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A Rochester-Finger Lakes First

Rochester Finger Lakes Exhibition 2013

This year’s Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition holds a not a few surprises and each and every piece in the exhibit has a story to tell. This one seems pretty extraordinary.

First of all, the exhibit is juried (no small feat – and there’s another story!) and 100 works by 81 artists are currently on view —including 39 who are new to the show. They were chosen from a field of 623 entries by 230 artists by Alex Nyerges, a Rochester native.

We realized that this is the first time that a father and son have both been juried into the show. Before the show was opened, we talked to Stephen Merritt (work shown below) about what this might mean to them both.

 Stephen Merritt, "Cairn Study" 2013

Stephen Merritt, “Cairn Study” 2013


“Given the influence of Jonathan’s grandfathers (William Hofmann, a practicing artist, and Howard Merritt,UR art history, 1946-76 ) and my 40 plus years of involvement in the craft world, both of us have a substantial grounding in the arts. More, Jonathan has just graduated from the art & design program at Alfred University.

He says he has learned from me precision, attention to detail, the importance of nurturing your craft and respect for those who have come before.

In Jonathan’s photography, I’m observing an ability to truly “see” a scene ( that I would pass by without a thought ), a trained “eye” for composition, and the importance of staying current with the latest advancements in your field.

I’m thrilled we’ll both be in the Finger Lakes, especially for Jonathan, since I can remember from my own past just how difficult it can be to have work accepted. Parental pride aside, I think everyone will be moved by Jonathan’s entries.”
(2 shown below)

Jonathan Merritt, "Solace no. 1" 2012 and "Solace no. 3" 2013

Jonathan Merritt, “Solace no. 1” 2012 and “Solace no. 3” 2013

Each of the artists have created their own audio tour. Listen to Stephen’s here. Hear Jonathan’s thoughts on working at night as he did for Solace no. 1 here. Also this year, Stephen Merritt was a recipients of one of six awards that are offered at each Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibitions, and the only award chosen by a MAG Docent:

  • Alice E. Koret/Docent Award, given in memory of Alice E. Koret by Dr. Sidney Koret, friends and family ($500): Stephen Merritt (Rochester), Cairn Study (2013). Slip-glazed terra cotta.

Stephen Merritt will once again be joining us at the M&T Bank Clothesline Festival this year – find him in booth number #188.



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