Suspended tree along Lakeshore Boulevard
Suspended tree along Lakeshore Boulevard

This tree was not as close to the lake last year. And its roots were underground.

At one time the Memorial Art Gallery had a biennial show of a half a dozen local artists’ work. They handed the show off to Rochester Contemporary, a good move, and two years ago RoCo had their first Rochester biennial, a three pronged affair with two artists at three different sites. My father and I were chosen to show our work at RoCo. The exhibit was entitled “Witness.”

This time around the biennial, entitled “Current Seen,” is spread all across town in nearly twenty venues. We were in Spain when the shows opened and we’ve been scrambling to get up to speed since our return. On Friday night we met a group at Joy Gallery on West Main where the graffiti show celebrating 30 years of work by the collective known as FUA is on display. Our group walked further west to 540 where Siena Pullinzi is showing her prints of women’s bodies, a show called “Not Your Object,” and then down King Street to the Douglas Auditorium where Mara Ahmed is showing her beautiful collage/paintings, photographic imagery of family members in painted fields that illustrate the displacement imposed on people in India at the end of British colonialism. Thankfully our city is so much broader than the East side.

There is a guide book (5 dollars) for Current Seen, one designed by Tate Shaw at Visual Studies that is packed with insightful articles about the shows and some solid history of our fair city. In the opening Bleu Cease asks, “Can the visual arts connect people across a divided city?” I think it can.

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