes stare out at the viewer.  It is surrounded by Kyle Myer’s Louie and Dominica Gruschow’s Timothy.  This trio of pieces evokes a feeling of tenderness, as the gaze of a helpless baby is paired with the innocence of the gazes of Myer’s iguana and Gruschow’s giraffes.
The overarching story drawn from these smaller stories seems to be that anyone can make artwork they are proud of.  As staff, we are pleased to support the Creative Workshop students who proudly display their work. It is one thing to read about the intricacy of this summer’s Adult Student exhibit, and another to experience it.  Come visit the Creative Workshop’s Lucy Byrne Gallery, now through August 4th, to experience the show.  In an array of artworks from such different sources, surely you will be able to move beyond the connections and narratives that we have made for you, and create a set of stories for yourself.

School # 15

Ancient Egypt eBook

MAG’s eBook “Ancient Egypt”

Last month, Rochester City School #15 social studies classes read MAG’s eBook, Ancient Egypt: Exploring Artifacts with Alex the Archaeologist” and later, had the opportunity to talk directly with Alex, himself, in their classrooms. Alex showed them how we learn about the past by carefully examining the objects people have left behind.

Before coming to MAG, each student had researched one object from the ancient world and prepared a short presentation and notes. Using their iPads the students then filmed each each other. The presentation has the objective of creating their own eBook of artifacts and cultures.

The students visited MAG with their teacher, Eric Williamson. One set began with our Docents, who showed them the art and artifacts of Asia and Europe, while the second group examined the artists and art styles of modern times with their art teacher.

They all ended up together in the Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome Gallery so they could film each others presentation.

Imagine sixteen reporters in the Ancient Egypt Gallery.

reporting on the Canopic Jars

reporting on the Canopic Jars

filming in the Gallery

“and in 3 … 2 … 1″

headphones to check the sound levels

using headphones to check the sound levels

Filming next to a Mycenaean Krater, 1275 BCE-1225 BCE

filming next to “Unknown”, Mycenaean
Krater, 1275 BCE-1225 BCE

waiting to speak to Mr. Williamson

waiting to speak to Mr. Williamson

Reviewing the footage

reviewing the footage

We hope that we get to see the end results.

Common Threads

There will be new art on view in the Galleries. You may begin to notice a common thread. It doesn’t have to do with medium, or era or style.

"Birdseed" by Jane Rosen

Jane Rosen (American, b. 1950)
Birdseed, 2006
Ink, casein, and beeswax on paper
Gift of Grant Holcomb in honor of Peter O. Brown, 2014.37

Image of self at earlier age

Archie Rand (American, b. 1949)
Image of self at earlier age, 1997-1998
Iris print
Gift of Grant Holcomb in honor of Susan Dodge-Peters Daiss, 2014.39

"Urchin" by Alexander Matisse

Alexander Matisse (American, b. 1984)
Urchin, 2014
Wood-fired, salt-glazed stoneware with ash glaze and slip-trailing
Given in honor of Grant Holcomb through the generosity of James Hackney and Scott Haight, 2014.40
This piece was recently seen in our Matisse ceramics show, of course, as well as on the postcards, posters, Facebook posts, etc. for that show.

Rockport Shore, 1970

Bernard Chaet (American, 1924 – 2012)
Rockport Shore, 1970
Watercolor and graphite
Gift of Pamela Miller Ness in honor of Grant Holcomb, 2014.35

Have you noticed the thread?

Anyone Can Make Art

Is it true? How can anyone make art?

Here’s what we know in the Workshop… they start!

Hi. I’m Sara, one of several Creative Workshop instructors who teach a very fun class called Art For Absolute Beginners. I’ve been asked to share with you what I’m plotting and planning for this class and also a little piece of how anyone can begin the process of making art—at any age. The whole experience is exciting and eye opening—with the right coach, context, and company you, too, can create original art. I have been creating for many years, art fits into my life as a continuous fun-filled adventure, allowing opportunities to connect thoughts, feelings and memories daily.

Gather supplies
Many new experiences may feel challenging at first however, but (as for most things) with practice you too will find a flow. You’ll discover what works for you.  I suggest you start with a “collage of chaos,” gathering a variety of inspirational objects such as stones, plants, beads, and sparkles…etc. Many times these items ignite or inspire ideas in choosing a color palette or assist in devising a design. Then just play!  Simply gather a few items that are exciting to you and (using any materials you have on hand) respond to them. You could build blocks of color with paint, adding texture using different types of instrumentation. Let yourself get a little lost – the process of making art can create a soulful space where you don’t have to worry about a thing!
In life we experience so much fragmentation of thoughts and feelings, creating artwork allows us to bring it together—with shapes and movement all becomes complete. The act of making art can be powerful like a live performance each time—but often that isn’t known until you have a creative practice. Start first, refine through a class or community, and then you can decide how art fits into your world.

Come create through play…

Five Wednesdays, 6:30–9:30 pm, July 9–August 6
Short course! Patient, practical and friendly instruction will introduce art principles, as you play and gain confidence with painting, drawing and printmaking.
Fee: $140 (members $126)