Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rochester First Friday Hot Spot: Hungerford Open Studios

When I first rented a studio space 10 years ago at the Hungerford, a complex of three buildings at 1115 East Main Street in Rochester, NY ( a former fruit syrup factory) I found a few artist studios, lots of empty spaces and a revolving door of student and alternative lifestyle tenants. Situated “across the tracks” —literally, there’s a huge train yard directly behind the building –from the chic “neighborhood of the arts”, all the building seemed to have to offer was low rent and easy parking.


Slowly but surely, over the past decade more and more artisans of all ages and mediums have moved to this eclectic spot. Now the building boasts 100% occupancy with a waiting list for artists and makers eager to claim a studio space here. Young mix with old, craft with fine art, cast bronze figurative sculptures and oil paintings with miniature crochet sculptures and hand blown glass. From pottery to lamp work jewelry to three-dimensional felted fiber works, the building has a dynamic mix of personalities and mediums.


Once again, for the second year, a number of Hungerford artists participated in Thaw, a city-wide collaboration of small gallery exhibits that opened on First Friday, March 2.  Works in this years Thaw: Flux Annual exhibit at Hungerford ran the gamut from an undersea balloon art installation to photography and encaustic paintings.




 Eclectic was and is the best adjective to describe the mix in our building. Hungerford Urban Artisans, the tenant artists’ membership group, is now an official member of First Fridays, which publicizes openings in galleries and private studios all around the city. Hungerford now needs three security guards on First Fridays to keep the parking lots free from congestion and traffic flowing smoothly.

Our next First Friday event is Friday, April 6, 5 – 9 PM, just two weeks away. To entice you to visit, here are a few additional works from the Thaw exhibition for you to enjoy.



Artists above, top to bottom. Stacey Mrva, Coy Fish Lamp and Jennifer Buckley, Garden Tea Party.

Warning, one evening is just not enough time to visit all the Hungerford artist studios, unless you like to sprint! Take time to linger, talk with the artists and enjoy yourself – and come back again! We’re friendly, passionate about our work and love to share how we make it.

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