Middle Finger

Renée Valenti in Main Street Arts studio, Cliffton Springs

Clifton Springs is a hike. Any place you have to take the Thruway for is a hike. It’s really only 35 minutes away and it is worth the drive. It is one of the most well preserved old New York towns you’ll find. We were there for the opening of “Sacred Curiosities,” a group show of Rochester area artists at Main Street Arts. Martha O’Conner has about thirty of her exquisite, mostly clay small abstract figures in the show. Two were sold by the time we got there. This is a beautiful gallery space and there is a great restaurant across the street when the gallery closes.

But we drove a short distance to Manchester and had a “Middle Finger Lakes IPA” at Reinvention Brewery. This place is like a small town Irish pub, warm and friendly, a family style beer hall. Painter, Renée Valenti, is doing a month long residency in one of the upstairs studios at Main Street Arts. She had a piece in the recent Whitney Biennial. I really loved her paintings. She told me she had been doing figurative work but had recently started painting abstractly with flesh tones and charcoal. I spent the way home thinking about her work.

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