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RoCo to hold annual in-person 6×6 exhibition

Rochester Contemporary Art Center will hold its 14th annual 6×6 fundraising exhibition this year from June 5 through July 18, both virtually and in-person.

RoCo will accept entries for the exhibition through April 10. After an exclusively virtual 6×6 exhibition last year due to the pandemic, RoCo’s Executive Director Bleu Cease said he is thrilled to announce the return of an in-person 6×6 exhibition for the summer of 2021.

“We missed having our regular 6×6 exhibition last year, and are looking forward to being open to the public for 6x6x2021,” he said.

RoCo has been maintaining regular gallery hours with a limited capacity since September, and the East Avenue gallery will be open again this summer to celebrate the international small art phenomenon with the public. Despite the Jazz Fest and other festivals not taking place downtown, RoCo’s consistent exhibition programming and presence in the East End will return with extended summer hours, officials said.

Participants may drop off their artworks in person, or mail them to RoCo. All entries must be postmarked by April 12. Each artwork should be accompanied by a short entry form that can be downloaded at

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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RoCo accepting entries for annual 6×6 exhibition

Rochester Contemporary Art Center will continue its call for entries in its annual 6×6 “small art phenomenon” exhibition throughout the month of March, following Mayor Lovely Warren’s proclamation of March 2 as citywide “Make Art Day.”

An entry in RoCo's 2018 6x6 exhibition.
An entry in RoCo’s 2018 6×6 exhibition.

“Thanks to international and local artists, celebrities, designers, youth, self-proclaimed ‘non-artist’ community members and some new initiatives, we continue to up our expectations,” RoCo executive director Bleu Cease said in a statement. “With increased entries come increased sales, so that’s a winning combination for all.”

The annual exhibit runs June 1 through July 17 and last year featured more than 6,000 6-inch by 6-inch works of art. Warren, a past 6×6 participant, this year declared March 2 as a day to make art. The Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance will host a community art-making 6×6 party for children that day.

“I’m excited to declare March 2 ‘Make Art Day’ because encouraging the creativity of our children and youth is important to their development and to their ability to express ideas in innovative and meaningful ways,” Warren said. “The city appreciates the efforts of the Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance and RoCo in making Rochester a center of artistic excellence and excitement.”

On March 1, RoCo will host “Name That Artist,” a local art trivia contest. All 6×6 artworks are due to the gallery by April 14. Artwork will be for sale to the public for $20 each to benefit RoCo. Sales provide roughly 15 percent of RoCo’s annual operating budget.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

RoCo to feature works from Rochester illustrator

Illustrator Dave Calver's new graphic novel, "Limbo Lounge."
Illustrator Dave Calver’s new graphic novel, “Limbo Lounge.”

Rochester Contemporary Art Center next month will host a new exhibition of works by Dave Calver.

The exhibition will open with a reception Sept. 6 and will feature an artist talk and book signing Sept. 8.

Calver, a Rochesterian who recently moved to Palm Springs, Calif., is known for his unique illustrations; his iconic snow-people have been used since 2002 to promote the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District’s annual Winter’s Eve event in New York City.

Calver has said originally he was encouraged to draw inspiration from different artists. He was influenced by German expressionist films and industrial imagery, as well as Art Deco to some extent.

“My style has evolved over the years into something that is more my own,” Calver said in a statement. “When I look back at some of my work, some of it is very ’80s, influenced by some of the trends of the time such as the furniture and design movement called Memphis.”

In addition to his Winter’s Eve banners and artwork, Calver has illustrated book and magazine covers, billboards and subway posters, as well as a holiday card for the New York Rangers hockey team. Calver continues to produce new illustration work, graphic novels and a horror film. He recently was included in Taschen’s “100 Illustrators,” chosen as the best of the best from more than 600 illustrators, in its popular “Illustration Now” series.

Dave Calver's illustrations will be on exhibit at Rochester Contemporary Art Center beginning Sept. 6.
Dave Calver’s illustrations will be on exhibit at Rochester Contemporary Art Center beginning Sept. 6.

Calver’s latest project is a newly published graphic novel called “Limbo Lounge,” where newly dead people in Limbo await their fate at a bar while surrounded by bored interlopers from hell. Signed copies of the book will be available during the exhibition of the same name.

“In his over 40 year career, Dave has become known as one of the best living illustrators. He has published in a variety of major magazines and newspapers including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and The Washington Post,” said Bleu Cease, RoCo’s executive director and curator. “His distinctive work invites you to explore the wonderful worlds that he produces, creating a bridge between illustration and fine art.”

A selection from the 420 art pieces published in Calver’s new graphic novel will be exhibited in RoCo’s Lab Space, and Calver will speak about the project during his artist talk.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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RoCo to exhibit ad industry’s ‘On the Side’ artwork

raf-on-the-side-header18_3kRochester Contemporary Art Center and the Rochester Advertising Federation have partnered for the fourth annual On the Side exhibition.

The show will feature rarely seen personal works by some of Rochester’s most well-known graphic artists, photographers and designers. Unique to RoCo’s programming, the three-week long exhibition offers a fresh collaborative exhibition format.

The title of the exhibition stems from the personal work that many members of the local advertising community complete outside their traditional working hours. Current members of the Rochester Advertising Federation can submit work for display through Aug. 17.

Since its 2015 debut, On the Side has grown into a signature event and exhibit for the two organizations. More than 30 artists had work displayed during last year’s exhibition, and organizers expect more artists and advertising professionals this year.

“In a few short years, On the Side has become a new tradition for the Rochester art community,” said RoCo Executive Director and Curator Bleu Cease. “On the Side gives many members of the creative community an opportunity to exhibit a different side of their creative output, and it also gives the public a chance to experience the personal artwork made by some of the region’s most talented advertising and marketing professionals.”

The On the Side exhibition will be on display at RoCo from Sept. 6 through Sept. 22.

“The exhilaration of having my personal work hang in the RoCo/RAF On the Side show is just the kind of jolt every commercial artist needs to remind them that beneath all of the layers of professionalism, customer service, deadlines and revisions lies the raw creative passion that led them to the field in the first place,” said Kurt Brownell, owner of Kurt Brownell Photography.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer