Well-known artists ready for Fashion Week – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Albert and Frances Paley. Wendell Castle and Nancy Jurs. Paul and Christine Knoblauch. Leonard and Myung Urso.
Imagine them all in one art show, coordinated by Grant Holcomb, who just retired as director of the Memorial Art Gallery, and his daughter, Maryn.
The idea came from Christine Knoblauch. She approached Rochester councilmember Elaine Spaull, who is deeply involved in Fashion Week of Rochester through her day job as director of the Center for Youth — the event’s beneficiary.
The show will be a highlight of Fashion Week, which runs Oct. 15 to 19.
On Thursday, Oct. 16, a runway show featuring local designers and boutiques will take place at the old Merkel Donohue site along Capron Street (near Geva Theatre Center) that is being converted into Woodbury Place. The art show opens the same night in that space, and 40 percent of sales will go to the Center for Youth, Spaull says.
Knoblauch and Spaull approached the artists with the idea, and received a very welcoming response, they say.
“It was humbling to see the caliber of brilliance in Rochester,” Knoblauch says.
The show is called Gallery of Fashion, where “art and Fashion Week will come together,” says Spaull. Artists will be at the opening on Oct. 16, and the gallery will be available for viewing for at least another week following Fashion Week.
Fittingly, the focus of the gallery show will be on families. In addition to the artist husbands and wives represented, the show will also feature artists and their children who have followed in their footsteps. While some of the artists have had shows with their own family members, rarely have these big-name art families shown their work together.
Christine Knoblauch and husband, Paul, are both metal artists with distinctive styles; Christine’s artwork has an organic tilt, while Paul favors contemporary styles. Christine Knoblauch’s father, Joseph Ventura, will be showing his stone carvings.
Albert Paley currently has a show in one of the nation’s most prestigious venues, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. His wife, Frances, an art photographer, will be displaying fashion-themed pieces.
Wendell Castle, the world-famous maker of museum-quality furniture, has a family full of artists. His wife, Nancy Jurs, will showcase her sculptures.
“My sculptures portray messages on many levels, several expressing concern for safety in the world for women, animals, children,” says Jurs, adding that her donations to the community are always from the heart.
Jurs’ son, Bryon, also will be in the show.
Glass artist Elizabeth Lyons will be in the show with her parents, Nathan and Joan Lyons. Ceramic artists Stephen Merritt and Bill Stewart will show their works, as will their sons, photographer Jonathan Merritt and Greg Stewart, who creates art installations.
Albert Paley applauded the effort of the arts community to support the Center for Youth, which helps the area’s under-served young people.
“The arts — music, visual or performance — support an arena for personalization and enrichment of experience,” Paley says.
Holcomb’s daughter, Maryn, is a fashion stylist who returned to Rochester from San Francisco.
“What attracted me to this work is to be able to work with artists in this community,” Grant Holcomb says. He calls Rochester an incredibly culturally rich city, which locals sometimes take for granted. And that goes for fashion, too.
“Fashion is certainly an art form,” he says.
Fashion Week of Rochester
Fashion Week of Rochester is Oct. 15 to 19. Besides the Thursday night runway show at Woodbury Place, which also features the art show opening, Fashion Week will include runway shows Wednesday at the Sibley Building (which will include dogs) and Friday at the downtown library’s Rundel Building (with a family theme).
For Saturday, organizers will transform the old Midtown Tunnel, the area where they dropped off deliveries for the now-demolished downtown mall, into an urban chic pop-up venue. Sunday will feature the annual boutique crawl, mainly in the South Wedge, Park Avenue, Brighton and Pittsford. Tickets will be available for sale at area Wegmans beginning in early September and they are $25 for general admission, $50 for seated admission and $100 for VIP seating for all four runway shows.