the city 1990

Installation photo from City newspaper from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City"
Installation photo from City newspaper from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City”

As I remember it there was “call for entry” for the Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City.” I think John Warden was the director at the time and the Pyramid was in a great big loft space in the Village Gate. I submitted an idea for depicting my relatives, one member from each of the extended families, at work in the city of Rochester. The idea was accepted.

My paintings were done on the back of sheets of billboard paper (54″ wide by “60” high) and I used acrylic house paint, stuff I bought on the mis-mixed table at Meyer’s Hardware for a dollar a pint. I photographed the locations of my relative’s place of employment as it looked at the time of the show and mounted the photos next to the paintings. You can sort of see the photos in the picture above.

"Grandpa Tierney" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Grandpa Tierney” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

My grandfather on my mother’s side, Raymond Tierney Sr., was a dynamo. He opened a store with two of his brothers on North Street right where it meets Hudson Avenue. It was the largest grocery store in the city. He became the president of the New York Grocers Association. He was also a butcher and he opened his own stores on South Avenue and then Clinton Avenue where the India House store is today.

"Uncle Ray" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Uncle Ray” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Ray Tierney Jr. was my godfather. He owned the Super Duper at 12 Corners in Brighton as well as Super Dupers on Mount Hope and Monroe Avenue. Stock boys called him “High Pockets” because he wore his pants well above his waist. I worked at the Monroe Avenue store, right next door to Uncle John’s Pancake House and across from Pittsford Plaza, during high school. My mother, brothers and sisters all worked at the stores. And Peggi worked there while she was looking for a teaching job.

"Uncle Ed" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City"  Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Uncle Ed” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

I used to think Ed Kolb was a tv repair man because he used to to fix our tv when it went on the fritz. He was a machinist at Wilmot Castle on the west side. They made all those shiny instruments that surrounded you when sat in a dentist’s chair.

"Uncle Jack" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Uncle Jack” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Jack Williams was our insurance agent until he retired. We always felt like we were in good hands.

"Aunt Helen" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Aunt Helen” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Helen Sullivan was my godmother. She met her husband in Saint Mary’s hospital where he was being treated for a farm accident. They married and lived on a farm on Seneca Lake near Dundee.

"Dad" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Dad” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

My father worked for Kodak for thirty five years and I got the sense that they treated him right there. He was hired as a mechanical engineer but worked as a design engineer. He really enjoyed his work but then he enjoyed everything he did.

"Aunt Jean" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Aunt Jean” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

My Uncle Bill Koval worked for the village of Fairport but I wasn’t ever sure what he did. I asked my father if his sister, Jean, worked anywhere before she married Bill. He told me she worked for Rochester Telephone. Once their children left home she drove a school bus and really enjoyed that.

"Uncle Jerry" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Uncle Jerry” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Back in the day Genesee had some serious competition from Topper and Standard Dry Ale. Jerry Austin worked as salesman for Standard. He was a real estate agent in later years and sold us out house on Hall street for twenty thousand. He called it a “starter house” but we lived there for twenty seven years.

"Aunt Ann" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Aunt Ann” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Ann Oliver was the only one of my aunts and uncles not living in the Rochester area. She married Bob from Niagara Falls and they lived there. Before she married she taught grade school at Midvale.

"Grandpa Dodd" Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled "The City" Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high
“Grandpa Dodd” Paul Dodd Painting from 1990 Pyramid Arts Center show entitled “The City” Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high

Leo Dodd Sr., my father’s father, was a bootlegger during Prohibition and when that finally ended he and a partner opened the Munich Bar on the west side. When World War II broke out they quickly changed the name of the place to the Dodd Miller Tavern.

One Reply to “the city 1990”

  1. WOW…where did you dig that up?!! Your portraits are “whimsical” and my sculptures are “charming”…I like that!!!
    I made 3 pieces for that show. I still have them somewhere in my basement.
    Funny that the article says they are “marginally related to the theme of Rochester” because they don’t represent knowable Rochester sites, however each was inspired by very personal and specific trips into Rochester when I was young. We went into “the CITY” twice a year as I grew up, once in late summer for back-to-school clothing and supplies, and then again during the Christmas season. Those visits are vivid in my mind…such a jarring contrast for a country kids brain…so different from my daily life.
    Thanks for sharing. Brought back those images and memories!

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